Monday, November 30, 2009

Striving for an A+ Workforce = Increased Bottom-Line


OK, not to confuse matters but I do think marketing your business is super important but if you are not training your employees you won’t be able to retain the clients you marketed to in the first place. Then it becomes this vicious cycle.

I can’t say it more, well-trained employees are vital to your salon or spa’s success. Studies have shown that the most successful, and productive employees are those who have received on-going training. They’re the cream of the crop, often having the strongest interest in the company’s future. In an ideal world, you would be able to hire people who already possess all the skills needed before coming to work for you. But I say, “That’s a pipe dream.”

So, that’s where training comes in. Not only does training arm your employees with needed professional and technical skills, but it also shows that you are invested in them and interested in bringing them with you into the company’s future. This helps keep workers motivated and involved.

The reason training is often considered optional at many salons & spas is because it is thought of as an expense rather than an investment. While it’s true that training can be costly, it's a long-term investment in the growth and development of your people - who ARE the ones bringing in the money.

To successfully gain an A+ workforce and increase your bottom-line follow these 5 helpful tips:

  1. Determine your needs. As you probably don’t have unlimited time or funds to implement an employee training program, you should decide early on what the focus of your training program should be. Determine what skills are most pertinent to address current or future company needs or ones that will provide the biggest payback. Ask yourself, “How will this training eventually prove beneficial to the company?”
  2. Promote a culture of learning. In today’s economy, if a salon or spa isn’t learning, it’s going to fall behind. Communicate your expectations that all employees should take the necessary steps to hone their skills and stay on top of their professions or fields of work. Make sure you support those efforts by providing the training needed to accomplish this goal.
  3. Choose quality educators and materials. Who you select to conduct the training will make a major difference in the success of your efforts, whether it’s a professional educator or simply a knowledgeable staff member. Having the right training materials is also important — after the training is over, these materials become valuable resources for trainees.
  4. Make it ongoing. Select a training time and space that’s conducive to learning. Choose a time that you can be consistent with, like before or after salon hours. And don’t limit training solely to new employees. Organized, ongoing training will maintain all employees’ skill levels, and continually motivate them to grow and improve professionally.
  5. Measure results. Without measurable results, it’s almost impossible to view training as anything but an expense. Decide how you’re going to obtain an acceptable rate of return on your investment. Determine what kind of growth or other measure is a reasonable result of the training you provide. You’ll have an easier time budgeting funds for future training if you can demonstrate concrete results.
Rewarding employees through certification and other incentive programs, tying training directly to company objectives and choosing the right methods for training are key factors in ensuring that the investment you make in employee training actually contributes to your bottom-line results.

Take a look at your business- Are you doing your best to have a trained and able workforce?

Ana Loiselle, Milday Business Coach

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