I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on what really makes the mind of an employee “tick” – for some, it’s monetary incentives (show me the money!) and for others, they need to feel recognized and appreciated, so things like awards make them feel gratified in the workplace. This month, I’m going to discuss how to motivate and inspire your team to not only work more efficiently, but to also help create a better working environment that attracts and empowers the minds that make up your business.
Many salon owners make the mistake of not allowing their staff to think and make decisions for themselves. When you or your managers control every minor issue within the salon, you are not teaching staff to be problem solvers; you’re teaching them that YOU are the problem solver.
Businesses cannot thrive with one person making every decision, big and small. It’s like the old saying goes: “It takes a village.” Allow your staff to problem-solve on their own before stepping in. Boundaries don’t restrict team members, they empower them. If you define the boundaries of your salon completely around guest satisfaction and retention, as well as give your staff the tools they need to solve customer problems and make decisions on their own, you are providing them with an act of freedom that will help them to be more customer-orientated, rather than just call you when they have an issue and you’re not in the salon.
By having your staff consult you on every small decision, you are slowing down the service provided and affecting the overall client experience. Start small – allow your team members to give away a free upgrade or a free tan to an unhappy guest. Don’t always assume that they will abuse the power; trust in your decision that they are a good fit for the job.
If your team isn’t making mistakes, then your goals and aspirations for them are not high enough. But making every little mistake a punishable offense will only create overly conservative behavior. If the mistake is something that could have been avoided by taking their time, paying closer attention or generally following the salons rules carefully, then explain to them how and why these rules are in place and how when they are broken, it affects the overall goal: guest satisfaction.
Now, if the mistake was that they tried to make a guest happy by giving her a free tan when you wouldn’t have, or you received a complaint that the team member was “too pushy” with sales, these are the types of mistakes I suggest taking with a grain of salt. Pick your battles: your staff might not do anything and everything exactly the way you would – we are all different in our actions and reactions. Forgive them and move on. Not every “mistake” is a punishable offense.
When focusing on the strengths of your team, don’t focus on talent; focus on effort. Of course, it’s the easy route to reward and cherish the staff who can sell ice to an Eskimo; but, in the long run, effort is far more important than talent. Reward those who make the most effort – by praising effort, you will encourage the entire team to learn and grow rather than simply focus on one or two things that naturally come easily to them.
Always remember: Success isn’t necessarily defined by what YOU have accomplished in your life. It’s about what you inspire others to do.
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is Devoted Creations’ National Sales Trainer & Educator. With ten years of industry experience, she works directly with the company’s distribution & salon partners to improve product knowledge & sales.
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