7 Ways to Lose Millennial Salon Employees

by | Farr Factor

There are a million ways to lose good employees.  In this installment, I focus upon the specific ways you can lose good Millennial salon employees.  You don’t want to do this, especially since these youngsters could be selling tanning lotions, upgrades, and EFT memberships to your tanners.  I’ve identified the seven ways tanning salon owners can lose Millennial employees.  Once you know what you’re doing wrong, you can fix things and retain your rockstar tanning salon staff!

Tanning salon owners, here are seven things to avoid if you want to keep your Millennial salon employees:

1. Not Giving Feedback

Millennials love feedback.  They grew up getting it, whether it was Internet information assisting them with a homework project or racking up a kill count on their favorite video games.  Employers who shy away from providing performance feedback or intentionally avoid it – perhaps hoping whatever chronic issues simply go away – get low marks from the Millennial generation.  You’re not helping them to get better at what they’re doing.

Feedback is like keeping score and Millennials want it all the time.  So give it to them and that will help you as an owner or manager decide which ones have the natural competence to learn about selling your tanning services and products.  (Trust me when I say that you want to keep these people working at your salon.)

2. Not Recognizing Contributions

Like feedback, recognizing the contributions your Millennials make is huge motivation.  Demotivation can creep in when you’re young workers aren’t given any nod to their real efforts.  Remember, this is a generation that got a trophy just for showing up!  I encourage tanning salon owners and managers to take stock of each employee who’s going above and beyond and acknowledge their efforts.  Here’s a secret: Your employees will appreciate that you’ve noticed and will continue to work hard to please you.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

3. Micro-Managing

If you want your workers to develop skill levels, they must have delegated and trained tasks to show off their learning and accomplishments.  That doesn’t happen when you keep employees at a level replaceable by any breathing body that walks in the door.  Tanning salon owners and managers sometimes lack good delegation skills.  (This judgment comes from 48 years of managing managers and even salon owners.)

Give workers the training and understanding of what is to be done and suggestions of how it’s done, then stand back and let them take a crack at it.  Trying to program an employee for every minute of their activities will not encourage initiative, and initiative is the growing nutrient for a successful salon’s future.

4. Don’t Encourage “Kiss-Ups”

If you need your own self-esteem enhanced, don’t do it by pushing employees to pucker up and kiss your butt.  All you get with Millennial butt kissing are people acting in phony ways to avoid your criticism, or to get your unmerited praise.  If that’s what you want, it’s better to get a dog.  Most dogs greet us every time we come home like it’s the next appearance of the Beatles!  You want your employees to be honest with you and Millennials that feel forced to kiss up usually won’t stay because butt kissing is inherently demeaning and it doesn’t help the employee to learn real portable skills.

5. No Caring + No Sharing = No Staying

Empathy differs from sympathy in that it sends a message that you understand your employees’ problems but don’t own them.  Even saying that, it’s important to know that workers want bosses who have some human warmth and can reflect their understanding for the everyday frustrations of work and life.  If you show your young employees that you don’t care about their issues, you might as well show them the door.

Tanning salon owners and managers who have no empathy get the least amount of reverse consideration from their employees.  This includes things such as filling shifts, watching out for company assets, open upward and downward communication, commitment to customer service excellence, etc.

6. Being a Screamer

Many years ago, I had the displeasure of working with a client who felt the best way to motivate their younger workers was dropping “f-bombs” each time they felt disappointment with their staff.  This tanning salon owner sincerely believed that their Millennial employees will “react better to language they can identify with.”  Millennials or not, adults acting insanely do not motivate adult behavior.  Whatever the message this salon owner was trying to get across, it was lost in their fusillade of profanity and disrespect for the feelings of their staff.  No employees took this person seriously.

7. Withholding Financial Rewards

Why some owners refuse to pay good employees an actionable wage that stimulates selling consistency is beyond me.  It makes no sense to spend big money on tanning equipment, salon leases, marketing, and every other necessary cost then try to buy excellent human talent at below-market-value prices.  If you think you’re making smart decisions by paying dumb prices you’re only fooling yourself.

And worse is to parade your own personal wealth and materialism in front of your staff then believe that minimum wages and low incentives don’t get noticed.  Of all company book values to consider in the valuation of your salon, equipment – especially in today’s flooded used equipment market – is one of the least valuable assets you have.

There are only two real capital values of your salon(s):

  1. The fan following you’ve garnered with your customer base.
  2. The quality of the Millennials that provide those customers unique customer services.

Treat your young workers with respect and they’ll reciprocate.  Remember, you need to be the “employer of choice” in today’s marketplace.

Happy Tanning Salon Management!

Tanning salon owners, you should do all you can to keep your Millennial employees.  These youngsters are the ones you depend upon to sell tanning lotions, upgrade sessions, spray tans, and EFT memberships.  They’re also the ones who’ll help you attract their friends and family – other Millennials – to your salon for a tan.  That’s the hidden, largely untapped value of employing this demographic.  Keeping these youngsters and motivating them is actually rather easy.  Just avoid doing the seven things I mentioned in this article.  This should make for many happy Millennials working at your tanning salon.

7 Ways to Lose Millennial Salon Employees

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