Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee

Last year NAILS said goodbye to two long-time employees. Before that we hadn’t seen any turnover for about six years and I considered myself lucky. Both editors left to pursue career-advancing opportunities outside of the beauty business. Both left on great terms and are still missed. But in the face of their departures, which happened about six months apart, we set out to find new editors to join the staff.

Hiring new people can seem like a hassle because it’s time-consuming during a time when you’re already short-staffed. Hopefully if your team is anything like mine, it runs smoothly because everyone plays their role to ensure success. So losing two people who helped shape NAILS into such a great magazine was scary. I’m sure it’s the same when you lose a great nail tech.

It’s always hard to lose stellar employees or coworkers. But there are some benefits too. And instead of letting yourself get squashed by the stress of “OMG, what will we do now?” let’s look at a few of the positive points of turnover.

1. Fresh perspectives. Sure it’s hard to replace a really great employee, but just think of all the fresh ideas and new perspectives a new employee will bring to your team. Maybe she is a social media expert who can start a solid social marketing plan for the salon. Or maybe he is extremely knowledgeable about essential oils and he’ll be able to create some new signature service ideas to refresh your menu. Wait until your new employees have a few months to find their bearings and then look forward to the next staff meeting or brainstorming session.

2. A little friendly competition. When someone starts at a job, other employees often step up their game. They want to establish their role in the workplace, and you might see employees who may have become complacent snap to attention. It will even help you as the manager or owner recommit to being your best self at work. (I know it did that for me!) Whatever the case, fresh blood in the salon is sure to invigorate other members of the team.

3. New clients/contacts. For salons, new employees might also mean new clients (if she has an existing clientele). But they also bring their own contacts to the table. For NAILS, that could mean new sources for stories. For you, that could mean manufacturer educators, distributor sales reps, doctor referrals, or even photographers or graphics professionals. Be open to meeting new vendors — it doesn’t benefit you to stay stuck in your ways. And you might even find a new gel-polish line to add or a cost-savings on your printed salon marketing materials.

4. Additional skill sets. Maybe your new nail tech is certified in reflexology. Maybe she was trained to apply eyelash extensions. Or maybe he took a special medical pedicure course. Whatever the case, if you’ve hired someone with a specialty that you don’t already offer at the salon, this is your opportunity to add it to the menu and start reaping the rewards of a new service possibility for all of your existing clients.

Overall, no matter how beloved your former employees were, it’s important to view turnover as an opportunity. We’ve welcomed Brittni (last April) and Tracy (in October) with open arms. We will continue to miss Sree and Tim (just like so many others before them), but we look forward to what’s to come as our new team really gets into a groove. It’s an exciting time.

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