Top 10 Salon Staff Retention Ideas that Work

Do you need salon staff retention ideas?

The rate of salon walkouts is at an all-time high. Given the constant growth of the beauty industry, new salons are opening every day, creating more and more job opportunities for salon staff.

Therefore hiring the best talent is not enough - you need to go a step further and make sure the work environment and the salon pay structure in your salon help you retain your best staff. Otherwise, you will be dealing with a neverending hiring process, losing clients, and incurring more and more costs as a salon owner.

What You Will Learn

A highly motivated and loyal team of salon employees is the key to business success. By the end of this post, you will understand why it is important to retain staff and the effective approach to help you achieve that.

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  1. Why Staff Retention Is Important?
  2. What Is a Good Rate of Staff Retention in a Salon
  3. Why Do Good Stylists Leave?
  4. How Do Salons Retain Staff?
  5. Conclusion

Why Staff Retention Is Important?


Every time an employee quits, it costs the business 9 months to replace them. That is extremely expensive! But these numbers don't even include the costs due to losses when clients begin to leave. Eventually, you realize that investing in staff retention is much cheaper than rehiring to refill a position.

Fewer resources are spent when you focus on keeping your team members. There are no hiring costs, higher brand value, no costs of recovering customers base, productivity improves, and your business climate becomes attractive to new clients.

What Is a Good Rate of Staff Retention in a Salon?


The healthy level of salon staff turnover rate (the rate at which employees quit), which should not exceed 10-15%. Therefore, consider it a good job if you can maintain your salon staff retention rate at 85% or higher.

The formula for calculating staff retention rate is easy—simply divide the number of employees that quit in a month by your average number of workers. Multiply what you get by 100.

Maintaining an adequate staff retention rate is a challenging tast. Industry experts concur that the average employment lifespan for salon staff is 3-5 years and one-third of new hires quit their new job after about 6 months.

You may also like our blog 'How to Increase Bookings by Improving Your Salon Customer Retention'.

Why Do Good Stylists Leave?

Why do good stylists leave
Why do good stylists leave?

The first process to retaining your excellent team members is understanding what motivates or discourages those who leave. Some of the critical reasons that speed up the rate of salon staff members turnover include but are not limited to:

No Opportunities to Develop

You have no training program or marketing promotions, and your salon staff members feel trapped in a career dead end. Salon employees prefer to work with employers that can help them grow. If you cannot offer that, they will leave.

They Can Make More Money Elsewhere

It's a small world. Your employees probably have friends—in the same business—on social media who brag about earning more where they work. Or maybe they have been spending time on Glassdoor and realized that your pay is way below the industry average.

Toxic Working Environment

Helicopter bossing is one of the issues that increase staff attrition in salons. But aside from having issues with supervisors, stylists may leave because of problems with their colleagues, unsafe working conditions, and other related reasons such as a seldom visit from clients.

They Don't Feel Valued

Maybe they have been burning both ends of the candle to deliver the best services, and your clients are super pleased, but as the owner, you have never bothered to review and say thank you.

There's No Communication

Smooth communication is the lifeblood of business in the service industry. If your workers feel out of touch with you or your support, they will consider leaving. If they find out that you sweep their issues under the rug, they will leave.

How Do Salons Retain Staff?


Consider building a fair commission scheme that will be attractive to your stylists but also affordable to your business. Happy and satisfied employees will stay with you forever. They will lead to a happy and satisfied client appointment and more business growth. Feel free to use more of our salon staff motivation ideas below to increase their performance.

Offer Competitive Salaries and Benefits

If you pay your staff a few pennies per hour, chances are they won't do a good job. And if you consistently pay them below the market rate, they will leave.

You should consider building a fair commission scheme that will be attractive to your stylists but also affordable for your salon business.

Based on data by Payscale, the average yearly salary for hairstylists in the industry is $36,493 and $30,521 for hairdressers. Remember, though, that the hourly rate is the most preferred compensation model for salon workers. On top of that, consider offering positive benefits such as vacation, retirement, health, and other incentives.

Create Personal Connections

To build that dream team, salon managers must develop close relationships with their employees. This creates a sense of job security which in turn improves job satisfaction. It's not all about the money. Staff may quit simply because they don't have job security. Why? Because they feel you don't care. Build a personal relationship with your employees. Let them know that you see them as more than just an employee.

Be Transparent and Consistent

What causes staff retention to decline in some instances is unclear goals or incomplete job descriptions. Break down what you expect from your hair salon stylist. Have timetables and charts, KPIs, and important data to guide them in their operations. A reliable salon software can do the trick for you.

Chances are your hair salon team wants to do the best, but they don't know-how. Take time to explain to them what your expectations are and why, and watch how self-motivation easily takes over.

Establish a Brand They Can Feel a Part of

How do salons retain staff? You can try several things, but if your retail brand fails to inspire and motivate workers, eventually, they will leave. So as much as you focus on payment, performance recognition, and personal relationships, you must also promote the values and ideas they'd be proud to represent. The values of your company should be unique, clear, and aligned with your company's image. Having good values impacts your company as a whole, from how you treat a customer to how you deal with competition.

Create a Healthy Environment

Make sure your employees feel safe communicating with your and other colleagues. Employee productivity, morale, and wellbeing all improve when you create a healthy workplace environment. A better team environment always brings in more client visits.

Encourage Feedback

How do you retain stylists? Be approachable and encourage your teams to share feedback. Act on the feedback lest your people feel ignored. This is one of the key tips to successful salon stylist retention. Your attention, your accessibility, and your availability. Maintain contact with your employees whether they are in or out of the office. Integrate your brand and yourself in their lives.

how do salons retain staff
How do salons retain staff?

Offer Training and Development

Okay, maybe there are more skilled employees in the job market. Maybe the training offered in school has long since been updated and advanced. Nonetheless, as examined earlier, it's a lot cheaper to retain (even if it means retraining) your existing workers than it is to hire afresh. Good employees always want to improve, so help them grow and reward them. Employee training has a good investment value and improves the average salon retention rate.

Provide Recognition

Team spirits will remain high if employees are rewarded and recognized for hard work. Recognizing and rewarding employees can be as easy as saying "thank you, good job," paying bonuses or awarding three extra vacation days to top achievers. This also forges a strong relationship with your team.

How do salons retain employees? You can create an incentives program that works together you’re your stylist of the month commissions scheme. Customize your rewards program customized with meaningful gifts. Use the right to track and trace the impacts of your reward program on job satisfaction and business success. For example, if you give a bonus payment to employees, do they come to work early? How many service sales do they record in that month?

Conduct Performance Reviews

Both large and small hair salons cannot afford to skip or skimp on performance reviews. Company employee appraisals should be done regularly and comprehensively, guided by key metrics that define business and employee success. When salon owners put time and effort into staff appraisal, it gives the impression that they are invested in their teams and their careers, and it helps with loyalty and retention.

Offer Salon Incentives for Employees

Incentives keep the employees motivated and happy on a daily basis. Organize salon team building ideas, events, lunch or dinner trips to make your staff feel appreciated and valued. You could organize a party at the end of a busy week to help them advance. You could give them bonus checks or pay for their lunch.

Do not miss our guide to salon walkout to stop your best employees from leaving.



The cost of retaining staff is way lower than the cost of new hair salon staff recruitment - think hiring costs, training new staff, and rebuilding your client base.

The cost of retaining staff is way lower than the cost of hiring new employees. Given the high level of competition in the hair salon niche, stylists and hairdressers have endless options. Employee loyalty is therefore a serious subject that directly affects business survival. If your salon staff feels stagnant or underappreciated, they will look for new opportunities elsewhere. If they feel that your work environment is toxic, they will leave.

So why not invest in your staff and build their loyalty through strategies such as training, communication, and incentives and not forgetting a reliable salon software system. Employee loyalty is within reach when you create personal relationships with your teams, invest in them, and work with them towards your goals. Use these salon staff retention ideas to improve job satisfaction and business success.


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