Brittany Driscoll, co-founder and CEO of Squeeze, offers ideas and inspiration for building and maintaining a positive company culture—one that shows your massage-therapist employees that you put their care and happiness right up there with clients’.
1. A Positive Company Culture Promotes Optimism
In this article, I’ll explain how independent massage therapists can take the same ideas I used to co-create the Squeeze brand, and implement those in their own private practices.
In the early days of creating Squeeze, we thought, what if a brand evokes the renewed optimism that follows a massage? What if there is a beautifully designed space that feels fresh and warm, inviting and thoughtfully curated with personalized options—from music playlists to aromatherapy, and even a button on the table to push when we were ready for the massage to begin? How special would it feel to create surprise-and-delight moments that would make people smile at almost every turn?
You, the independent massage therapist, can put that same level of care into every detail in your session room and waiting room spaces. Consider your décor, the colors of the walls and furniture, and the sanitization processes you have in place. This will make both clients and employees feel safe and nurtured.
2. A Positive Company Culture Values Employees
For massage–business owners who employ massage therapists or who share space with colleagues, it’s key to ensure your team members enjoy those aspects of a positive work environment.
Here’s what that looks like at Squeeze: As I, Michael Landau and Alli Webb started to form the concept of Squeeze, the most important consideration quickly became the massage therapists’ comfort, connection and experience. While Squeeze’s origin was derived from the guest’s point-of-view, nothing is more important to us than ensuring our team members (who we affectionately call our Squeeze Squad) feel valued, heard, seen and celebrated for who they are. This is my why.
One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou inspired our company values, which we call The Feels: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It also embodies the essence of our core value and brand mantra: The Feel-Good Revolution, which encompasses our vision to transform communities for good.
The chance to create a company that would live and breathe this philosophy day in and out is what motivated me to build and scale Squeeze. Since our inception, it was very clear that not only was there a massive opportunity to provide a great guest experience but more importantly, there was also an opportunity to create a company that focused on the employee experience. After all, happy team members create better experiences for guests, which results in repeat business and becomes a winning recipe for all involved.
Even though we’re technically in the service industry, I prefer to say we’re in the people industry. We can’t create an amazing experience without a team who loves what they are doing and genuinely feels supported by management. To that end, we set aside time for monthly one-on-ones with management.
Squeeze offers benefits such as health insurance and PTO at 24 hours/week, free massages, $200/year in CE stipends, paid quarterly trainings, and the ability for massage therapists to set their own schedules.
If you employ massage therapists, what benefits are you able to offer them? Determine your budget for benefits and then offer what you can afford—from paying for employees’ liability insurance to paid time off or holiday pay. Doing so will set you apart from other massage businesses that employ.
3. A Positive Company Culture Gives Back to the Community
I believe that we all want to be part of something bigger and make a positive contribution to society. For every membership that we sell at Squeeze, we are helping to provide a day of canine support to a person with a disability through our partnership with Canine Companions. It’s a special thing to not only make people feel good, but to also do good.
I suggest you find a local charity that aligns with your values and contribute a percentage of each massage session to that organization. You could select three such charities and ask clients which one they’d like the contribution from their session to be donated to. Be sure to make note of your charitable contributions in your marketing. You can do this with each marketing piece, or provide one end-of-year total that you share on social media.
4. A Positive Company Culture Promotes Team-Building Activities
At Squeeze, we prioritize genuine human connection—it’s what feeds our souls as people and helps create positive day-to-day comradery as a team. On a quarterly basis, we close our shops for half a day and curate team-building activities, personal growth workshops, and fun, connective offsite events. It’s in these memorable moments I am reminded of the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
I encourage you to take this extra step for your employees. You might not have the ability to host off-site events at the corporate level, but quarterly get-togethers and holiday lunch at a local restaurant can go a long way toward fostering comradery among your employees.
5. A Positive Company Culture Requires Showing Up
We opened our Studio City flagship in March 2019. We were open just shy of 12 months before shutting down during the pandemic. The past few years have been a slow build-back and the ultimate test in resilience and fortitude.
Here’s my most important piece of advice to you: If I’ve learned anything thus far in my entrepreneurial journey, it’s that creating true impact requires having a clear vision and the determination to keep showing up, no matter what. That, and good people make all the difference.
About the Author
Brittany Driscoll is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Squeeze, a massage experience from the founders of Drybar. She also co-founded and leads The Feel-Good Company, a service agency supporting a collective of wellness brands dedicated to bettering the mind, body, and soul for good; and is co-host of the Girlfriends & Business podcast.