Ken Picton heads up Wales’ leading destination salon and has amassed a huge haul of awards over the years, including three times Wales and South West Hairdresser of the Year and a host of business accolades. In the second of this three part series, he talks us through his fail proof tips for managing a team. This part: the importance of regular team meetings…
What is the purpose of a team meeting? Well, for me it’s an opportunity to communicate, educate and evaluate your business with the team around you.
Quite often, managers/owners only call a team meeting when things are going wrong, sporadically at best. These are often negatively held and done out of hours, in the teams’ own time. Any business that puts value and time into working with a team will be a much stronger business – especially if you do this in your time, not theirs.
We hold weekly staff meetings 9-10am every Friday. Why? Because it allows me to communicate to as many of my team in one go as possible, therefore minimising the extra amount of time I spend dealing with issues. Is there a cost to our weekly meetings? Of course. We lose the revenue for that hour of 27 columns but I tend to find that this is one of the most productive days in the salon because everyone is focused and clear on what we are aiming to achieve.
We use our team meetings for housekeeping, launching new services and educating on a regular basis. Having them set up weekly or bi-weekly allows for consistency. Education is made much easier and more instantaneous, especially when a new product launches. When a supplier launches a new product, you have to arrange for them to send an educator which could mean pulling the team in on their day off just to launch a product, which could end up taking several weeks. The alternative is that you use this meeting time to give your products to the team, talk through the benefits and get them enthused so they can get straight behind the new launch (the same could apply with a new service or procedure).
We also use our meetings to recap or go over existing products. When we focus on a product, e.g. scalp-targeted, we see a huge increase in sales over the following days in that line. It’s a clear indication that meetings should be consistent to increase revenue.
The other major benefit of our weekly meetings is that it allows me to spend quality time with my team. We try to make these meetings fun and informative. It’s definitely a two-way conversation; it’s a great forum to share team feedback, making it more impactful. We also use this time to share stories and success whether that be in the salon or things that have happened outside of the salon.
I suppose the most important outcome of regular team meetings is the upkeep of the high standard that I expect. When you have over 40 staff and open seven days a week, maintaining performance and standards is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks a manager can have. It’s perfect for setting out rules and making sure your team then polices them; a prime example of this would be dress code. Hairdressers love to bend the rules and as soon as one person does it the rest will follow, so it’s best to speak to everyone at one time rather than speaking to everyone individually. It also allows us to tweak services and systems. An example of this is, recently we’ve started using Easydry disposable systems so our whole spa experience needs to be adjusted, not just for the towels but also for the bins and disposal systems too. It’s small systems like this that you need everyone to be buying into. These meetings allow the time to communicate consistently.
My advice to any salon owner is to invest in your meetings. Move them into salon time rather than your staffs’, it shows commitment to your core values and cements a real team ethic. Do them regularly, as often as you can, so that you can consistently evaluate your business and team – it’s a real positive. Try it and the benefits will definitely show.