Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Leading Your Salon Team to Greatness

Have you ever been in a position where one of your salon employees expected you to have all the answers? Or have you felt, no matter what you said or how many times you said it, your team didn’t follow through or buy into what you wanted? Have you ever felt irritated that your team didn’t get it?

Do you feel alone at the top? No one understands you? Gets you? Cares about what you are going through?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions - first, you are not alone, second, it is OK and third, you can do something about it!

Typically these issues occur due to missing systems that cause stress and upset. Below are four powerful steps you can take to rectify the situation by growing as a leader and communicator:
  1. Vision: As a speaker I ask audiences, time and again, if they have a vision for their salon or spa and if they can clearly articulate it. I usually get a disappointing 1% that raises their hand! In order for you to achieve success you must create a vision - something based upon your values and what drives you to be the best. You have to frame it, hang it on the wall, put it on all of your business cards, menus and letterhead. You have to say it, teach it and make sure everyone knows it, breaths it, is it! Without a vision you are driving a 100 miles per hour down a foggy road and you forget to turn on the defrost - you cannot see where you are going! No wonder no one follows you and you struggle to move your business forward!
  2. Policies and Procedures: Most salons do not think of themselves as a company, a corporation. We look at ourselves as a small business. Whether you are a small business or have tons of employees you have to “think” like a big business! You have to realize that you work in a busy business. The salon and spa environment is so fast paced; it is only magnified and intensified when you do not have policies in place. Having an Employee Handbook, Opening & Closing Procedures, Job Description, etc. eliminates the chaos! These systems are the foundation of the business. When you have these foundations in place you can then coach and lead your team based upon the systems, policies and procedures that your team agreed to follow.
  3. Meetings: As a leader you must meet with your team regularly. You have to have at least a 15 minute huddle with each employee each week. You have to have a team meeting at least once a month. You have to meet with each employee at least once a month and sit down and have a 30 minute to one hour meeting with them. We call this a plan and review. Actually stopping to check in on where they are, how they feel they are doing, what they can improve upon, getting their feedback and ideas on the operation of the business is valuable!
  4. Communication: One thing that we know happens for sure in any business is dealing with the “human factor”, in other words, dealing with peoples emotions and perceptions of each other and the environment we work in. Things happen so fast and upsets are bound to happen. It is natural you will never agree 100% of the time. What typically occurs is upsets take place and they either get stepped over by the people involved and this creates animosity and tension and dilutes the culture of the business. I recommend that you implement policies for dealing with upsets. In our culture we call it our Communication Charter! We have a policy that states if you have an upset with someone you have 24 hours to handle it, if not the culture becomes poisonous. The policy also states how to make requests of each, how to support and coach each other and how to keep your word and listen for what each person you communicate with needs. This is so beneficial, each of us deal with stress and busyness, without these systems in place we are doomed to communication breakdown!

Ultimately, as a leader, the degree of your stress or happiness, your team following through, more real conversations as opposed to back room gossip and finger pointing, can be measured by the systems you have in place and your willingness to follow through and deliver everyday.

No comments: