Business Management

Team Spirit: How to Motivate Your Staff

If your salon team isn't performing as well as you'd like, it could be because of your leadership. Study the systems that will assist each employee in achieving her best: mission statement, employee evaluations, staff meetings, coaching for individuality, and rewards.

Figures that are commonly looked at when setting goals are the service ticket, the retail to service percentage, the retention rates, number of new clients, number of upsells, and the productivity percentage.

Some salons have gone to a more open-book method of goal setting. For example, the nail department needs to generate “X” amount of dollars for the square footage to be profitable. When given the sales and expenses for any given department, the employee can better relate to what the owner needs to see happen for the department to be profitable.

Staff Meetings

Use staff meetings to motivate your team. How an owner prepares for and conducts the team meeting will gauge its success. Monthly meetings are crucial to the health of your salon or spa. Bonda Henschel, owner of Bonda’s Hair, Spa, and Tanning of Wexford, Pa., puts a lot of time and effort into her monthly meetings.

“We used to hold them quarterly, but too much miscommunication existed and the business’s rapid growth called for more frequent meetings,” says Henschel.


Meetings are for sharing, updating, teaching, and motivating. Discuss important salon techniques or trends that are helpful to the team. Update employees on new products, services, or policies during these meetings. Allow enough time to discuss important issues thoroughly.

Teaching employees new service techniques or how to use certain retail products is what Judy McCollough, owner of Headlines in Butler, Pa., says helps create her team.


“Staff meetings are a great time to review new services with the entire staff. We don’t just train the technician responsible for the service. We train all employees so they are better able to cross promote departments and educate the client on all of the services we provide,” says McCollough. “To launch a new item on our menu is major for us. We create excitement at our meetings to help make new services successful.” Agendas for the meeting should be posted ahead of time and should contain the following: opening, housekeeping, body, acknowledgements, and closing.

Thank all for coming and review your mission statement. Housekeeping items should also be stated, such as new staff member information and salon hours or closings. The main body of the meeting should center around two to three important issues. You may discuss upcoming salon events, special promotions, and the price increase you just put into place, for example.

At the conclusion of the meeting acknowledgements should be made recognizing exceptional performance. An increase in sales, retention rates, or new services provided deserves some attention and it’s an appropriate time to recognize a staff member for a job well done. Remember that it’s a morale booster to be praised in front of your peers. In closing, reiterate the meeting notes and remind the staff of the next meeting date.

If you are concerned about a meeting turning into a complaint session, follow this rule: Never allow a complaint to be made unless the complainer has one or two solutions for their concern. Have staff members help solve the problem. This approach prevents the meeting going off track, but most importantly, it may help create solutions.

Finally, meetings are for the team. It may be the only time everyone is together with crazy schedules and client demands. Take advantage of the time and strengthen your relationships. With organization, your meetings can be one of your most valuable team building tools.

Coaching for Individuality

Coaching for individuality means being able to adapt to all levels of skill and experience, and you need to be able to adjust your coaching accordingly. Remember, whether an employee has been with you 10 years or 10 months, every team member needs guidance and recognition.

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