Why building an honest environment is important to build team loyalty?
Never more has team loyalty been so crucial. The movement of self-employed has highly impacted the shape of our industry but there’s been a lot written about that so I’ll not go over old ground. In a time when every human being, not just clients or team members but every single person on a global scale is feeling anxious as a result of the pandemic it is essential that the space you provide your team is a safe one.
This is the first building block in creating loyalty. The role of a salon owner is to take the pressure off the team, to give them security and confidence so they can excel in what they do best – provide our clients with the highest hairdressing experience. I strongly believe in honesty – even when it’s hard to say and hard to take. I’m not scared to say I don’t know something, or ask for help. This has instilled an environment of openness in the business. It allows everyone to be honest, and ask for support. I never want to come across as superior.
I also believe in appreciating people as individuals and what they bring to the team. I don’t try to mould or push them in one direction. I pride myself in finding a person’s strengths and helping that shine through everything they do. Treating each other with respect builds loyalty.
Another element to focus on is listening. Really listening. Our lives have changed more that anyone could have guessed over the last two years so it is essential that as as salon owner you take the time to really listen to what your employees and team are saying. Some might be asking for a reduction in hours, a change in the way they work or even reconsidering their career as a hairdresser. Rather than react, listen. What is really going on behind the scenes? Are they struggling to readjust? Have they lost confidence? I find that often a good ear followed up by a plan of action demonstrates how seriously you are invested in your team. Getting to the route of the problem will always be better than losing a good member of the team.
As well as offering the basic team essentials such clear career plans and positive working environments it is now important to support your team’s mental health. This can be a sticking area for some business owners who have never had to consider the mental health of their employees. To them I say – educate yourself. If you have been fortunate enough to not have experienced poor mental health then it can be hard to empathise but you must. Having open conversations with your team will help them communicate their concerns and know they are supported. At Medusa we are also raising conversations around social issues often not discussed in the workplace such as menopause, fertility and gender matters. By leading strongly your team will respond. Equally, we are a business of opportunity. If a partner, manager or team member has an idea on how to do something better, or a topic not being openly discussed then they are welcome to bring it to the table.
Finally, loyalty occurs when there is a connection. Belonging is crucial to our happiness. It gives us purpose and meaning so make sure your team feels that bond. As I have mentioned, I am always honest with my team. I have an open door policy and work incredibly hard to make sure everyone feels that connection to each other, the salon, the clients and the brand. Building a brand and projecting the future is exciting. At Medusa we vocalise our goals. We aim to have 2 more salons and increase the team 50% by December of 2022. People want to belong to something that has direction. And when they feel this connection them become invested in the future – together.