Now that people are going back to the salon and into their normal groove, it’s time to get used to working with each other again and communicating effectively after not doing so for so long.
To help your team work together cohesively, here are some ideas designed to create a peaceful but efficient work environment in your salon.
The culture of any business always starts at the top and reflects how things get done in the salon. As a salon owner or manager, it’s up to you to create a positive work environment for your team, instill company values, and make sure everyone is working together for the common goals.
But, what are the common goals?
The client experience is the number one priority. It should be the be-all, end-all goal of every team member to make every single client visit the best it can be. Every client should feel welcome and comfortable in your salon starting the second they walk in the door all the way through checkout and beyond. And it takes every team member to help make that happen.
A healthy work environment with staff involvement and an open communication line with management help lead to extraordinary customer service. However, if your team is not unified in the common goal and working together to make it happen, everybody loses.
So, how do you achieve that unity?
First, let’s identify what makes for a toxic work environment:
- Lack of leadership
- Unclear expectations
- Poor communication
- Feeling unappreciated
- Lack of incentive
- Negative attitudes
Now, let’s break down what it takes to overcome these issues:
Set the Foundation
Having a team of people working under your direction requires some form of structure. Otherwise, without clearly defined expectations and boundaries, there is no telling when someone has hit the target or crossed a line.
Create Team Guidelines
The suggestion is to set defined guidelines for the team as a whole. If there’s a commission structure, explain it. Review any policies about client information and what happens when a service provider no longer works at the salon. Get the scary “corporate” stuff out of the way first, so you can deep dive at a more personal level.
Set Salon Work Flow
Make sure the entire team clearly understands the workflow in the salon and can step in for others if needed:
- The check-in process
- How clients are greeted
- Protocols in the chair or treatment room
- Utilizing shampoo bowl and color processing resources
- The checkout process & processing payments
- Suggesting retail
- Encouraging pre-bookings
Once you have a good workflow, enforce it. Discuss ways to improve processes in a designated staff meeting and ensure everyone has a voice in how it’s carried out.
Make sure service providers know that they are responsible for cleaning up their workstations, not leaving color bowls in the sink, wiping down shampoo bowls, and straightening up the color processing area if your salon has one.
Explain that everyone should chip in to help new hires, coach salon assistants, and step up for overwhelmed receptionists. When anyone has a free moment, they should pitch in without being asked to fold towels, hang smocks, monitor bathroom supplies, and general tidying up, including the dispensary and break room.
These may be areas of contention in salons, and with the same people making an effort to step up all of the time, it can lead to drama and resentment. That’s why you need to make all of these expectations perfectly clear. For example, if you don’t succinctly tell your team that everyone is expected to help fold towels, including yourself, you can’t get mad at any of them when they don’t step up.
Set Individual Guidelines
Come up with defined job descriptions for each position in your salon. Clearly outline what their role entails, what is expected of them, and how their position fits in with the team. If you’re dealing with employees, define their work hours, designated breaks, and how time off works, including vacations and sick days. With booth renters, review what their rental agreement provides and what’s expected of them.
Do Your Part as the Leader
Aside from all of the rules and guidelines, you want to ensure that every team member is getting what they need out of the work relationship.
- A chance to excel individually
- The opportunity to be a team player
- The chance to be heard
For all team members, set one-on-ones to:
- Review performance
- Set goals
- Encourage feedback
To create harmony in the salon:
- Show appreciation
- Be respectful
- Lead by example
- Reward good behavior
- Value the culture
- Nurture morale
- Make communication a priority
Be a Leader Versus a Boss
- Lead by example
- Be transparent with your team
- Include your team in some decision making
- Create and enforce an open-door policy. Any member should know that they can come to you at any time for any need. It needs to be a safe place for them.
- Treat your team well
- Provide continuing education
- Offer team outings & team-building exercises
- Have incentives for reaching goals
- Give them a say in the types of classes, programs & events
Also, Make sure they take their breaks and look forward to taking some time off to relax and recharge. And that you are leading by example.
Practice Good Communication
There are many ways that communication can benefit your business. It helps increase productivity, enforces team building, and with giving employees a voice, improves trust and loyalty.
According to research by McKinsey Global Institute, organizations with connected employees show productivity increases of 20-25%.
On the opposite end, 86% of corporate executives, educators, and employees cite ineffective communication and poor collaboration as reasons for failures in the workplace.
So, here are some ways that you can make sure communication is a top priority in your salon.
First, have regular salon meetings where you address your team as a whole. Outline your policy for the meetings, when they happen, who is expected to attend, and how to get the information should someone miss a meeting.
But for day-to-day communications, consider a quick huddle at the beginning of a shift to make sure everyone is geared up and ready to go for a busy day. However, for in-the-moment communications, turn to technology. Think text, direct message, and chat features.
There are also ways to communicate built into your salon software. For example, Rosy’s in-house notifications are a convenient way to communicate with your team. You can send a communication to specific people or your entire staff, and they are alerted the next time they check their schedules. In-house notifications are two way-conversations right where your team has a centralized hub – your salon software.
Another way to communicate involves Appointment Notes. Add a message to a client’s appointment to alert their stylist of any service preferences.
Great communications should also spill over into the client experience.
With Service Instructions, for example, anyone who books a specific service receives any special communications. The message is designed to optimize their service. So, if a service requires that the client comes in with clean hair or is to stay out of the sun, for example, that note will show up on their confirmation.
Some forms of communication can be automated. For example, when using Curbside Check-in, there’s a text message sent to the stylist when a client checks in via text.
Also, there could be an automatic text and email confirmation sent for any appointment booked, plus a reminder closer to the appointment. It’s a convenient reminder for the client and a time-saver for your salon.
Now that you’ve mastered these best practices with your team, you should start to see a more cohesive and productive work environment. A happy work environment, after all, leads to an extraordinary and authentic client experience.