Effective salon staff management is the cornerstone of a strong business and makes a huge difference in a salon’s customer experience, as well as salon staff motivation and retention.
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What Is Salon Management?
Salon managers are responsible for the daily operations of the business- this means generating profits by keeping an eye on the performance of individual staff members (and giving feedback), motivating your team as a whole.
Managers also need to stay on top of the “big picture” of a salon’s operations and any administrative, marketing and planning tasks.
These can take the form of vendor and inventory management, payroll, client retention, advertising materials, and handling customer complaints or staffing issues.
Needless to say, a salon owner or manager has a lot on their plate.
10 Tips On Effective Salon Staff Management
Now, let’s take a look at some salon management tips to ensure that you not only hire the right people, but maintain a strong team and boost productivity.
1. Implement Standard Procedures Instead of Micromanaging
This is a big one and probably an all-too-common mistake for an inexperienced salon manager. It can be so, so tempting to try to be in control of every aspect of your hair salon. Don’t. Get out of the way and let your stylists shine.
Rather than telling each staff member exactly what you want them to do and how to do it, try to create procedures that contain guidance and clear expectations, but also show your team that you trust them.
This will give them more room to take responsibility and pride in their work, and teach them to be accountable for achieving results. Plus, it can lead to innovation and creative work while also freeing you from the burden of needing to constantly check on them.
2. Set Clear Targets and Expectations
Performance measures that are easy to understand don’t just make your life easier when it’s time to give a stylist their commission or negotiate an annual salary, they also encourage positive outcomes and motivate your team.
By setting straightforward, challenging but still attainable goals, you’ll motivate your salon employees to continually improve and empower them. Make sure that they understand what you expect of them and that you know they’re capable of it. But also…
3. Lead by Example
A good manager doesn’t just give clear instructions, she follows her own instruction and sets an example. Managing staff means managing yourself and showing rather than telling.
If you think that it’s not acceptable behavior to leave without tidying your workstation, for example, make sure that you always clean up after yourself. If you want stylists to recommend products to clients at each appointment, you’ll need to do this, too.
Make a salon manager daily checklist with your tasks and stick to it. Modelling the behaviours and professional standards that you expect from your team will make for a happier work environment and encourage them to remember to do these things.
4. Create a Strong Workplace Culture
A salon’s culture is a big part of effective staff management.
This all starts with open and clear communication: even when employees aren’t meeting your expectations, speak calmly and give constructive feedback to help them. When team members do something well, acknowledge it.
Hold regular staff meetings and encourage participation, suggestions and questions. Regular communication makes for more engaged employees and lets people discuss issues and co-operate to solve them.
5. Implement Salon Management Software
Managing salon staff should take up more of your time than those ndless administrative tasks. Investing in a salon management software can help you save time and stress by automating taks like appointment booking, scheduling and inventory.
You can view your salon’s data such as busy or slow times, sales, and popular services or stylists in a click, then adjust your marketing or scheduling as needed.
In addition, salon software will clients’ lives easier- they can book and even pay for services online 24/7, without waiting for a receptionist.
6. Offer Training for Salon Staff
Training isn’y just for new stylists, after all. A successful salon should continually strive to improve.
This means providing team members with professional development opportunities. If you’re looking for ways to motivate your salon staff, incentive ideas could include exciting new training opportunities.
Start by finding workshops and training to expand your stylists’ skills. Consider making your suppliers do some of the work- many offer free training related to their products.
Finally, you might start a mentorship and skill sharing program within your salon, encouraging senior staff members to cross-train and help newer employees.
7. Invest in Team Building
A strong team culture will make for happy employees, happier clients and less stressed managers.
Team building activities can take many forms. A formal team building activity like a workshop or retreat can be helpful sometimes, but these are also expensive and a time commitment.
Consider adding smaller team building exercises to your regular meetings, such as games or a client review competition. If you wnat to go for the gold, your salon staff could try volunteering together for a cause you’re enthusiastic about.
8. Treat Your Salon Staff Equally
Even in a quirky, informal salon environment, a manager can’t have best friends or favorites.
Make sure to be fair and consistent with the discipline, rewards and feedback you give team members. Employees are quick to notice when the boss treats someone differently, and this can damage morale and trust.
9. Offer Career Development Plans
Remember what we said about professional development? Well, it’s also important for retention and job satisfaction. Work with each stylist, get to know them and ask about their career goals.
Then, you can work on a career plan together and figure out how to meet each milestone. You can give them feedback and celebrate each success. This makes it more likely that they’ll stay with you in the long-term.
10. Leave Some Room For Compassion
Even if your management style thrives on being tough and no-nonsense, it pays to be kind. There will be many situations where you need to listen to your staff’s feelings and do your best to work with them to solve a problem.
Try to be an advocate and cheerleader as well as a coach when giving feedback. Make sure to praise people for things they did well, as well as point out areas of opportunity.
Above all else, work to get to know your team and build meaningful relationships with them. Sometimes, they may come to you just because they need to talk, and that’s a very good sign.
Now that you’ve read this, hopefully, you have a few new ideas on how to manage a salon. You can take some of these and adapt them to suit your team’s needs.
Salon staff management isn’t easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding to see your team come together, support each other and take pride in their progress. Don’t forget to take a step back and give yourself some positive feedback, too.
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