“When you get your paycheck, especially when you’re a young stylist, the first focus should be on your family and whatever you really want to do with your money,” says Johnnie Schaper, owner of Genesis Boutique and Salon in Dickinson, Texas. “But even after that you might put professional education on the back burner, and pretty soon it’s been a few years since you’ve taken any classes. You haven’t kept up with balayage, vivid colors, extensions, cutting techniques—all the things you do every day.”
Investing the Team in Education
It may be easy to let that happen, but Schaper is not the kind of salon leader who just stands by and watches her team’s skills languish. In the salon, she holds monthly classes for lower level stylists and up to four classes a year for the entire team, but she feels that going out for education is important, too. That means airfare, hotel, course fee—the expenses add up.
Genesis is a Summit salon, giving Schaper access to Summit business sessions. She applies what she learns when she hears an idea that might be a good fit for her team of 38 employees in two locations. One strategy immediately caught her attention: a process that invests team members in making education a top priority. She implemented it and called it “Treatment Bank.”
Every January, stylists look over educational events offered throughout the industry for the coming year. They choose at least one event they would like to attend, and then they calculate the total expense of admission/tuition and travel. They can build in an extra day or two if they’d like to enjoy the destination longer.
That sum total becomes their Treatment Bank goal for the year, which they earn through a flat commission paid on treatments like Olaplex or a Redken/Pureology mix that’s on the menu. Instead of paying stylists their regular commission on those treatments, Schaper pays them all the same $10, soon to be raised to $12, and adds it to their individual Treatment Bank accounts. On all other services, they’re paid their regular commission.
The stylists each calculate how many treatments, at $10 commission per treatment, they must do to reach their education goal. According to Schaper, they typically hit their goal about halfway into the year. At that point, they switch back to their regular commission structure and pocket their commission.
“They really kick it for the first half of the year to make their goal!” Schaper says. Every two weeks, she updates her team on their progress, and they also can check the running totals listed in the back room.
Despite their eagerness to reach their goal and get back to keeping their commission, the stylists love this arrangement, Schaper reports. “They pick out the classes and know they have the money to get there,” she says. “I book their hotel to make sure it’s nice enough!”
Education Delivers Results
Schaper meets individually with team members every month to review their numbers, spot any areas of weakness, and discuss their general career goals. The additional education attendance is showing up in their growth.
“Show me a hairdresser who hasn’t done education for five years and is doing the same clients, and I’ll show you a burned out stylist who’s not increasing her income,” Schaper says. “Focus on growing each hairdresser, and you won’t have to worry about a growing company. The Treatment Bank incentivizes them to prioritize education. It shows them that I’m honestly concerned with what concerns them and how they want to grow their money.”
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