Once you have an understanding of these 10 pitfalls, only then can you develop the dream team you have been so desperate to build.
You have done all the training. You have had all the conversations with your team members. But nothing is changing.
You find yourself frustrated. You say things to your team that seem to be creating more tension instead of motivating and inspiring them to perform.
You feel like your team are “working against you”. Anything you propose is resisted. You are on a hamster wheel of “trying” but getting nowhere fast.
You find yourself just keeping the peace. Not wanting to rock the boat. But at the same time the bills are mounting. You struggle to pay the wages, but your team members don’t seem to care. They want more hours, more Saturdays off, more “time” to get things done that you feel could be done in half the time…
You feel like your Team is holding you to ransom. Your back is against the wall. You have lost all control and you are deflated. You fantasise about the days when business was easy, when it was just you. When you could take a wage quite comfortably, and your clients were more than happy with your service. There was no stress. Life seemed simple.
I know all of these feelings, because I have felt them. I have been there. I have helped hundreds of Salon Owners who have been in EXACTLY the same position. I’m here to tell you that things can be different, but first you need to understand what is happening. You need to develop an awareness of WHY these problems seem to exist before you can even start to make a change.
We have a saying here at Zing, that “You are the problem, and You are also the Solution”. Change starts with you. As a Salon Owner myself, and a Psychologist, I can bring you some interesting insights from both of these perspectives that will help you think differently and hopefully inspire you to make change.
This 10 point article is going to help you address the psychological and systemic bottlenecks you are experiencing in building a high performance team.
But like most business owners or entrepreneurs you are likely to read it, and do nothing about it. You then will continue to do business in the most painstakingly difficult way that you can, because change is hard. But change is no more painful than what you are feeling now, however you get a positive outcome at the end. So, my only advice in reading this is…. Make The Change… Do the work… And your business and you will reap the rewards.
The 10 Mistakes You Are Making That Handbrake Your Team’s Performance
- You Avoid Emotional Discomfort
Addressing performance issues with team members can be anxiety provoking. We fear how they will react, we worry about “saying things in the right way”. As humans, we often don’t like “confrontations” but even worse, we don’t like feeling any sort of emotional discomfort whatsoever. So, we avoid it, and ultimately it perpetuates our problems. But in reality, we have to get uncomfortable in life to get what we need, it is part of life. They say, “a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there” and that, is ultimately a very true statement. Building tolerance to emotional discomfort and accepting that leadership requires you to feel uncomfortable is the only way you are going to be a better leader
- You Do Not Have Any Form of Communication Rhythm
How often do you meet with your Team? Not “have a chat”, like really connect with each team member and understand what is going on for them? Most Salon Owners have 1:1 meetings on the fly, or only when there is a problem. Often these meetings are also de-prioritised, booked over with client appointments, or forgotten about. Even when you do meet, the communication dances around the issues, or does not unpack the real performance issues. You need to have a regular weekly meeting with every single team member that is structured in a way that allows for meaningful conversations. It does not have to be for hours. A short, sharp 15 minute session every week, in a café or some other neutral territory will open up connection and communication that you never thought was possible.
- Your ‘Transactional Leadership Style” is destroying the trust of your team and driving you insane…
Are you constantly having to tell your team members what to do and how to do things? I get it, most of the time if you did not do this, everything that you needed done would just not happen. Also, if you stopped interacting like this, it would be similar to taking your hands off the car steering wheel and watching the car drive into the bushes. But this way of leading a team is literally making a rod for your own back. It also fuels your high levels of burnout and stress. The team does not develop any sort of autonomy or learn how to think for themselves when you keep putting on the “Superman Cape” and thinking on behalf of everyone. The other downfall, is that this style of leadership can also create a form of “vigilantism” in your team. They actually start fighting against you, as they feel like they are constantly “hen pecked” with something else that needs to be done or wasn’t done right in the first place. This style of leadership needs to stop, as it is getting you nowhere…
- You are a Martyr
Being in victim mode is destroying your ability to take control. Commonly this takes the form of blaming any sort of circumstance, situation, or person for what you are currently experiencing. I love the Buddhism philosophy that prescribes you to “seek nothing outside of yourself”, which is basically referring to the fact that everything you need to be successful can be fulfilled by looking inside of yourself and by developing your own internal resources to be able to facilitate the changes you are seeking in your team.
- You Don’t have the Structure and Process You Need To Create Consistent Outcomes
Process will set you free. But often Salon Owners have a 3432-page Policies and Procedures manual that has not been looked at in 5 years and is therefore outdated. Or even worse, you do not have any sort of procedural resource to guide and support your team. Therefore, everyone is running their own race or interpreting how they “think” things should be done which creates an inconsistent client journey and creates loads of stress for your team.
A good procedural resource is a “moving feast”, it should be constantly growing and developing to cater to the ever-changing needs of your team, clientele, and your business. It should be consistently reviewed and re-visited by your team and should be open to everyone in terms of feedback and contribution.
- You have kept a toxic team member employed for too long
We have all done it. Held onto that team member who has impacted negatively on the team dynamics, throws tantrums, resists change and basically “cock blocks” our every attempt to improve the business. He/she may be a top performer, or have a stable clientele, otherwise you fear not being able to find another team member. Whatever the reason, the other team members are looking to you to take charge and either eliminate the problem or fix it. The longer you leave it, the more your team’s trust and respect for you drifts away.
- You have no “whys” evident in your business being a shared Mission, Vision, and Values…
Not being clear or connected to ‘purpose’ is a sure-fire way for everyone to get off track or unmotivated. Often, we lose sight of the big picture and forget why we are even there in the first place. There was a strong internal “driver” as to why you started doing what you are doing. It will also be the same for each one of your team members. Your job is to align this shared purpose and also dig out what is important for your team members and how this can contribute to shared success. Creating a win/ win will keep everyone happy, inspired, and motivated.
- You don’t “show up” for your team and you are a poor role model
Leadership is like parenting. Monkey see, monkey do. You cannot expect things from your team when you cannot deliver on such things yourself. Now I am a Salon Business owner with absolutely no technical capacity to perform what my team do day to day, as I am a psychologist by profession. But by golly do I make sure I can walk the talk. I educate with them; I know everything there is to know about a certain treatment or service. I can help them treatment plan or understand the ingredients of the products we are using. I can successfully facilitate sales conversations and ensure clients take the retail they need. I am always 10 minutes early and my commitment and enthusiasm to my team, what we do, and our business success is unwavering. I don’t give up; I don’t make excuses. And I’ll always find a way to get what we need as a business. I “Show Up” every single day psychologically, emotionally, and physically for my team because they need me. Therefore, I expect the same in return. Can you put your hand on your heart and say you “Show Up” like this for your team? If not, you may need to think about what this means for you and how you can do it better.
- You are inconsistent or dominating?
The way you interact and behave with your team is going to dictate for the most part how they interact with you. Creating one set of rules for one person and different rules for another. Or if there is any sort of inconsistency within your leadership style, it will slowly but surely erode any respect or trust that your team have. In addition to that, if you communicate in a manner that induces fear or creates excessive degrees of power imbalance between you and your team, you are likely to suffer the same fate. Learning how to communicate effectively and act in a consistent manner can be difficult when these skills do not come naturally to you. But I would suggest that upskilling in these areas will pay dividends if you recognise that this area needs improvement.
- There is no accountability.
The main symptom I observe when I see Salon Owners struggling with this, is they come to me having done “all of the things”, having put in place “all of the procedures” and nothing seems to be having an impact in terms of ensuring the team are doing what they are supposed to be doing in a consistent manner. The trouble is, you can put these structures in place, but if you do not have a means for auditing, follow up and appraisal, your system is not worth the paper it is written on. It is a common misconception that individuals will do what they are asked and continue to do this in a consistent manner. The reality is, they don’t. They naturally become complacent, as humans are constantly seeking to simplify our learnings, or make things easier for ourselves. The downside of this for business life is that eventually procedures and processes become morphed into something that does not even remotely resemble your operating manual or initial training sessions. So, you cannot just create a system, you have to also develop a range of accountability measures to ensure that the system remains intact.
At this stage, you may be wondering HOW am I going to develop the skills and structures Chrissy just mentioned to cultivate high performance in my Salon Team? Or you might also be saying, “but I do all that”.
Well, I am here to tell you that you are not. You might think you are, but if you do not have the business or the team you desire, it will be because you are failing to execute on one or many more of these 10 things. I am also here to tell you that you CAN develop these skills and structures to build the business you want, but it won’t be easy.
For more salon strategy, email me at email@example.com, listen to ‘The Salon Hustler” podcast on all your major podcast platforms and follow me on Instagram; @chrissyalger_zing and Facebook: @chrissyzing