I have chosen Ikeda Spa as the organisation for this project. I work in Ikeda Spa as a beautician and body therapist. Ikeda Spa is the first authentic Japanese Spa opened in Singapore at Bukit Timah in 2009 with authentic Onsen (hot spring bath) experience. Then eventually branching out their outlets. As of now, Ikeda Spa has 2 outlets where by one is a prestige outlet located at Clarke Quay. Ikeda Spa is rated the five-star spa. Both the outlets offer different experiences and services.
They also have individual signature treatments.
Ikeda Spa first outlet is at Bukit Timah. This outlet offers the cosy experience. The Japanese Zen Garden is where one can take a meditative walk. In this charming garden, one can experience a simple chado (Japanese tea ceremony). Sipping green tea in perfect tranquillity is cleansing for the body and spirit. The Ganbanyoku Stone Bed is the first authentic Ganbanyoku combined with the skills of the masseuse in Singapore. It is also known as hot rock bathing.
Ganbanyoku is a traditional Japanese detoxification ritual designed to revitalise the mind and body. Unwind as you lay down on therapeutic black silica bedrocks, purge toxins and calories as you perspire. The Rotenburo Outdoor Onsen is attached to the VIP couple spa suite. It is hand made with Japans most prized hinoki (Japanese Cypress) wood that was once reserved for royalty. Soak in the exquisite wooden tub and discover the healing benefits of spa water enriched with aromatic onsen bath salts. Its the ultimate holistic healing experience.
The Zen Finishing Studio is where one can enjoy the finishing touches of your spa day. Here, you can chill out in a yukata, enjoy the view of our Japanese Zen garden, partake in some exquisite refreshments and catch a little cable TV while your hands and feet get a little tender loving care. The Tatami Zen Lounge is where one can Sit back, relax and immerse in perfect serenity. Browse the latest magazines, enjoy Japanese delicacies or simply unwind to the soothing music. Enjoy some well-deserved me time in this cosy haven, and emerge completely energised.
Ikeda Spa second outlet opened in 2013. This outlet offers the ultimate luxury experience. Moved by the best Japanese onsen, Ikeda Spa Prestige created Singapores first Japanese communal bathing facility. The onsen temperature is always checked on and have to be maintained at 42 Degrees Celsius. Onsen are known to have a lot of benefits such as overall relaxation, a moisturised skin and more. This would be a great way to improve blood circulation and calm your stress nerves. The VIP Couple Suite offers a private onsen and a private tatami relaxation corner with the view of Clarke Quay skyline. This way you can have your privacy. Every treatment room is equipped with sound system that allows you to customise the spa music according to your preference. The Japanese Light Snacks known to be the healthy light Japanese refreshment is offered to customers who book the VIP couple suite. At Prestige, you can look forward to a walk-through of the Beauty Retail Therapy whereby you can try the different products there and treat yourself to a little retail therapy. You can look out for this ten different experiences at Ikeda Spa.
Ikeda Spa is in the health and wellness industry. Being in the health and wellness industry means you want the best for your customers health and wellness. As such, it is the reason why people goes to the spa to relax and rejuvenate their body, mind and soul.
The organisations mission is to deliver the Japanese WOW experience through Omotenashi. Omotenashi is the heart of Japanese hospitality. It simply means serving from the heart. Their vision is all about you. This shows that Ikeda Spa is a customer centric organisation as their mission and vision states. Ikeda Spa has some core values. Here are the core values:
It simply means going the extra mile for service as we are a luxury spa so people expect our service to be more than average.
Having pride in what you do go beyond your comfort zone but keep it organised and have the determination.
Create a fun, kind and great family spirit. Work hard and play hard. Be humble, be grateful.
Communicate with honesty and respect. Be proactive, not reactive.
HR Policies, Hiring, Benefits & Incentives
Ikeda Spa has various ways of accepting job application such as student internship, email, walk in. All of which needs to go through a face to face interview. Their hiring requirements are the employee should possess a minimum of two years of experience in the beauty industry, minimum education level of at least a O- Level, a certified beautician would be an advantage, able to speak basic English in order to communicate with the customer’s, basic computer knowledge, customer friendly, passion to deliver the extra mile of service.
Other than the monthly salary that they offer, Ikeda Spa also provides rewards and recognitions such as employee of the month reward, best customer service reward and a culture of open recognition of praising the colleagues/staffs for the excellent service/treatment they did.
In Ikeda Spa, they have a yearly employee satisfaction and feedback surveys done to know and learn about how the employee feels and what the company can or needs to improve/change. As part of keeping the company employees and employer bonded, the company also will conduct a quarterly company outing which they can vote for doing any team related activities such as paintball and dragon boating or they can choose to go for lunch or dinner. The company would also organise monthly birthday celebrations for everyone. For example, anyones birthday which falls in the particular month would be celebrated together.
They also offer the employee an annual $600 grooming allowance and a 30% discount for their employees from all retail products to treatments. Apart from that, they have work flexibility especially for working mums and dads. They are allowed to work from home if they need to. This shows that Ikeda empathise their employees and understand their personal needs.
Ikeda Spa uses feedback forms and email to know their customer satisfaction metrics. After every treatment or services done, they will offer a feedback form for the customers to fill up. Ikeda Spa measure’s customer’s satisfaction daily as the manager would need to compile all the feedback forms at the end of the day and submit it to the higher department. Every end of the week, the manager would conduct a meeting and discussion session with the employees to bring up any complains, good and bad feedbacks provided by the customer’s. Everyone would then give suggestions on how to handle the complains and bad feedbacks in the discussion session. They take every complains and bad feedbacks seriously and will try their very best to eliminate the complains and do better. This shows how responsive they are towards customer’s feedbacks and complains. The employee which receives the best feedbacks for the service or treatment performed will be rewarded.
In Ikeda Spa, they provide the employees with training and developments. For training wise, they would encourage their employee to spend 20% of their working time to attend sponsored courses at polytechnics or their in-house WSQ, CIBTAC & ITEC accredited school.
Ikeda Spa has a very well planned training schedules for all new employees. They would assign two weeks of orientations and trainings for the new employees. They take their trainings seriously. Apart from scheduling the training sessions, they will also book the trainers as well as the classroom for theory lessons. They would ensure that proper training is given to the new employees. When I first joined Ikeda Spa, I was given a schedule of two weeks to attend training and orientations. Me and some other few interns were assigned a trainer, Ms Miyuki. Ms Miyuki is a very well trained and experience trainer. She is from Japan. She has a small built but her strength and pressure for massages are quite strong. During the orientations, the trainer explained on what Ikeda does and offers. She emphasised on providing Omotenashi as she came from Japan, she knew more about they provide hospitality in Japan.
In our theory lessons, we were asked to do role plays. During our practical lessons, she provided a very detailed explanation on each body treatment, what are the benefits of it and shared what is special about the treatment. She made us as her model first and did every treatment on us asking us to feel the pressure and techniques she used. Then, she will teach us the steps again and us ask to do it on her so that she can feel our pressure and if we are using the proper techniques for the massages. At the end of the training and orientations, we will be given a test for both theory and practical. If we pass, we will be able to start serving customers and provide them with the treatments. In the event we failed, they would re-trained us. The perks of it is that Ikeda has high patience tolerance and they are very helpful in helping out their employees. They will not look down on their employees even if they dont do well and instead see what they can do to help the employee be better.
Apart from that, Ikeda would give an opportunity to the employees to improve their skills and knowledge by sending them to courses such as WSQ, CIBTAC (The Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology) CIBTAC is internationally recognised with providing high quality trainings to the beauty & spa industry. It is one level before acquiring CIDESCO.
CIDESCO (Comite International d’Esthetique et de Cosmetologie) CIDESCO is the world standard for beauty and spa therapy and is recognised in the whole world. As I already had a CIDESCO qualifications, I was not send to any courses. Overall, Ms Miyuki is a very good trainer and I enjoyed every single training session we had and the sharing of experiences with us.
Ikeda Spa used to not have any competitors as they were the only first and authentic Japanese Spa in Singapore until Yunomori Spa emerge in 2016. Yunomori is known for the day spa they provide and their communal onsen which is worth the money as you just need to pay the entry fee and you are allowed to use their onsen as long as you want for the day. They segregated the onsen by gender. They have five onsen pools in the female onsen area while the male onsen area has six pools. Yunomori also provide a resting area where by one can relax or even sleep there as long as they want for the day. I have been to Yunomori once to experience the differences with Ikeda.
Ikeda Spa have only 1 communal hot onsen which is not that convenient for the customers as they would have to wait or call for appointments to book in advance. In the event there is a female in the onsen, the male will not be able to enter and vice versa. They do not have varieties of pools to choose from While Yunomori has 11 pools and separates it by gender. In this way Yunomori reduce the waiting time for the customers and provide them with more choices of onsen pools to choose from as they have different kinds of pools which includes rice bath, silk bath, bubble bath, cold bath, hot bath and soda bath. Yunomori does better as they are more reliable in terms of customer satisfaction. I would recommend Ikeda to provide more varieties of pool so as to provide a better experience for the customers.
By providing separate pools for the gender, Yunomori promotes hygiene and safety precaution by getting woman impregnated. A report on how 16 females aged 13-17 years old was found impregnated in Florida due to an accidental ejaculation by a male age 15 in a pool party. Whereby Ikeda has only 1 communal onsen and it is unhygienic and could result in cases as stated above. I would strongly recommend Ikeda to invest in building another onsen or at least have two separate pools for both the genders to avoid cases as mentioned above and to promote hygiene. This will give assurance especially to the female customers as they know that it is safe for them to go into the pool.
At Ikeda Spa, we ensure that all the customers walk out of the spa by having a wonderful service and experience. Service is tangible as it is felt by human touch. Hence, Ikeda ensures that their employees provide the best experience for its customers.
Here is an example of a customer experience in Ikeda. When a customer comes in, the employee at the reception will stand and greet the customers by saying Irasshaimase which means welcome in Japanese. One of the staff would then approach the customer and welcome them at the door and provide them with a pair of sandals to be change and used in the spa. The staff will then bring the customer to the reception area to confirm their appointment details or if they are walk ins customer, they will need to provide their details such as contact numbers. Then the therapist will escort the customer to the waiting/seating area and ask what would they like to drink while offering them two choices to choose from which is Japanese green tea or mineral water. Once the customer decides, the therapist would then ask the customer to fill up the consultation form and provide details such as medical history, the area where they want to focus more on, the pressure they prefer (light, medium or hard) and more while the therapist goes into the pantry and prepare their drinks. Then, the therapist would serve the drink to the customer and take a look at the consultation form and fill up the rest that is necessary. The therapist will need to look out for any serious medical history or special request for example if they want a hard pressure. They will then confirm the treatment the customer wants. Once the consultation is complete, the therapist would bring the customer into the prepared room and ask the customer to change into the disposable underwear/panties/bra and lay on the bed facing down to prepare themselves for the treatment. While waiting for the customer to change, the therapist will prepare the products used for the treatment for example aromatherapy oil for body massage or green tea scrub for body scrubs. This should take the therapist less than five minutes. The therapist would then knock the treatment room to ask if the customer has changed and if they may come in. When the customer allows, the therapist would then go into the room and cover the customer body with the towels to avoid their body from being exposed and to avoid making them feel cold. Once that is done, the therapist will inform the customer that they will begin the treatment. Once the treatment finish, they will inform the customer again and would ask the customer what would they like to drink again. After receiving the customer reply, the therapist will inform the customer that she will prepare the drink outside at the waiting/seating area. While waiting for the customer to change back into their clothes, the therapist would prepare the drink accompanied by a Japanese biscuit and a feedback form. Once the customer comes out, the therapist will show the way to their seat and drink. After drinking and completing the feedback form, the customer will be escorted by the therapist to the reception to make payment. After payment is done, the customer will be escorted again by the therapist to the exit door and the therapist will give the customer their pair of footwear and take the pair of spa sandal back and bid them goodbye.