“How do I challenge my team to feel as excited as me?”
Before I can answer I would first enquire – ‘what do you feel most excited about?’ Then I would ask ‘Is this something the team should feel excited about too?’ I do understand how frustrating it can be when you are excited about an aspect of your salon, and it appears that the team are not as excited as you.
Have you ever had a friend proudly tell you the achievement of their child? As if no other child in the world has ever achieved that thing before? I think you know where I am going?
Your salon is your baby, and rightly so, you are excited and feel proud. You may have an advocate in your team, someone who gets as excited as you, maybe even a supporter or two, but you probably have team members for whom working in your salon is a job, and this is normal.
The problem with normal for a ‘go getting’ salon owner is the energy level and the sense of urgency that follows it. I think a more effective question would be “What excites the team and how can my business help fuel their excitement?”
“How can I make the salon more fun with team incentives?”
As a young salon owner, I used to fall into the trap of believing that the team would like what I liked! I wondered why the team did not get excited by my competitions and prizes.
Another problem I encountered was the same people would often win, so before we even got a chance to get started, the outcome was treated as a foregone conclusion. This resulted in the ‘superstars’ (who were already motivated and achieving) being really excited and the ‘others’ (who did not believe they had a chance) nodding their agreement to my face and rolling their eyes as soon as my back was turned.
Incentives should encourage everyone to improve performance in the pursuit of the reward, but I have learned that rarely does one size fit all. Best to start with the question, what behaviour and from whom do you want to reward? Let’s say you want everyone to improve retail sales, you may want to make a team target? Maybe a monetary target ££, or a % increase this month over last month?
The incentive could be a team bowling event (or whatever collective interest they have), or each team member wins four home care products. And as for the ‘fun’ part of the question, when people achieve and we all celebrate the wins, fun follows.
“How do I get my team to upgrade?”
Do we agree that we do not want our stylists to sell anything to the client that she does not need? Our desire for upgrading services goes beyond ‘making an extra buck’.
Once we get a stylist to understand that upgrading services means the client will get a better result with her hair at home, the stylist will begin to identify the client’s needs better and develop dialogue that demonstrates that. I believe that great hair is 60% of what happens in the salon and 40% of what the client does at home. With the 40% of home care in mind, what the client needs, and the conversation about daily maintenance becomes purposeful, clear, and easier.
Upgrades will naturally follow; resulting in a delighted client who can enjoy fabulous hair everyday, a stylist that achieves higher goals and a more fruitful salon.
“How do I keep the team motivated and moving in the same direction?”
What determines the team’s direction? On a daily basis, how do the team know what is the right thing to do and how to do it? A strong vision of what the future will or could be like helps the team to understand where it is heading and lays the path to get there.
The attitudes and behaviour characteristics of a social group determine the culture. I believe the simplified definition of culture is “this is the way things are done around here!” So how do we get the team to do things the way we want them done?
Have a strong vision that is well communicated with an opportunity for each team member to understand how they can contribute, why their contribution makes a difference and addresses the WIFM (what’s in it for me) that ultimately all human nature is wired to. That is a lot of ingredients in one sentence:
What should I do if a team member does not buy into my vision? This is for you to decide, but it is important to understand that once you start to make compromises, your vision gets diluted.
The culture begins to shape in a way that is not congruent with what you want! If the paragraph question is important to you (“How do I keep the team motivated and moving in the same direction?”) I would suggest this compromise could be a stretch too far for you. You may not think so in the beginning – but the gradual movement of the dial away from what you want and towards what the team wants erodes!
When I find myself in a position where an employee and I do not see eye to eye – I validate their prerogative to their own opinion, but suggest if they do not feel they can adjust to the business vision they should find a salon they feel they can align with.
Keeping the team motivated towards the common vision takes leadership, consistency, and a passion for standards as you deliver recognition for a good job well done, challenge towards progress and support along the way. For me, the satisfaction of a team strongly aligned with the business vision is leadership personified, not easy to accomplish – but things worth having rarely are.
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