It only takes one bad egg in a team to drag the morale of a whole salon, spa or clinic down.
He or she can have a huge impact on not only the psychological dynamic, but productivity and reputation of a business and even result in once happy and valuable team members leaving.
As a business coach for the hair and beauty industry, this is a topic Lisa Conway is passionate about.
“This is firstly because I have experienced this situation first-hand in my own salon,” she says.
“Secondly because, as a business coach, it is an issue I come across more than I would like to see!” Lisa explains:
The bad egg of the salon may not necessarily start off this way inclined, but it can be a rapid decline in attitude and performance or a slow and steady downward spiral. We know the type!
The culprit is “allergic” to any advice or critique, they certainly cannot leave their personally problem at the door, instead they like to spread the word far and wide so clients and staff alike know it.
They sweat the small stuff and and make mountains out of molehills, making sure that that everyone in ears’ reach is aware of everything and anything negative happening in the bad egg’s world, as they perceive it.
And heaven forbid if the boss leaves the building! They enjoy power and assume unwarranted authority, creating tension and havoc. The list goes on …
Many of my clients experience a disconnect with their team and communication will not only help this situation, but in most circumstances prevent the downward spiral happening in the first place.
One-on-one meetings with each team member every week will not only allow you to motivate and engage your team, but open up the lines of communication and create trust and rapport with your staff.
You may be thinking, “how will I find time for that?!” Make time! This is a non-negotiable for my clients as far as I am concerned because it is the basis of a good solid communication and is the perfect forum to put negative behaviour to bed once and for all.
Over the years I have watched the behaviour of salon teams. At Zing, these are the four categories in which we believe all staff behaviour fall, good and bad!
A lot of a salon owner’s time is spent complaining about just this. However, very few actually bother to measure if the problem is getting better or worse.
When there are set reviews in place the salon is providing clarity. It is working towards a better understanding as to what is expected from the individual team member.
The four following categories can help you identify the poor behaviour, make a plan to nip it in the bud once and for all. We call it S.T.A.N. So if you have a problem staff member canvass the following with them:
Is it that they don’t have the skill required to form positive relationships within the salon? Or maybe they don’t have the tools to know how to deal with certain situations?
Is it that they don’t care to be a team player – or don’t care about the others in the team?
If a person is open to change and can take constructive criticism, then a bad or negative attitude can be curved. You only think about yourself and are happy to rely on others to pull your share of the salon tasks. It doesn’t matter to you if the team is working together, and you don’t contribute?
Maybe they legitimately have not noticed their negative impact OR have chosen to ignore it.
Once you are armed with information about the root cause of the problem, put a measurable plan of action in place and a time frame as to when this will no longer be a problem – or otherwise will have to consider more “terminal” measures.
When a plan is clearly written out and it is being monitored it shows that improvement is being made and is rewarded with praise.
I believe that if you can find a reason to praise a person, even a little bit, they feel good about themselves and usually want to continue with the good behaviour.
If no improvement is made, it’s time to start the process of verbal and written warnings.
What’s worse than the discomfort you may experience in calling the person on the poor behaviour is not doing anything, allowing it to continue with the associated risk of key staff members deciding to move on.
If this is you and your salon, make a choice: stay the same or make a change to improve the dynamic.
One thing is for sure, without change you will always get the same result.
Over the past 30 years, Lisa Conway has worked in salons, managed them and owned her own, so there is very little she doesn’t know about the industry. For more beauty salon and spa wisdom, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her website www.thezingproject.com.au, find her video tips on YouTube or read her books The Naked Salon: An Essential Guide To Time, Team and Money, and the recently-released follow-up title: Your Salon Team.