Melissa Timperley, owner of Melissa Timperley Salons, Manchester and Ambassador for Authentic Beauty Concept shares how she engages her team with a string of initiatives tailored to them.
My team is everything to me, which is why I have always sought new ways to ensure I’m looking after them at work. As a result of some of the schemes I’ve introduced, we’ve never had any issues with recruiting (or maintaining) a team.
I believe that an employed team is an engaged team and I want everyone to feel like they’re included in the business, and that we’re all part of the same family. Being employed also means they get maternity and sick pay, and everyone is paid a good salary too.
Some of the systems I implemented to keep the team happy include:
■ Our ‘one team member, one client’ ethos isn’t just a client benefit – it means nobody is rushed off their feet and they have proper breaks. By not expecting the team to multi-task, they have better balance and more time and energy. It also means they might only see two or three clients a day and still be fully booked, so they feel more relaxed and focussed.
■ Everyone currently gets regular Saturdays off, so they don’t have to use up their holiday time to enjoy a normal weekend. This is virtually unheard of in our industry and is a major morale boost for all!
■ From September, I’m also introducing flexitime. That means someone could work an extra 90 minutes on a Friday, then finish earlier one night in the week if they have a gig to go to. I want everyone to have the best work/life balance possible, so flexible hours and consecutive days off are key.
■ Mental health initiatives. We have invested in mindfulness apps for each team member, as well as running yoga and Pilates sessions during lockdown. Since the pandemic, we all have a fresh appreciation for keeping ourselves mentally and physically healthy.
■ I hold ‘My Future Vision’ meetings with each team member to keep them motivated and focused on their goals.
■ Regular team nights out are a must – they are always super fun and a great way to connect with each other away from the salon floor.
Being a forward-thinking and flexible team leader has always been a priority, not only because it’s the right thing to do – but also because it’s good for business.
The thread that allows our, and all, culture change is communication. Making the time to listen to each other, to understand different view points and figure out a way to make the changes required.
The good news is that as hairdressers we excel in communication. Creating a safe space that allows, even invites, your team to have open conversations comes from you. As the salon owner you need to show vulnerability in order to connect with everyone. Doing so can lead to great things.
– Colin McAndrew, Medusa
Simon Hill, Owner of SESH Hairdressing, suggests the idea of a Wellbeing Week to encourage empathy and compassion amongst team members. At SESH Hairdressing, I have always placed a lot of focus on the wellbeing of the team.
I am very conscious that mental health is just as important as physical health. All members of the SESH family know they can approach me about anything and I have a very much open door policy which works for us. For several years, we have held an annual ‘Wellbeing Week’ where we dedicate a whole week to our mental health and wellbeing.
I have worked with Pilates experts, nutrition companies, exercise professionals, healing experts and more to provide sessions for the team to explore their mental health and ensure we are all healthy. The team are so appreciative of this and it not only encourages us to look inwards at our personal mental wellbeing but also find compassion and empathy for team members who may be struggling a little.
Introducing things such as a quiet space for staff to take a short break could help to ensure wellbeing for a team. At SESH, the team can pop outside for a few minutes between clients to gather their thoughts and I think this works well.
Perhaps daily morning meetings could work to and team members can share their thoughts. This would help to identify any potential issues and again reinforce the open line of communication.
Brooke Evans, Owner of BE Ironbridge, recognises what her Gen Z team want from their workplace culture.
Generation Z want more flexibility with their hours. Since coming back from Covid, at BE Ironbridge, we’ve introduced a four day week, it’s gone down extremely well with the team in the salon as it gives them more of a work life balance.
I also don’t limit their Saturday holidays as often as other salons, in most salons you get four Saturdays a year off but we do five and Christmas, New Year and some bank holidays.
We’re shut Sunday, Monday and Tuesday but I make sure the team get all of their bank holidays back. I’m not fussed on Christmas parties and when I spoke to the team, the feeling was mutual so we’ve decided to go on a team holiday together for three days in August instead.
I think when it comes to Gen Z they want to be a part of something, they want to feel like they’re wanted and have a choice. It all comes down to communication and taking everyone’s thoughts and opinions in to consideration and giving everyone a voice.
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