• Kirsten Harris

It is to manage a team successfully or successfully manage a team?

In any salon business with a desire for growth, a good team will make all the difference. You can have a flash salon with the latest tools, equipment and products, but if you don’t have a great team behind you the rest will mean nothing. A happy team will result in better results for your salon – they’ll be more productive and more invested in the salon’s success. But managing a team can be difficult. How do you keep your staff motivated while keeping everything else in the salon on track? We have uncovered some truths behind what it takes to truly manage a team with success.

Reducing staff turnover is critical. In any business there will be some change of staff and that’s to be expected. But if you’re regularly losing team members, that’s going to affect your business. Clients are often loyal to their stylist and will follow them if they go elsewhere. Or they may start to lose confidence in your salon if they end up with a different stylist every time they visit. Keeping your team members long term will help your salon and mean less hiring administration for you. However, that doesn't mean you hang on to staff that simply don't meet the standards or expectations. Read on...

It’s important you cultivate a positive culture in your salon. You want it to be a great place to work where your team feel valued and appreciated. Your team need to feel supported and respected and this has to be more than just words – show it with your actions. Have a laugh with your staff. Salons are where your clients go to relax and have fun. If your team aren’t enjoying themselves, your clients will pick up on this vibe. If there are any conflicts, try to resolve them quickly. Remember that in any salon there will be a range of personalities but their unique differences should be embraced and respected.

Spend some time getting to know everyone in your team (not just your favourites...). Forming a strong connection is important, so take a few minutes to have a coffee and a chat. Know what makes them tick and what’s important to them outside of work. Check in with them whenever you can and find out what’s happening in their lives. Ask them how their kitchen renovations are going or how they enjoyed their camping trip, family, social life, home life. Make sure they know you’re listening and you’re interested in them. Without morphing in to a Pyschologist though! keep that careful balance ...

Some people may cringe at the idea of a team building activity, but it can be a really fun and worthwhile experience. Team building doesn’t need to be a formal thing – organise a fun night out, get tickets to a show or organise a pamper session. Do it somewhere off-site though so your team can relax and get to know each other outside of work. Forming strong bonds with colleagues is so important and will result in better vibes around the salon!

Communication is vital for hair salons. Generally your team is quite small, so everyone needs to know exactly what’s going on and be on the same page with the salon’s expectations and goals. Communication goes both ways though. Be open to feedback from your team and make sure they feel comfortable coming to you with any issues. Involve them in decision making whenever you can. If they feel listened to and feel their concerns or ideas have been heard, they will be a more productive and happy team.

A highly skilled team will do wonders for your salon, so try to develop their skills wherever you can. Organise training or workshops or provide information sessions on different aspects of the hair industry. Maybe you could organise training in an area that is not specific to the hair industry, but will still improve their skills on the job – communication, dealing with customers, setting goals. It all helps to lift your staff up and show them that you are their biggest cheerleader!

Performance reviews are a time that can fill both you and your staff with dread. But they don’t have to be awful, in fact they can be a very rewarding experience. It’s important that they’re done regularly so you can keep on top of any concerns or areas that need improving. Make sure you celebrate their achievements too and praise them wherever you can. Just like a staff meeting, performance reviews don’t have to be stuffy and formal. Meeting over a cuppa and a cake can often result in more a more relaxed conversation. But make sure you do them!

Incentives are a great way to motivate your staff. If your team is working hard for you, they deserve to be rewarded. You might want to present a small gift to team members who are really going the extra mile or offer a bonus to the person who sells the most product (or any salon goal that you’re focusing on). Verbal praise is also really effective though – simply commenting on what a good job they’re doing and how much you appreciate their efforts can make your team feel valued and keep them motivated.

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