Like any organization or business, a salon is only successful if the entire team is successful, and a team is successful only if the individuals that make up that team feel motivated, valued and truly a part of something. Too often in our industry salon owners focus on “office work” or their own clients, and leave the teams to get on with it. But in such a creative, passionate industry, our people need constant inspiration to fuel their interest and drive their ambition. The most successful salon owners I know understand this and are completely committed to it.
Put on a happy face
What sort of leader are you? Too often when under pressure or dealing with tough situations, we lose sight of our own behavior, forget we are a role model always and lose our cool. You can’t be like that when you are responsible for others. Leave any problems at the door, breathe positivity and enthusiasm and always remain calm and considerate when in the salon. Consistency is crucial, so the team will know how you react to any situation and how you expect them to as well.
Look for the positive
There are few approaches less likely to motivate the team than constantly seeing problems everywhere. On a day-to-day basis, issues do arise, but facing them together and looking for solutions rather than complaining or criticizing is far more constructive. Mistakes are made to be learned from. Use them to your advantage.
Communication is the cornerstone of any successful team – between you and each member and between one another. Regular meetings, formal and informal, keep the flow of information going both ways. You also need to be open and articulate about what you expect so the team knows exactly what you expect of them. I also believe that being able to be direct and clear with one another at all times is far more productive than only giving half the feedback because you’re worried someone may take it “the wrong way.” The most high functioning teams are able to have the toughest conversations and get right back to it.
Targets are essential for motivating your team to do the best they can and for giving you a yardstick to measure their success. Don’t make goals unachievable, though, as that is just demotivating. Make it enough to stretch them; enough so they get satisfaction from what they achieve. And by all means, celebrate when they’re achieved!
Cut the dead wood
The toughest part of being an inspirational leader is knowing when to be tough, and taking a stance. If you’ve got players on your team who don’t like ”the rules,” can’t get to work on time, or are bringing the rest down with their negativity and back room chatter, you have to act and cut them loose. As they say, “what you permit, you promote.”