Beauty and wellness businesses today are faced with increasing competition, shortages of talented professionals, and other opportunities enticing team members elsewhere. Add to this the global “Great Resignation” which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic mindset shift and holding on to employee’s is a huge goal for businesses everywhere.
So, what exactly does this mean?
Investing in your salon staff is more important than ever.
In the relationship-based beauty & wellness industry, employee turnover becomes very painful when providers leave, and guests choose to follow them. In fact, US businesses lose $136.8 billion each year due to avoidable consumer switching. And the stats show that it can cost five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Losing top providers can lead to decreased engagement for existing staff and may wreak havoc on your company culture. Avoid your guests switching to one of your competitors and keep company culture high by retaining your top performing providers with these seven tips.
1. Build a Strong Culture
The average lifespan of employment is three to five years. Break this norm by creating a strong, happy, and supported team that enables individuals to visualize their careers with you for the long term.
Regardless of what motivates your salon staff, two things are for sure. Employees want to believe in the company they work for and need to see their value and contribution. Share your company mission and vision early and often and ensure that everything you do ladders up to those core foundations of your business.
Bonding over shared values is a great way to unify your employees and motivate your salon staff.
Prospective employees are also looking for perks like the ability to focus on the art of styling while technology handles the day-to-day admin. They want to know you will take care of booking and rebooking appointments, sending out reminders, and gathering feedback so they don't have to.
Over 55% of younger Americans say “making a difference” is essential for their career decisions. So, as you consider the future of hiring for your business, giving individuals a sense of purpose is more important than ever before. Support your team with philanthropic initiatives and community giving to help others find their greatness. Need inspiration? Take a look at the Zenoti Foundation.
Think of your business as a home and a prospective provider as a homebuyer. Make your business more attractive to top providers with a turn-key approach rather than a fixer upper. Empower them with tools and resources, innovative services, and modern technology, like an Employee Mobile App, that makes their daily life easier and encourages them to put down long-term roots.
2. Reward Good Performance
Recognizing your employees’ impact encourages a sense of purpose.
Inherently we all want to do a good job...and be recognized for it. Providers and salon staff work in the industry because they care about making people feel good, and they love the art of styling, beauty, and excellence.
Recognizing employees doesn’t start with a pat on the back for your top provider of the week. It starts with being clear and defining "what is great employee performance?” then setting defined goals and metrics around that.
People are motivated by different things. Jane, who has been your top stylist for years, might be motivated by mentoring new stylists, whereas James, your up-and-coming provider, is motivated by sales challenges, targets, and rewards.
Get to know their unique styles and preferences, easily identify rockstar performers, avoid favoritism, and motivate staff with transparent and unbiased performance tracking that informs reviews, awards, and training needs. Use salon employee management software to track performance metrics against goals like revenue targets, customer satisfaction, retention rates, punctuality, rebooking and retail sales and ensure you’re recognizing and rewarding employees when they meet these targets! Look for solutions, such as ezPulse, which give business leaders fast access to performance metrics on the go.
3. Create Opportunities for Connection
According to Neuroscientist, Alicia Walf, “Positive human connections are the most powerful tool for reducing stress.” Not to mention the fact that creating connections and relationships between providers and guests is a sure-fire way to build loyalty. So, how can you help encourage these connections?
Spotlight your providers on your brand’s social media! Keep providers top of mind for guests by promoting their knowledge and skills on social channels. Consider doing short reels or stories where they share tutorials of how to create a complex hairstyle at home or keep their skin looking fresh between facials.
This deepens relationships with guests and helps them to feel more comfortable. Got shy providers? Not everyone wants to be in the spotlight, so consider taking photos of completed styles or services and publish along with the provider’s first name and location.
Another option is to create provider bios for your website. This way, before selecting a provider, potential guests get a sense of who they are. Plus, personalizing this initial touchpoint helps to kickstart that connection. Highlight the provider’s training, ongoing education, or particular specialties. In addition to being great marketing, this demonstrates that you care about the individual provider.
4. Set Clear Expectations
Many businesses are not clear on expectations. If people don’t know what to expect, it’s a challenge to create an environment of transparency or to measure performance. Consistent performance reviews increase employee engagement, so ensure you lock these in the calendar. Regular meetings also provide you with a pulse check on how the employee is feeling and create an opportunity to address any issues or concerns.
You can also use these sessions to discuss the individual’s personal goals and align them with their career benchmarks. This will strengthen your relationship and help them feel valued and invested in a business that is there to support them as they navigate through life.
Your management team plays a key role in delivering expectations, setting clear goals, tracking performance, and staying on top of metrics so they know when to celebrate and when to have a 1:1 conversation with a provider. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure your management team is clear on your expectations of them and their team and plan regular check-ins to provide you with status updates.
Use transparent, unbiased data based on the metrics above to give employees honest feedback and quality recognition.
Keep your staff engaged by embracing solutions that empower them to own their professional success and build an environment of trust, open and honest communication by putting the power in your employee’s hands.
Give providers mobile access to their schedule, appointments, guest profiles, commissions, tips earned, performance goals and personal metrics, and more. Set them up for success with real-time data, transparency, and the ability to personalize each guest’s experience. This shifts your provider’s focus back to creating a welcoming and personalized guest experience by providing them with the information they need, right from the palm of their hand.
They will move away from feeling like they need to check with reception to see if their guest has arrived, scramble at the chair to find appointment history or go back and forth between the chair and the front desk to update services or add products. Instead, with just a few chairside clicks, your providers are alerted when their guest arrives, access the guest’s profile, add products and services, and more.
5. Give Them the Tools to Create an Extraordinary Experience
Help your providers create a beautiful experience for every guest by giving them insights into past visits, how long it’s been since the appointment and what products guests have purchased previously. Guests are looking to providers for the knowledge and recommendations that help them look and feel their best. So, give your providers the information they need to feel prepped and primed for their day!
With an Employee Mobile App providers have all these insights in the palm of their hands and are empowered to own their success. They can put their expert knowledge to good use, prepare recommendations and go into each appointment feeling confident and ready to deliver the best experience. Not only does this give each guest a memorable, high-quality visit but it also helps service providers increase their average ticket price and commission.
Consider also a solution that enables your team to communicate with guests over SMS. That way, if your providers have a spare 15-minutes or a cancellation, they can use the time to check in with guests who haven’t visited yet. Providers can see how they can help and identify recommendations for products the guest may not have even considered. Guests are bound to be excited to be returning and providers can reach out to grow this excitement and strengthen relationships, by letting guests know how happy they are for them to be coming in and what to expect.
6. Make it Easier for Guests to Show Their Appreciation
If a guest has enjoyed their experience, it’s only natural that they would want to leave a gratuity. But this can often feel stressful. With POS systems that require a tip amount to be added to the invoice, the front desk team is often faced with asking the awkward question of how much a guest would like to tip. And a guest can feel uncomfortable having to verbally disclose this amount, no matter if it’s high or low.
Keep in mind, this may be the final interaction your guest has before they leave your salon or spa. So, ensure this last touchpoint accurately reflects the extraordinary experience they’ve had in the service chair with touchless mobile payments. Having a customer app that facilitates guests to make payments directly on their own mobile device eliminates uncomfortable conversations and barriers by ensuring your payment options are easy and convenient. Guests are automatically presented with tipping percentages on the payment screen and can simply hit the button. This subtly prompts the gratuity question without imposing it on the guest.
Research shows that people spend more when they don’t have to physically part with their cash. And the power of suggestion is real! When Lyft increased the suggested tip amount, drivers saw an increase in tips on rides over $25.
7. Provide Learning & Development Opportunities
Training and knowledge sharing creates connected teams. So, turn downtime into productive learning time by encouraging providers to utilize empty slots to develop new skills and techniques. These investments increase long-term profitability and success for both providers and your brand.
Create opportunities for providers to learn from top-performers or offer mentoring advice to junior stylists. And reward these providers for their skills! For example, in Zenoti employees can record time spent training or mentoring other team members and earn a higher rate of pay for time spent passing on this knowledge. An alternative is to provide access to free education like Barbicide’s complimentary COVID-19 certification. Or look to foundations and funds that support the continued education of service providers through financial support, education, or tools.
Another option is to offer additional value and education outside of the beauty industry. Take free online courses as a team or organize a lunch and learn with a local skills coach. What is important to your employees? Find ways to invest in the whole self -not only the services they provide. Ultimately, making the ongoing learning and development of providers a priority will help your team to see your brand as their long-term career path and be further invested in its success.
The beauty and wellness industry is all about building connections and making people feel good so they can find great. Those connections start with your staff. So, take the time to build a motivated team that in turn improves staff and guest relations and reduces employee churn.
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*This article was repurposed with permission from Zenoti.
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