A “Dirty Dozen” of Salon Leadership

by | Farr Factor

The Salon Manager’s Guide to Promotion

Want to get promoted? Be more valuable to your owner? Make more money and secure a great future? “Yes!” you say to all of the above. But it takes hard work and all or most of the following:

  1. Focus on priorities. Work not only on what you like to do or what’s easy, but also on what’s important! Staff performance status and forming redirection plans are infinitely more important than ordering new lotions. Someone who has the leadership to create incentive plans and monitor weekly/monthly results is much more valuable to the company’s bottom line.
  2. Take action and get things done. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!” A leader is someone sales associates go to for answers to questions and solutions to problems. Any company’s “go-to” person has the power of being the one who tears down day-to-day road blocks to increased sales on per associate and customer levels. Owners who are themselves good leaders highly value initiative.
  3. Motivation skills – reinforce efforts as well as achievements! (It’s critical to work on at least maintaining or enhancing your staff’s self-esteem). The object is to get superior performance from even average abilities.
  4. Dedication to delegation – you should be measured not only by what you sell, personally, but also by what your entire team sells.
  5. Be an approachable boss. (Leave your personal issues at home.) A boss who is approachable gets the best from his or her team. Remove the walls that keep your staff from sharing, learning and being honest. Those “walls” can sometimes be the headaches in your personal life, but should not be in the domain of your salon.
  6. Allow mistakes. Mistakes are the best teacher when used as a tool and not as a weapon! Everyone falls short of optimum performance, but we can learn so much more from mistakes and failures than from successes. Invite failings and you’ll invite initiative, learning and avoidance of similar future mistakes.
  7. Learn from everyone – great leaders are first great followers! Regardless of your educational or work career backgrounds, it may be time to park your ego, stop talking and start listening. Salon associates and your owners may very well have THE answers to low sales or poor customer retention.
  8. Incite creativity amongst yourself and your team. All great accomplishments started with an open mind! Don’t stomp on your subordinate’s ideas for how to better serve the customer; don’t be guilty of “ideacide!” This is very crucial to remember during salon staff meetings.
  9. Teach and train your team. Everyone wants and needs a mentor! The greatest potential for staff comes from a consistent effort at developing sales/ service skills and knowledge. IF YOU DON’T TRAIN, DON’T BLAME.
  10. Communicate constantly. There is no such thing as too much communication! In the absence of performance feedback or honest communication, salon staff can draw the unintended conclusion that management apparently does not “care” about them. The results? Employees feel they’re insignificant to the salon and in particular, to their immediate superior. The consequence? Employees are disengaged from your set of goals … they have no “emotional ownership” in YOUR salon!
  11. Make the tough decisions. Contrary to popular belief, you are not your “brother’s keeper”. There are times when the team needs a change and some changes can be therapeutic for the salon and for the staff involved. Stop making excuses for poor performers. In salon management, you’re truly judged by “the company you keep”.
  12. Be consistent with your team. Have one standard. Lead with consistency; avoid building best friendships with your staff. (No friends? Get a rescue dog or cat, but not one of your staff. Employees are “friends” who can really bite!) Your goal is to present yourself as a superior who views and judges every staff member with objectivity. Fairness leads to trust. Lack of trust in an employer/employee relationship is a workplace cancer and a sure prognosis of productivity decay.

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