The success of your salon or spa is the direct outcome of your service providers. Their skills and, more importantly, their attitude contribute to your business’s ability to retain clients and the amount of positive client reviews and referrals you receive. The way your staff treats customers and responds to challenges is influenced by the salon culture.
You, as the owner or manager, have a significant impact on creating that culture. Take a look at these six key leadership traits.
1. Set and Follow Guidelines
Be clear about what you expect from your employees and enforce any rules you set. If one person is continually late, others may feel that they can get away with it too. When enforcing rules, you do not have to drastically discipline staff. Start by pulling them aside and reminding them of your expectations. By applying and enforcing the same standards to everyone, employees will not feel that they are being treated unfairly.
Lead by example; don’t set a double standard for employees and management. If you expect staff to be punctual, you have to also show up on time.
2. Trust Your Employees
When you delegate responsibilities, give your staff the benefit of the doubt and don’t micromanage them. Trust doesn’t always come automatically. A new employee may start with minimal responsibilities and just focus on providing quality services. As they prove themselves over time, they can be entrusted to handle cash or to have a key to the business. If you have concerns, set a time to review their work and remind them that you are available whenever they need help.
3. Invest in Your People
Develop your employees by mentoring them, providing educational opportunities (whether by sending them to conferences or by bringing in an educator), and encouraging them to learn from each other as well. Successful leaders aren’t only focused on their employees’ performance but also on a personal level. By helping staff members grow as people and making them feel appreciated, it will also benefit your business and its employee retention rate.
4. Be Approachable
As a leader, you need to be receptive of feedback. Create a work environment where employees are comfortable coming to you or to each other with new ideas and suggestions. With criticism, don’t make excuses or try to justify every mistake. If necessary, take some time to process the information and to think about it from their point of view before reacting. You will learn from the process, your employees will feel more engaged, and your salon will be better off in the long run.
Leaders should anticipate and respond to changes in their environment–market trends, competition, technology, etc. Many high-profile companies have been at the top of their industries, but then have gotten too comfortable and are still facing the consequences. There is so much competition in the beauty industry that businesses cannot get too comfortable. Be willing to take some risks and always strive to be ahead of the curve.
6. Make the Tough Decisions
Having consensus may make everyone happy, but it can also be damaging to a business. Have a vision and stick to it. Don’t take the easy way out or look for shortcuts. You want your business to grow and so do your employees. While they may be frustrated at changes you want to make, they ultimately trust you to make the right decisions to benefit the business. They invest their time and efforts into your business because they believe in it and in you. They won’t stick around if they think the ship is sinking.
Insight Salon & Spa Software can help you be a better leader - take notes on employees, measure performance with employee and sales reports, and delegate responsibilities with user access controls.