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As many of the country’s tanning salons gear up for reopening in this new, post-pandemic world, the questions I have been getting most recently are, “Will customers come back?” “Will employees be willing to come back to work?” “How will my business be different?” and “What can I expect?”
Obviously, I don’t have a crystal ball to see the future, but what I can do is borrow tips and ideas from the businesses that were deemed “essential” and allowed to operate over the last few months. We can learn from what worked for them and more importantly, what did not.
Spoiler Alert: It’s all about your team!
Making their health and safety a priority will go a long way toward a quick and successful recovery. So, how exactly did these essential businesses put their staff first?
For starters, they changed their protocol. They provided staff with PPE such as facemasks, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc. and encouraged their use. They also carved out time during each shift for essential cleaning. Owners assigned these responsibilities to a single person or a team to ensure common areas, door handles, countertops and beyond were given extra attention. Most installed plexiglass germ barriers at their front counters, and also placed decals on the lobby floor to facilitate social distancing. All of these measures were put into place to preserve the health and comfort of both the salon staff and guests.
I also noticed that successful “essential” businesses were extremely transparent with their staff. For the establishments that were required to close, many of those employees were left not knowing whether they would have a job to return to when this was all over. The ones I have seen re-open successfully were the ones that had open lines of communication with their staff over the shutdown period. Mostly, letting them know what changes were coming, what you (as owners or managers) were doing to maintain a clean, safe work environment, and that you want them back as soon as you are able to re-open.
Generally, small business owners get to know their staff on a deeper level – the successful ones during this challenging time were those who had constant communication with their staff to not only maintain positive morale, but to also check in on the health and welfare of them and their families.
Post-pandemic or not, the key to any successful business is its staff. That is why now, more than ever, we need to be ultra-sensitive to employees’ personal needs and situations. It’s important to be flexible and handle each team member on an individual basis. Happy employees are successful employees, so make sure to encourage yours to do whatever is needed to return to work with a positive outlook.
Remember: Some may be uneasy about returning, others might come back and act like nothing happened. But either way, we need to support our staff in any way we can. Instead of “we’re all in this together,” keep this in mind: “We’re all in the same storm, but not in the same boat.”
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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