Tanning Buyers Group
Written by David Kenney
Todays salons need to dedicate more time to the hiring, training, disciplining and firing of staff.
Controlling the way your staff interacts with customers is one of the hardest aspects of salon management. Employees are people and are prone to take their personal life and express it through their work.
What salon owners need to achieve is a balance between employee independence and management control.
Your employees are your front-end marketers of the business. Folks that work at an insurance company seldom speak to actual customers and most of us would expect very little if we did speak with them. Salon customers expect more.
Salons are completely different. Salon customers expect to be pampered and treated in a professional manner. They expect prompt service with a smile and they expect to get what they ask for.
As salon owners, our employees must provide a wonderful customer experience so that we can grow the business.
The physical appearance of your salon and the way it operates are likely controlled directly by the owner or a designated manager. The physical plant is pretty easy to setup and maintain.
How do you get the same consistent results from your employees?
1) Demand excellence - Reward employee excellence as a way to reward good work ethic. Something as simple as a free bottle of the hot product can go a long way and has minimal cost. It is a way to show you have noticed that employees hard work.
2) Disipline immediately - If an employee is not living up to your expectation of how one of your staff members should TELL THEM... Everyone including the employee will be better for the negative interaction. Tell them what the issue is and what you expect in clear language. Don't sugar coat it and don't dwell on it. Watch carefully for improvement and if seen tell the employee so they know what you want and that you care.
3) Train, Train, Train - One of the best ways to keep your employees engaged is to offer continuous training and re-training. Wheather you work directly with each employee, schedule a visiting trainer, or provide access to local seminars to improve education.
4) Hire properly - Often an owner will hire someone based on very little information. Sometimes it is tough to get a true feel for someones abilities until after they have worked under you for a period of time. There is nothing wrong with hiring someone on a probationary basis with the plan of either offering them a regular position or letting them go. If they under-perform and do not react to your training then call it a day. Move onto the next.
5) Eliminate the rot - Sometimes you just can't fix a long-standing employee. The employee is seemingly incapable of doing some or all of the things necessary to work for you. Get ride of them. There is nothing worse than having a bad egg spoiling the bunch. And YES it happens all the time that a fantastic employee suddenly, or over time, drops to an unacceptable level of performance. Our lives are constantly changing and a bad attitude reflects poorly on your salon. Try to discipline and, when deemed no longer possible, eliminate the problem. When terminating someone it is best to keep conversation to a minimum. You need not explain in detail the issues. If you followed the principles above then the employee was given multiple chances to resolve the problems and choose not to improve. The employee left you no choice and now is too late.
Following these basic steps will help keep your staff fresh, eager and happy. Employees that are treated fairly and consistenly motivated will feel like they are part of a legitimate business that cares about their employees.