Illustrations by Katrina Peterson Two or more of your staff have very different personalities and can’t see eye to eye on anything. Despite the fact that you have put them at stations at opposite ends of the salon, they continue to wage war on one another and often try to sway other staff members to join the battle. Their arguments carry over into the breakroom, and sometimes clients even pick up on the snide remarks and comebacks. The constant squabbling causes tension in your salon, and drags energy down.
Don Bewley, Founder of Eufora: “I had two stylists in my salon who didn’t get along with each other. I told them they needed to work it out and sent them out for lunch together on my tab. I met with each of them individually afterward, and asked them: ‘What do you like most about working here? What do you not like about working here? What changes are you going to make so you can adapt?’
“Unfortunately, that didn’t resolve the issue. I liked them both and didn’t understand why they didn’t like each other. I was worried there would be a division among my whole team, so I decided to nip it in the bud. At the time I had two salons, and when the problem didn’t resolve itself, I transferred the stylist who was less willing to adapt to our other salon. I never spoke to anyone else in the salon about it, but I gained a tremendous amount of respect from my staff for quickly dealing with the situation.”
Ginny Eramo, owner of Interlocks in Newburyport, Massachusetts: “When I have a fight between staff members, I start with one-on-one conversations with each person, trying to empower them and coach them to communicate with each other. We’ve been pretty successful at ironing out squabbles when they occur and have never had anyone leave over this. I had a situation where someone new to the staff was accused of stealing. I listened to everyone’s story, then sat each down and talked to them. As it turns out, the person was not stealing and we proved it. It ended up creating an awkward situation, but eventually strengthened the team. Throughout we made sure the dialogue was open and not heated. People ended up bonding. The accused person understood the managers cared and wanted to take care of the situation, and the team learned a lot from having egg on their faces.”
Byran Nunes, owner of Blo in Raleigh, North Carolina: “We teach a culture where we acknowledge the fact that our trade and work environment are both stressful. We also acknowledge that no one intentionally sets out to upset another human being. Given these principals, we let our team know that it’s not if we are going to experience conflict, but how we handle it that defines us.