How to Nuture a Culture of Respect in the Salon

What is respect? How do we show respect, nurture a culture of respect, and teach our team to be respectful? The topic of respect is so important because it’s one of top reasons people will choose to quit your salon.

I really want to share what respect is and what it is not. I’ll start with what respect is. Respect is living by the golden rule—treat others as you want to be treated. So then, the question is, how do you want to be treated at work? What if we treated everyone we work with as if they were our favorite client? How would this change the way we treat our team members?

There’s an amazing book called, “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. If we want to really lead our team, we must take on a servant-leadership mentality. Heather Yurko, the owner of Neatbeat Salon, calls this concept, “washers of feet.” This is a biblical term that displays a picture of the way Jesus treated his disciples. Even though Jesus is The Son of God, He still sat his disciples down and washed their feet. In those times, this was one of the ultimate ways to show you were serving someone. How could we be washers of feet with our team? We want to think about how we can serve one-another. We all want our team to serve each other and serve our guests. Are we living by that expectation ourselves?

Respect doesn’t mean agreement. You can disagree with someone and still be respectful. In fact, it’s encouraged to share your different points of view. In regard to the business, this leads to innovation. In fact, based on the book, “The Five Disfunctions Of A Team”, author Patrick Lencioni, shares, “members of truly cohesive teams trust one another, they engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas, they commit to decisions and plans of actions, they hold one another accountable for delivering against those plans, and they focus on the achievement of collective results.”

After you have built the foundation of trust, you have to be willing to be challenged, argued with, and debated. It can prevent so much heartache if you have an environment that encourages unfiltered conversations, and this can be done respectfully. 

Here’s an easy acronym that you can post at your salon to encourage respect.

R—responsibility.  It is our responsibility to show our team what it means to respect one another.

E—empathize. We have to be able to understand our team members and imagine ourselves in their shoes.

S—supportive. Everyone wants to feel like their team has their back. We need to be everyone’s biggest fan. I

P—polite. We don’t use this word that often but being polite is showing others consideration.

E—enjoyment. We do life together, therefore find the joy in everyone’s individual quirks. It is was makes your team special. 

C—chivalrous. Outside of the context of romantic love, what if we open doors, pull out chairs and treat our team members as we would our favorite guests?

T—together. Building respect is an ongoing team effort. We won’t be flawless, but as a group we can confront our downfalls and continue to focus on growth.

Download the slides to Kati’s talk, “Build Your Best Team This Year” and you’ll receive a free copy of her book when it drops this March!

About the Author: Kati Whitledge is an entrepreneur, speaker, author and podcaster. She opened Be Inspired Salon in 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Her passion for salon marketing and business grew tremendously and encouraged her launch of Meet Your Stylist, a matchmaking marketing tool used by salon owners nationwide. She’s also the beloved host and founder of The Beyond The Technique podcast—where valuable education is provided on the vast topics of salon business. Kati’s mission is to equip salon owners and their teams with the most innovative business marketing strategies.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.