How to Empower and Motivate Your Team
Using Salon Software
Are you a salon owner looking for ways to increase your salon’s client appeal and ramp up revenue? Well, you can start by renovating your salon to elevate its ambiance. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is motivating your employees to carry your vision wholeheartedly and to have the spark needed to keep clients happy. Always remember that your hairstylists, manicurists, receptionists, and cosmetologists are the mainstays of your business. The quality of service at your salon, the salon’s reputation, and its eventual success will largely be determined by individual employees’ skill sets, professionalism, and dedication. With that in mind, you have to empower and motivate your team to succeed in their individual capacity. You have to constantly measure and evaluate their performance in order to utilize their strengths better and to help them overcome their weaknesses. That’s where salon management software comes in handy.
How can you use salon software to empower and motivate your team?
1. Effective employee utilization
Must a hairstylist, for example, work for nine hours a day to be productive? Definitely not! Someone can work for an hour and bring your salon more profits than someone who worked an entire day. Effective employee utilization means that an employee’s performance is gauged by their ability to meet set deliverables. It shifts the focus from the number of hours worked to the “chargeable and billable” hours worked. It helps you redefine hard work and commitment; to stop worrying about the time an employee reported to or left the workplace. Instead, you focus on how much satisfaction they brought to the clients they attended to and the profits they earned from your salon within the few hours they were there.
How do you maximize utilization at your salon? Salon software can help you with that, mainly by telling you how each employee spends their time. It also draws clear lines between your salon’s peak and off-peak hours/days. With this clarity, you can choose to deploy lesser personnel during quiet hours/days in order to give your team a little more flexibility. Flexible hours can significantly raise employee satisfaction.
There is more. You can use your software to conduct simple surveys, e.g. ask clients how flexible their hours/days are. That info will help you minimize gaps in the appointment book. You can, for example, encourage flexible clients to book appointments during your off-peaks in order to leave the “peak” for the ones with less flexible schedules. That relieves your staff some of the pressure that comes with rush hours. Furthermore, attending to clients during the quiet hours allows your stylists a little more time with clients, which then gives them a better shot at perfection.
2. Better inventory management system, more efficiency
Employees are demotivated when poor inventory management stands in the way of getting the job done. Salon inventory management software prevents that by providing real-time updates of how much a given product is left in the inventory. It will tell you which products clients love- and which ones they don’t- for a more effective stocking. That saves you money because you don’t waste it on dead stock and, most importantly, ensures that your team has all the products they need to satisfy their clients.
Salon inventory software also empowers and motivates your team by eliminating the need for manual inventory management. Stylists want to spend their time with clients - doing meaningful work - and not counting things. Manual inventory is time-consuming, tedious, and from an employee’s point of view, totally unrewarding. Besides, humans make errors that sometimes lead to unwanted guesswork. Even the most diligent employee has a significantly high margin for error. Errors and guesswork make stylists look bad in clients’ eyes, and that can be quite demotivating.
3. Fairness in employee recognition
Any business owner will tell you that employee rewards are the best when it comes to team motivation. But even the best things have an ugly side. The ugly side of employee reward programs is perceived unfairness. Perceived inequitable distribution of off days or unfairness in effort recognition can significantly dent employee engagement and performance. It builds hostility and mistrust in the team, which erodes teamwork in the long run.
Unfairness can be either deliberate (which is quite unethical) or unintentional.We will focus on the unintentional bias.
Unintentional bias in employee recognition is usually a product of poor employee performance analysis. That’s where your software can be of help. The software builds databases of each employee; a 100% accurate record of each employee’s performance for each set deliverable. It will help you know your team better: Who earned you the most profit, sold more retail, or has the best color percentages within a given timeframe? Your software can give you all the answers that you need when determining who deserves which reward the most.
4. Matching tasks to skill
Salon software can collect, analyze, and sort out client feedback for easier consumption. Customer feedback helps you know which skills clients appreciate the most in each one of your stylists. It will tell you who the best communicators are, for example, so you assign such employees the role of pitching ideas to clients. Assigning such a role to an introvert would be counterproductive for you and highly unfulfilling to the employee.
The bottom line: Job satisfaction and excellence in your team increases when everyone is given a role that matches their strengths. No one can be good at everything, but everyone is good at something if you look hard enough for it.
5. Effective performance reviews and self-appraisal
There is a need for employers to conduct regular staff performance reviews, especially in the light of customer feedback and suggestions. Such reviews will help you define (or redefine) each employee’s job description, set achievable goals and objectives, and understand the skill development needs in the team. Salon software will gather and organize all the data you need for that.
However, as helpful as staff performance reviews could be, they will always come second to self-appraisals. Employees like it better when they assess their own performances and make the necessary adjustments before they are busted during performance reviews. That’s why you will be doing them a great favor by giving them access to your non-confidential databases. Allow them to assess their strengths and areas of weaknesses regularly and, most importantly, before the appraisal meeting. That’s a sure way of creating a self-motivated workforce.
Employee support strategies are hard to formulate and even harder to implement. The right software will make it a little easier for you to come up with effective empowerment and motivation programs for your salon staff. It will ensure that your salon has higher job satisfaction and better employee retention.
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