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Achieving a Work/Life Balance Through Technology

Stacey Soble | November 28, 2016 | 8:39 AM
Clarissa Borg, owner of TONI&GUY Toronto finds a work/life balance through her team's use of technology.

Running a hugely successful salon with 15-plus employees and a packed schedule of shows, seminars and photographic work means a pretty heavy workload for Clarissa Borg, partner in TONI&GUY Toronto. Add to that two young daughters who love to dance, and there’s little ‘me-time’ left for Borg.

“I’m pretty busy,” admits Borg. “I want my business to continue to grow and be successful. I want to ensure my team has access to exciting opportunities, to keep adding to the 35 awards we’ve already won over the past two decades and to continue driving forward education within the industry. But to ensure I have time for my daughters and myself, I have to work smart and that means accepting I need to delegate key tasks to trusted members of my team.”

The most trusted member is her No. 2 at the salon, the talented colorist and TONI&GUY manager for the past 10 years Tristan Brocklehurst.

“Tristan has total access to our software system so he can manage the salon effectively in my absence. It means I don’t have to be there all day, every day,” explains Borg, who was one of the first Shortcuts clients to volunteer for its latest video series on juggling business to create a good work/life balance. “Tristan helps run payroll and manages the team’s schedules to ensure the salon runs smoothly.”

Along with Brocklehurst, Borg’s franchise partner, Rob Pupo, also takes on responsibility for key areas, managing all elements of education, while TONI&GUY front of house manager and salon coordinator Jade Brocklehurst, who happens to be Tristan’s younger sister, keeps the front end in tip-top shape. Her job includes viewing all webinars posted by Shortcuts to make sure the management team keeps on board with all software developments.

Delegating helps Borg enormously but so, too, does the ability to access the salon’s financial and employee systems from anywhere, along with the well-established policies and procedures in place for the team to follow. A perfect example of where off-site monitoring, delegation and good procedures meet is employee performance. Every fortnight Tristan pulls off the employee performance report, which Borg can view on her cell from anywhere in Toronto. Brocklehurst then puts it on display in the staff area for the team.

“These reports are a brilliant aid,” she continues. “The whole team has ownership of their own performance so they know exactly what they need to do to meet their targets. They can compare how they are doing individually or as a team, and how they are doing compared to their colleagues on a week-to-week, month-to-month basis. It’s hugely motivating.”

This sense of ownership permeates the whole culture of the salon, right down to the stylists’ schedules, with every employee granted access to their own schedule, which they can view on their phones at any time rather than crowding around reception. It also means when a client contacts them for any additional services not cleared for online booking, such as a technical service, the stylist can check at any time of the day to see what appointments are free and text Borg to book the slot.

“The support of an amazing team to whom you can delegate is crucial if I’m to enable my daughters to do the things they love, like take dance classes five times a week,” says Borg. “But only because we have agreed, long-established procedures for everyone to follow and because I can be in constant contact 24/7, able to see every transaction and every booking from wherever I am.”

 She adds, “At the end of the day, it is our business and we must accept full responsibility for ensuring its ongoing success.”

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