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Benefits of a Swinging Door

Many employers in the salon industry are finding value in developing a “swinging door.”  What is it?  The strategy or belief that if employees leave and return, it can create a positive experience for both the employee and the salon!

Our industry has an incredible range of opportunities for cosmetologists/barbers. Let’s embrace that. We want to keep cosmetology school graduates growing and succeeding in this wonderful industry for their entire careers. In order for them to create career paths that they love, they might want to try different things. For example, a great stylist can cut hair, do makeovers, become a retail product specialist, join a product company or school as an educator, become a salon owner and even go to Hollywood as a stylist to the stars!

As salon owners—and particularly as multi-unit salon owners—we need to work together to help them learn and grow by experiencing more of our industry. We must not be threatened by our employees’ dreams—even if their current dreams don’t include us.

To that end, one of Great Clips’ largest and most successful franchisees, Clara Osterhage, always sends flowers to her stylists on their first day at their new salons after they’ve moved on from one of her salons.  She is visible about her support of their career steps.  Her philosophy is that by treating stylists as well on their last day as she does on their first—and every day in between—they won’t hesitate to return if their new position doesn’t work as they thought it would or if they simply decide they miss what they had. Keeping the door open—and the relationship strong, professional and mutually respectful—is the key. And if they do choose to return, chances are that their loyalty will have grown exponentially during their transition.

Every position change stylists make enriches their careers and increases the likelihood that they will stay in the professional beauty industry. That’s a win for us all!

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Rhoda Olsen

Rhoda Olsen

Rhoda Olsen started with Great Clips in 1984 as a consultant, before becoming Vice-President of Human Resources and Training in 1987. She was soon also looking after marketing, communications, operations, and facilities and purchasing and in 1998 she was appointed President/Chief Operating Officer, making her fully accountable for the Great Clips organization. During Ms. Olsen’s tenure as President/COO, Great Clips grew from just over 1,000 salons in 1998 to more than 3,900, with revenues increasing four-fold from $200 million to just over a billion dollars. In 2011 Ms. Olsen was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Great Clips, overseeing the largest salon brand, with locations in more than 180 markets across North America.

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