Business owners know that good employees are hard to find and even harder to keep. Turnover is inevitable; needs change, people move and passions shift. However, a recent study from OC Tanner found that 75% of employees don’t leave for these reasons, but instead from a lack of appreciation in the workplace. With National Employee Appreciation Day on March 6, it is a perfect time for salon owners to redirect their focus to the happiness of their employees, simply by showing appreciation – a low-cost, high-impact investment.
Rob Burgio, owner and operator of Tesoro Salon in Snyder, NY, makes it a point to provide an open and appreciative environment for his salon employees year-round. Rob knows that offering his employees opportunities for growth, education and gratitude is the best way to maximize their potential and retain their talent. “Our environment promotes creativity, financial stability and communication, as well as personal and professional growth,” said Burgio. “We provide new and advanced in-salon training to build core skills that enhance our stylists’ ability to provide breathtaking experiences for our guests. We are all responsible for providing an atmosphere of caring for our customers, staff and community.”
Amidst this commitment, Rob also juggles being a full time Master Stylist and Goldwell Educator on the Goldwell Artist Design Team. Between travelling the country for conferences and mentoring other stylists, he is spread pretty thin and relies heavily on the capabilities of his salon management software, Salon Iris, to operate smoothly and maintain a notable work environment for his employees. Here are some of the tools Rob leverages to keep employee appreciation top of mind during his busy schedule:
Performance Reporting: Employees appreciate specific, goal-driven feedback that helps them improve. With reporting capabilities, salon owners are able to benchmark where employees are trending. By sitting down and taking a look at individual metrics together – like their client retention, commission and overall service totals – employees are subject to a tailored learning experience that gives them the opportunity to reach up and grow.
“Stylists are servicing multiple clients per day, performing numerous services per client, selling products and rebooking their regulars,” said Burgio. “Being able to have that one-on-one connection with each of them allows me to develop a performance-based work environment, that not only makes employees happier but also helps to attract like-minded stylists who are seeking a collaborative, supportive workplace.”
Automated Reminders: Oftentimes salon owners implement new technology to benefit the customer, but it’s equally important to ensure employees are armed with easy-to-use tools. The more efficiently they can complete their daily tasks, the happier and more productive they will be. One feature that Rob has incorporated at Tesoro Salon is automated text messaging, which alerts customers about their upcoming appointments. “It keeps all parties accountable and has really decreased the number of no-show clients,” said Burgio. “Those in the salon industry know that a missed appointment can cost a lot of time and money for the salon. By decreasing the chances of a no-show, stylists have been able to make more out of their day – making them and myself happy.”
Reputation Management: Employee appreciation doesn’t have to come exclusively from within the salon. A more recent feature Tesoro Salon has rolled out is reputation management which allows them to solicit online reviews from their customers, monitor the reviews being posted and respond to reviews from a simple dashboard. “After six weeks of having this feature, we received more five-star reviews then we had before across our social media platforms,” said Burgio. “This sense of transparency has been great for the employees as they can see the impact their work has on our clients.” Reputation management also gives stylists the opportunity to engage with loyal clients by sending automated texts and emails to ask them about their experience. Allowing employees to build that rapport within the salon will make them feel secure and appreciated where they are.”
In the salon industry, employee turnover can be debilitating to business. Employees are the bread and butter of the operation – they build client relationships, deliver personalized service and keep customers coming back. It is extremely important that salon owners actively show their appreciation for the work employees do and set them up for further success. If owners are facing a tight schedule, investing in software tools is investing in employees. The right capabilities will not only enrich employees’ individual experiences, but also help them operate more efficiently and deliver more value to the business.
About the Author: Jeff Dickerson is CEO of DaySmart Software, the makers of Salon Iris, a leading salon business management software for appointment booking, staff management, payment processing, marketing and customer communications for salon professionals worldwide. He has 25+ years of experience building software companies and developing technology that empowers and drives real business results for customers.
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