Within the world of sports massage, for many practitioners, the lines of professionalism and ethical behaviour can easily become hazy. What should one do if a client develops romantic attachments to their sports massage therapist? What ethics are involved in the whole process? How does one remain professional in any situation? The answers to these questions may, at times, seem difficult to determine. However, maintaining professionalism and ethics within your sports massage practice is relatively easy if you follow these guidelines.
Make a rule that clients are off-limits for romantic attachment. To clarify this rule you may wish to post it visibly somewhere in your office. This will keep your employees and clients from getting the wrong idea about the situation. You must also bear this rule in mind yourself, of course. If, on the other hand, a client develops inappropriate romantic feelings and expresses them, they should be told firmly that such a relationship is completely out of the question for reasons of a professional nature. If they persist in such behaviour then you should remove them as a client altogether.
Keep the sports massage therapy rooms private but not secluded. Having a room far down a hall or in some other way isolated can lead clients, particularly those with bad intentions, to the wrong conclusion about the type of establishment you're running. Avoid isolation at all costs.
Post all of your rules and regulations for employees in the employee lounge area and have them sign a contract when they're hired acknowledging those rules. If you're running your own shop, come up with rules for yourself and abide by them.
Do background checks on your employees. While the cost may initially seem high, try simply asking for 5 personal references. Good people will be able to do so without hesitation. Questionable ones may not.
Don't ever mix alcohol or narcotics with work, and make sure that any of your employees follow the same rule. As with any kind of job, this is a mistake, but with sports massage therapy it's even more important.
Hand out questionnaires to your sports massage clients, adding columns for them to rate "Professionalism," "Cleanliness," "Value," and any other aspects of your product that you want evaluated. Leave a spot for comments. If anything untoward is taking place then it should show up in these surveys. In order to get customers to fill out your surveys, offer them a discount on future visits or some other type of reward that will help increase your future business.
- Remember, you can only truly control yourself. Keep an eye on your employees if you have any, because they're always a potential source of unethical, unprofessional behaviour.
- Do not act inappropriately towards your clients in a sexual manner or do anything that might even potentially be perceived as sexual harassment. A lawsuit can bankrupt your business faster than anything else could.