Business Featured

The Benefits of being Employed

November 24, 2021

With the number of freelancers and self-employed hairstylists on the rise, the traditional salon model might be seen to be on its way out – but for Melissa Timperley, whose eponymous salon is in the heart of Manchester, an employed team is an engaged team – and an award-winning, happy one at that. The proof is in the pudding- Melissa has just won ‘Salon Team Of The Year’ at The British Hairdressing Business Awards 2021.

“All of my staff are employed,” says Melissa. “I want everyone to feel like they’re included in the business, and that we’re all part of the same family.”

In a world where everyone can be out for themselves, a close team also makes for a warm and welcoming working environment. “Having a unified team means there’s always a strong support network on hand,” continues Melissa. “We are able to mentor and inspire each other, and share problems and solutions. Everyone is on the same side, which makes you feel safe and valued. We all genuinely want the best for, and care for each other.”

By creating an employed team, Melissa is also able to offer her stylists benefits, and is mindful of creating a great work/life balance. “If you’re self-employed, you can choose your own hours,” she explains. “So I wanted to make sure I was offering something similar. Everyone gets a Saturday off every few weeks, so they don’t have to use up their holiday time to enjoy a nice, normal weekend. For most hairdressers, it’s just four Saturdays a year. There’s also the security of maternity pay and sick pay, and the obvious benefits during COVID lockdowns. Everyone is paid a good salary too, because I know that hairdressing is a skill and one that isn’t always fairly financially remunerated.”

As well as creating a cohesive and close-knit team, being employed has business benefits for Melissa when it comes to that classic salon sticking point: retail. “As the salon owner, I’ve spent time and effort researching a product line,” she says. “Because the team is employed, they use the products I’ve chosen and I really like that quality control and cohesion in the salon. We have achievable targets and provide ongoing training for everyone, so they really believe in the products too.”

As well as being employed, Melissa’s team enjoys the benefits of a relaxing, peaceful salon environment thanks to her ‘one client, one team member’ approach. “Staff do everything for their client; there’s no swapping between people for colour, washing, blow-drying… It’s a real personal touch for the client, but for the team it means they’re not rushed off their feet. They have balance, can devote their time and energy to one client, and they can enjoy some downtime while a colour is processing. They might only see two or three clients in a day, but they’re fully booked. It’s a really nice atmosphere for everyone.”

Unsurprisingly, this team-first approach means Melissa hasn’t faced any struggle to recruit and maintain staff. “We don’t struggle with employment,” she says. “If anything, it’s usually us turning people away! I want people to fit into our family, because there’s no bitchiness on the team and everyone is genuinely really lovely. I’ve taken time to build it up carefully; it was just me to start with and now, five years later there are 12 of us.”