According to reports, the staff retention rate in salons has always been challenging. Statistics say the average employment span at salons is three to five years, and one-third of new employees leave their job within six months. This behaviour is prevalent because the ever-growing demand in the beauty and cosmetics industry has forged more opportunities for workers to venture out independently, giving way to more competition.
As a lash entrepreneur, these findings can be alarming, especially when you want stability in the overall functioning of your business. However, the good news is you will always have the opportunity to work. Lash extensions have seen significant growth in the past few years, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. So, all you need to worry about is keeping your team together. Here are some of the best practices you need to integrate into your salon to ensure you have a steady team to give the best to your customers and the growth of your business.
1. Choose your lash salon team carefully
You have invested countless hours in building your business and reputation. It is integral that the team you are hiring resonates with similar skills and customer service that you have provided as a lash artist for your continued success. Before hiring, it is essential to jot down what you are looking for in each role; it could be another lash technician, a receptionist, or an extra pair of hands to manage the operations. At the time of the interview, you also need to understand what the candidate expects from the position. Understanding their aspirations and goals and whether they align with what you have to offer is essential. It would also be worth checking their background from their previous employment to help you decide if you are hiring the right person with the right skills and attitude.
2. Create a salon culture
No one wants to work in a toxic environment. Therefore, create a unique salon culture you look forward to being a part of. Setting a well-defined salon culture reflects your business values, mission, and beliefs. It could be starting the day with having coffee or breakfast together, arranging a picnic once a month, or giving a day off on their birthday. An excellent salon culture keeps the team motivated and involved. The beauty industry can be ruthless, and the pressure can be overwhelming, so being an empathetic leader that divides the work among your team is crucial to help reduce team stress.
On days when nothing goes right, the salon culture they are a part of will keep them going. Encourage staff to communicate when they have concerns and conflicts and organize team and one-to-one meetings to ensure you are connected directly with each of your employees. Be approachable and friendly so they feel free and comfortable to reach out to you.
3. Invest in their growth
Growth in any job is the most significant motivator, so it is essential as an entrepreneur to know if your team is provided with the proper progress and training. Whether it is encouraging them to learn a new skill, paying for a class or workshop, or sending them to a beauty or lash conference, these practices will help them feel valued and build confidence as a professional.
You could create an annual education plan for each employee as an incentive. In your one-on-one meeting, discuss their progress and provide them with opportunities to grow as a professional in your salon. It could be a promotion or entrusting them with newer opportunities and responsibilities. The key is to make them feel they are learning and growing professionally.
4. Trust your team
Indeed it is your business; you know how you want things done in your salon. However, you have hired your team for a reason— because you believe in their skills and expertise. Start by outlining your salon policies which must include business values, staff characteristics, accountability, behaviour, transparency, and clear communication. Be the mentor and lead by example.
However, this doesn’t mean you can micromanage and make your team feel demotivated and discouraged from being creative. Instead, give your staff room to grow and the discretion to make decisions, bearing in mind the company policies and reputation of the business. The sense of accountability allows them to feel responsible. It will not only save your time but also create a sense of ownership among your team for the progress of your business.
5. Involvement in decision-making
Just like having regular team meetings helps you stay connected with your team, involving them in important discussions will help your team stay connected with the business. After all, your team is your work family. They should be kept in the loop about changes within the business. Making collective managerial decisions helps:
- Critical thinking
- Overcomes your blind spots
- Taps into your team’s knowledge and strengths
- Increases inclusive discussions
- Promotes equality
- Encourages accountability and responsibility
- Improves the drive to action decision
When your team feels they are a part of making changes in your salon, they will feel more motivated to follow them too, which makes any transition or changes easy to adapt and incorporate. It also rules out any disputes, confusion, or mistrust among your team members.
6. Acknowledgment of good work
A word of appreciation and recognition is free and the easiest way to show your team that you value their skills and contribution. It will build loyalty and encourage them to do better. For example, give an ‘Employee of the month’ award with a gift certificate. In employee reviews or team meetings, praise them for their outstanding work before moving on to constructive criticisms. Provide them with competitive salaries and remunerations so they don’t look elsewhere for work or feel the need to start their own business.
It is a fact that hiring a new staff member is more expensive than retaining one. Revisiting the arduous process and the time invested in interviewing, hiring, and training them can feel overwhelming. With that in mind, you will realize it is better to focus on the well-being of your team than just your business’s growth.