Retaining your best workers at the cheapest price

by | Farr Factor

The lesson I learned from Bob Hope

Every day it seems owners and managers ask about what must they pay in base salaries and incentives to keep their best workers?

To answer that let me share my experience with Bob Hope. Years ago I had spent more than 25 years in the entertainment software fields (music, movies, computer games) and had the unique experience of working with many performers and their either professional ways or their jerky attitudes. (You never saw both in the same person!) One of the more memorable celebs to meet was the iconic and historic Bob Hope (Not that Steve Tyler was not iconic but… that’s another article to write!) Bob Hope had entertained our country’s troops over several wars, US and foreign Presidents, Popes, Queens, Kings…on an on. In 1983, Forbes magazine established Mr. Hope as the wealthiest individual in entertainment (That was prior to Opra!) and that he could spend $5,000 each hour of his life and never spend it all. So, when escorted backstage to meet the Mr. famous, I had to ask early on in our talk why did he still perform? He was 81 and filthy rich-why still work? Before he could answer, behind me was his wife Deloris who start clapping her hands. What she was saying was that Bob still needed love and acceptance. A 81 year old, multiple billionaire and he still needed acceptance! Bob’s search for continued search for self esteem is not unique. Show me a person who will jump up and shout… “please don’t tell me anymore how wonderful I am!”

It won’t happen.

Some folks say, “Oh, I don’t need recognition… that’s for wussies.” Right. That same person who expresses that they don’t need their self esteem occasionally flattered is either kidding themselves or their full of Iowa pasture muffins. Everyone needs reaffirmation that they are a real person with real desires for their 15 minutes even if it’s a mild pat on the back. Or, in the former case, they claim they don’t need the recognition and yet they’re the first to buy the newest land monster SUV. That wheeled behemoth screams… “look at me, look at me!”

So, where am I going with this message? Many salon owners/entrepreneurs have been very successful at negotiating leases, buying equipment, getting SBA loans, fixing tanning beds and a host of definable projects on a day to day basis. Problem is…employees are not definable. Employees are messy. They don’t show up, they show up late, they have fights with boyfriends, they text during their shift about another person they hate, they… well… you know what they do. But there is one thing that IS constant and definable about your salon workers. They’re suckers for self esteem enhancing. Everyday there are hundreds if not thousands of good, reliable salon sales associates who Do show up on time, go above and beyond and don’t always change jobs because of a difference in 50 cents an hour. They stay with bosses that help them to feel good about themselves. I’ve given classes and have lectured on this subject for more than 35 years and what was true for Bob Hope is true for all of us. We need to hear the applause. If owners would spend as much time maintaining or enhancing the self esteems of their workers they would have less turn over from employees and more turnover in bed sessions and lotions.

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