Fast Forward (published in 2000), is a 485-page business resource for salons, spa and medspas. In 2013, Strategies published a completely revised version called Fast Forward: Second Edition. If you're an owner or manager, or thinking about becoming one—this is a must-read! No-Compromise Leadership: A Higher Standard of Leadership Thinking and Behavior, was published in 2009, and won the 2010 IPPY Award for Business/Leadership. This book can only be described as Neil Ducoff's personal manifesto for leadership, business growth and how to create a truly dynamic company culture. Wake Up!, published in 2012, is 270-pages of 110 fast-reading strategies designed to motivate, challenge, captivate and spur leaders of all levels to greater success and ease of operations. The articles may be brief, but they’re long on information, featuring Neil’s no-holds-barred wisdom. When and why did you begin to focus on compensation, and what exactly is team-based pay?
Ducoff: “Few people know this, but in the early ’70s I was a stylist and owned two salons in New Jersey. I was busy behind the chair and did everything I could to encourage my clients to experience the other fine stylists that worked for me. My thinking was ‘wide.’ It really bothered me how my stylists, especially the really busy ones, seldom if ever encouraged ‘their’ clients to experience other stylists. At the time, we tracked request rates and paid commission. Combined, those two elements created an ‘I/me/mine’ mentality. That was not the culture I wanted in my company.
“I also realized that paying 50-percent commission was not affordable or sustainable. I needed a ‘team-based’ system and a compensation system that gave me control over my company’s payroll percentage. I converted to a very basic team-based, non-commission, system in 1975. Simply put, team-based pay (TBP) is an hourly rate plus team bonus system.
“Unlike commission,where employee’s pay is based on his or her individual sales, TBP is compensation based on the overall performance of the employee in four key areas; performance and critical numbers (first-time client retention rate, pre-book, productivity rate, etc.), skills development (various technical and client handling skills), culture and teamwork (embracing change, support company values, delivers results, etc.), and individual strengths (dependability, accountability, attendance, communication, etc.)
“Owners are attracted to TBP for one or a combination of the following reasons: