For several reasons, it seems as though good employees are becoming increasingly harder to find these days. When we do find someone great, it is imperative to keep them happy and most importantly, motivated.
People work to make money; but given the opportunity to earn more, staff will not only stay with your business longer, but also most likely perform better with better attitudes. Through my travels, I have met many salon owners who have said they “can’t afford to pay commissions.” And my response has always been, “I truly believe you can’t afford NOT to!” If you do not incent staff or haven’t changed or updated your commission structure in a while, then the following ideas are for you.
Some statistics before we get into the nitty gritty:
Let’s look at the three most common retail commission structures.
Fixed: This involves a flat rate or percentage, such as 5% commission on every bottle of lotion sold. This program has advantages and disadvantages. It is easy to track for you and your team – they know if they sell a $100 bottle of lotion, then they get a $5 commission. The disadvantage, in my opinion, is the lack of an incremental goal. We want staff to sell more and strive for higher sales, which is why I prefer the next commission structure over this one.
Variable: Referred to as a sliding scale (very common) – the more you sell, the higher your commission percentage. Most commonly, I have seen this program work when there is a certain LPPA goal (lotion per person average) in order to “rank up.” Let’s say every team member makes 5% commission on product sales. In order to motivate them to increase their LPPA, you bump the lotion commission to 7.5% if they maintain a monthly LPPA of over $2.50; 10% for $3.50; 12.5% for $4.50, etc. You can stagger this however you see fit; but incremental goals help keep staff working harder toward daily improvement, especially if they can track daily where they are for the month.
Given the opportunity to earn more money, staff will not only stay with your business longer, but most likely perform better with better attitudes, as well.
Team-Based: This one is fun and I have seen it work well in smaller salons and those with a small team. This encourages staff to work together to reach a particular goal. One example is based on overall growth. Let’s say you set a monthly sales goal of $50,000 and are offering a bonus of $2,000. If your team works together to hit that goal, you can divide the bonus by the number of hours worked: Employee A worked 50% of the hours, Employee B worked 35% of the hours and Employee C worked 15% of the hours – the bonus would be split accordingly: Employee A making $1,000 bonus, Employee B $700 and employee C, $300. What I like about this program is it encourages teamwork for a common goal, instead of just worrying about personal sales performance.
The most successful salons I have seen will employ a combination of these options. Because the first two are based heavily on product, the third balances it out by still rewarding staff for upgrading memberships or selling premium packages. No matter what program or incentive you choose to implement, remember: motivation is key! Motivated staff work harder and perform better. Every salon and employee is different: work closely with your staff, determine what motivates and incentivizes them, and try to reward them accordingly.
Happy staff = happy customers!
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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