Skip links

Motivating the Modern Employee

A lot of business leaders seem to think that the only carrot they need to dangle in front of their staff is a green, made of paper, and has a picture of a deceased President on it. However, recent studies (and likely your own experience) have shown that money isn’t everything when it comes to motivation. Yes, you can be certain remuneration is important to your employees, but money isn’t the only thing that your team members are looking for when it comes to fulfillment on the job – so how can you drive performance and encourage good practice in other ways?

Invest in the Person

By invest, I don’t mean calling your broker. Nothing motivates a team, or an individual, like knowing that their manager values them. Studies show that 39% of employees feel under-appreciated in the workplace, with 77% reporting that they would work harder if they felt more valued. Several years ago I read a book called ‘Love Languages’ and have since realized it has more to do with everyone we interact with than just our family and significant other. Every person has a different way they feel recognized – some will respond to a promotion, others will seek out verbal recognition. Tune into each individual and find out what makes him or her feel ‘loved’ in the workplace and then set yourself some reminders to invest in each team member.

Inclusion is Key

The new generation of employees (face it, 36% of the workforce is millennial) wants to be part of something. No more linear management, it’s time to embrace a more democratic, team based management system, which works surprisingly well in the salon and spa environment! Build teams, groups, committees and allow them some autonomy in driving the direction of certain programs. Honor their ideas, even if they are sometimes ridiculous. Acknowledging their contribution is different than implementing it. Remember that asking for ideas doesn’t oblige you to implement them all. It’s just part of the process of making each member feel important and ‘heard.’

Correct Privately, Praise Publicly

You won’t be shocked to hear that most people aren’t motivated by negative feedback, especially if it’s a dressing down in front of other staff or customers. It’s also likely not part of your repertoire of management tools. However, some busy managers forget to turn a negative situation into a learning experience after they’ve diffused the situation and saved their team members integrity. Make sure to follow-up with the proper amount of ‘tough love’ in a private, comfortable and loving setting.

Motivational techniques

On the flip side, When staff feels that their manager doesn’t appreciate their hard work, they become complacent. There’s a reason so many companies have an Employee of the Month award – it works! Everybody loves praise; and a healthy staff environment will thrive on it. A recent study by Westminister College, revealed that 32% of employees are more motivated by a boost in morale than monetary compensation. Create a culture of public praise in your salon to publicly praise individual or team performances.

QUICK STRATEGY TIP: Have one of your stylists received special praise on a Yelp review? Make sure you announce to it to all the staff before work begins. Maybe even tie a little incentive to accolades, such as a bonus of extra time off or a gift certificate.

Create a Fair/Equal Incentive Program

You’re likely familiar with the ‘Salesman of the Year’ paid vacation to Las Vegas cliche. Lot’s of businesses do it, even in our industry. The problem is, these bonuses can tend to end up going to the same people each time. Great for them, but it can leave the rest of your team feeling like there’s no point in working hard because rewards are beyond their reach.

Set up a series of smaller bonuses throughout the year to motivate your staff to keep reaching for the brass ring. Vary the basis for the awards as well so it caters to every strength and skill set you want to encourage. Once you recognize that there are several types of excellence that help your business succeed, you can provide motivators to encourage staff to excel in these areas and boost morale across the salon floor.

Leave a comment