motivate employeesRunning a massage therapy practice can be a complex endeavor, requiring your time and attention to manage business logistics, staff and clients all at once. Cultivating motivation in the workplace among your staff can improve the efficiency and prosperity of your business.

Try these three strategies to motivate employees—and you may just get a motivation boost yourself.

1. Facilitate Team-Building

At the end of the day, a massage therapy practice thrives best when all staff members work together. Whether you have two or 10 practitioners, finding time to organize regular staff meetings for open communication, staff lunches or off-site excursions outside of work can have a bonding effect that will cultivate a sense of belonging among your practitioners. In turn, you’ll find your team members will feel happy at work, and excited to be among colleagues with whom they share a personal connection.

How to Use This Strategy to Motivate Employees:

  • Host weekly staff meetings. Have an agenda, but keep meetings short. Use at least part of the time to recognize employees for their accomplishments.
  • Cultivate open communication. Make sure employees know they can come to you with work problems and concerns, and that you value their feedback.
  • Plan off-site activities, such as checking out stores that carry products relevant to your work, or having lunch together at the new restaurant in town.

2. Provide Continuous Recognition

Being recognized and appreciated for hard work fosters loyalty and promotes long-term commitment amongst staff members. Demonstrating to your staff that you’re aware of their time and dedication to the practice, and recognizing their work with verbal acknowledgments, positive feedback or periodic rewards can instill a feeling of pride and sense of achievement. In turn, your staff will feel their work is meaningful and appreciated, which in turn can fuel their personal desire to help grow the practice and their client base.

How to Use This Strategy to Motivate Employees:

  • Create staff reward programs with incentives, financial or otherwise.
  • Schedule periodic reviews with staff members. Talk privately about what they are doing right, and discuss professional goals they might want to work toward, such as continuing education. You can also mention areas in which they could improve; however, if you have a serious issue with an employee, don’t wait until the performance review to bring it up for the first time.
  • Make verbal acknowledgements a habit. You don’t want to be known as a boss who only speaks up to criticize. Be genuine with your praise and give it whenever it is due.

3. Cultivate Positivity and Balance

Constantly reassess the mood and energy of your workplace environment. Are your practitioners smiling and excited to come to work? The energy and attitudes of your practitioners will affect the experiences of each and every one one of your clients who walk through your door. Create an atmosphere that encourages open and honest communication, promote a work-life balance mentality, and consider implementing a wellness program that provides staff with opportunities to take fitness classes or practice yoga. The physical and emotional health of your staff members will affect the health of your business in the long run. 

How to Use This Strategy to Motivate Employees:

  • Promote work-life balance. Keep an eye on the hours your staff works to make sure no one is getting burned out.
  • Incorporate on-site fitness options. Is there a gym or yoga studio near your practice? Consider negotiating a discounted rate for memberships or classes, and offer it as an employee benefit. If you have the money and space, you might also invest in a treadmill or other exercise equipment, so employees can work out during lunch breaks or after their shifts end.
  • Encourage positive communication. Avoid negativity, and do your best to make all criticism constructive.

Stephanie JenningsAbout the Author

Stephanie Jennings is a licensed massage therapist, as well as senior vice president of sales at MINDBODY (, a global provider of Web and mobile business management solutions for the wellness and beauty industries. Learn more about MINDBODY Massage Business Management Software and MINDBODY’s corporate wellness product at MINDBODY Connect Workplace.