Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant: Work Ethic

by | Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant

“My salon has a daily duties list which includes picking up small sticker pieces on floor, replacing client use items before they are out, etc.  Unfortunately, most of my staff isn’t replacing or filling these things until we’re completely empty.  How I encourage my employees to pay more attention to detail?”

That’s a good question, and it’s one that is often on the minds of many tanning salon owners and managers these days.

The answer is that you can’t teach real innate pride.  Pride and good work ethic come from your early life socialization process.  Research shows that by the time we are 10-12 years old, we are who we are and reflect the values we have.  DNA, parental role modeling, influential teachers, and often first bosses all help to create the mold of who we are, and the pride we have in whatever job or tasks that we are given.

At 19 years old and a sophomore in college, I was a floor mopper at a drugstore.  I had the best floors in the mall and I definitely took pride in that title.  My predecessor was a slob who didn’t care what the floors looked like, how much wax build up there was, or whether the floor mop made big slosh marks on the fixture base boards.  His mop cleaning station in the back of the store looked like someone who was ashamed of what he did or didn’t care what anyone thought about his efforts.

I transformed the janitor’s work area to look like an office.  Everything was organized, cleaned, and showing that I considered what I did as an important reflection of who I was.  That pride came mostly from my parents who, for every dollar they got paid, they probably earned two.  I didn’t know anything other than work and to work well to complete the job regardless of what I did.

Two years later, I became assistant manager of that store and you can bet that the janitors who replaced me had big shoes – and mop buckets – to fill.  Sadly, Millennials who have that Baby Boomer generation pride in their work are few and far between.  But there are some out there, and that has to be discovered during the recruiting and interviewing process.

It’s been said that we tend to “hire our problems” and nothing could be more true.  That person you hired who won’t take the time to pick up a piece of trash had those poor values when you hired them.  It is rare that a great employee with great values and pride walks into your salon and then becomes non-caring slob.  They were of that mindset when you made them a job offer.  The ideal situation is to hire people who already have a sense of pride about themselves, which they also apply to their jobs.  The job interview is one of the best ways to tell if a potential tanning salon employee has the skills you need.

Here are some red flags to keep an eye out for when you interview future tanning salon employees:

  • Did the person show up to the interview looking like they just rolled out of bed or are heading to the club?  Those who don’t take pride in their appearance aren’t like to take pride in the appearance of your salon.
  • Did the person ask a lot of questions about the job?  Or none at all?  People who don’t ask questions about the job might not care about what’s expected of them, or they didn’t pay attention to anything you said.
  • What kind of attitude do they have?  If they seem nervous, that’s actually a good thing – they worried about making the best impression.  If they seem like “whatever,” chances are good that’s exactly the approach they’ll take at your salon – whatever.
  • If they look at their phone during your interview, disqualify them immediately.  If this person is going to be rude to you during their interview, they’ll be rude to you and your tanners when they’re on the job.
  • It never hurts to “stalk” their Facebook pages before choosing to hire them.  If the candidate has a lot of “party pictures” or gets into a lot of arguments on social media, there’s a good chance they’re not mature enough to work at your tanning salon.
  • If you hire someone and they don’t bring a natural sense of pride with them on their first day on the job, start thinking about a replacement agenda.  Don’t waste time hoping that you can somehow “make” this person be more mature.
  • You will NOT find that natural, pride-infused tanning salon employee if you’re offering minimum wage or minimum encouragement.  By being willing to spend a little more, you will be amazed at the quality of candidates you get who apply for the job.

These are just some of the things you can do to help ensure the employees you hire will be the ones who take pride in their jobs and your tanning salon.  Good luck!

Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant: Work Ethic

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