Taking the Sting Out of Turnover
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Turnover in the hair salon industry is not news. It happens and will continue to be a concern to all salon owners. What is of importance is how you deal with owning and managing a successful salon knowing stylists that you have trained, promoted and encouraged, will leave.

“Knowing that stylists leave is a reality of being a salon owner,” says Eryn Harrison, owner of Calm, A Salon for 14 years. “The key to continue to operate successfully is how you handle and how you have prepared yourself for departures. It doesn’t have to be devastating unless you allow it,” she adds though acknowledging some departures will blindside you.

By experiencing turnover, Harrison has some practical advice for owners so that the departure of stylist(s) has the least amount of impact on your business, on remaining stylists, your clients and you personally.

  1. It’s business: You may be surprised by some who leave, but do not take it as a personal reflection on you or take away your confidence as an owner.  Do not react with emotion. It’s just part of being in business.
  2. Know your brand: If you know the image you want to reflect, hire only those that support and are in-line with your philosophy and the way business is done in the salon.  If you see a team member not “showing-up” as expected, cut your losses and part company before stylist leaves you.  Offense is always better than defense!
  3. Own it: Acknowledge any part that may have contributed to someone leaving and learn from it.  Each person has different reasons for quitting; and they may or may not be honest about why, but take the time to reflect. Was there anything you could have done differently?  Once you have done this, move on. 
  4. Always be building: Never get too comfortable with your team; and always recruit and be on the lookout for talent. You are more prepared when one or more exit. Your goal is to keep your salon running smoothly and accommodating your client’s needs.
  5. Nothing stays the same: You need to be flexible and adaptable. Make your business model fluid without compromising your integrity, brand or the quality of service.

Though departures are never the “fun” part of running a business, salon owners can minimize the turnover, the unease and anxiety it causes. “I have come to accept that no one stays forever, and so should you,” she adds with a smile.

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