Karen Wilkinson


Karen Wilkinson joined the Bannatyne Group in 2007 as national spa manager, before becoming group head of spa in 2012. Bannatyne now operates 38 spas in its health clubs and hotels with a further six due to open in 2017.

Bannatyne Spa has 38 properties in its portfolio with another six set to open in 2017 and more on the horizon, so the retention of both customers and staff is crucial to maintain our growth and improvement targets.

In terms of our staff, we have found that incentives, good communication and people management are crucial aspects of retaining good therapists and managers at every level. Great commission schemes that invite over-performance have yielded exceptional results, while our annual awards and quarterly competitions also help us to keep staff engaged. Our Balanced Scorecard and benchmarking protocols help to focus our managers on internal and external KPIs and how these affect the business.

Incentives to achieve high scores undoubtedly drive behaviour, with quarterly rewards and recognition following. We have an annual ‘Spa Roadshow’ to celebrate this success and to congratulate those who have excelled, be that an outstanding regional performance or an exceptional individual therapist. We also focus on succession planning to grow our next generation of spa managers. An interactive training development programme highlights key competencies around business drivers and how these impact positive results in the spa; this has been implemented throughout the Bannatyne business.