Q&A

Should business owners tell all to staff?

Q.

Transparency is a buzzword in politics these days, and the notion of increased openness, two-way communication, and accountability is taking hold in the business world as well. Salon owners are among the business owners who are opening up their books and sharing sensitive financial information with staff . We asked salon owners and technicians: How much financial information should a salon owner share with her staff ?

 

A.

I do share financial information with my team, but only on how much income they are bringing in as compared to previous years or months. This way they can be pleased they did better than before or feel motivated to offer extra services or call clients who haven’t been in for a while. My computer program will also show productivity, client retention, daily, monthly, and yearly income, and client information so they can do marketing. They do not have access to total income versus spending. Employees always think the owner is making so much money, when in fact we are not. - MARY METSCAVIZ, Awesome Nails, Grayslake, Ill.

I don’t think an owner should discuss finances with an employee, especially if it’s confidential. If there are severe problems that can’t be solved, it could send everyone into a panic about trying to find another place to work. Of course, if the owner is planning to close the salon because of these problems, then by all means she should have a meeting and tell everyone just out of common courtesy. - HOPE O’CONNOR, A New Dimension Salon & Spa, Ormond Beach, Fla.

I think salon owners only need to share financial information that is relevant to providing a vision or a goal for employees and/or for salon growth. I think that providing a quarterly status report of salon performance is a wonderful idea, both in terms of acknowledgment of retail/service increased revenue and in terms of setting achievable goals for improvement. - JENNIFER PERDUE, Details Nail Salon, Bloomington, Ill.

Whether to share financial data depends on the circumstances. If your employees receive a bonus or profit-sharing, then it is imperative to share some information. For example knowing about the profit and loss and what areas are growing helps to show how the bonus numbers are calculated. If throughout the year the staff is kept up to speed, then there are a lot fewer questions when profit-sharing or bonus time comes around. - ANGELA SAUL Design, 1 Salon and Day Spa, Grand Rapids, Mich.

I use to think financial data should be kept private; however, now I feel employees need to know what the heck is going on! They see a business and they all want to own one because it looks so awesome with the money rolling in at the front desk. But they don’t get to see what it takes to run that business behind the scenes. It’s a life-changing event when they can see the truth. I feel since they are part of the company they should be aware of what is happening. They then can see just how much it impacts the company when they take that day off and don’t make it up. - RENEÉ BOROWY, VIP Salon & Spa, Riverview, Mich.

I am currently an employee; however, I was an independent contractor for many years and I am aware of the cost of doing business. I know first-hand that most employees do not. The consequence of this is a lot of waste. People use supplies without respect to the cost, as if they just fall from the sky. I think if people were more familiar with the bottom line, they would not be so wasteful. It is also my opinion that disclosing only the profits of a salon without disclosing the whole picture would act as a disservice to morale, which creates resentment and retaliation, usually in the form of stealing or wasting product. - BECKY BENCE, Salon 505 the Day Spa and Ultimate Face, Austin, Texas

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