Business Featured

The Salon Champion | Recognising and rewarding success

February 13, 2020

Andrew Barton, Creative & Communications Director at Headmasters has made it his mission to champion the salon hairdresser, as the backbone of our wonderful industry. Here he talks about recognising and rewarding success moving into 2020.

I’ve always loved the hustle and bustle of salon life, being with the team and creating beautiful hair for our clients is what has kept me so excited about working as a Stylist. There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a busy salon with a motivated team working together to create a confidence-boosting experience for each and every client.

Clients are more informed than ever on colouring and cutting techniques as well as products and therefore are ever more discerning on how and where they spend their money on hairdressing service. Clients will decide very quickly if they feel the service they receive is good value, often placing the experience high in their expectations.

With this in mind at Headmasters we have always rewarded our teams for their delivery of service and running a successful column. Recognising our hardworking teams in the salon is key to a motivated and committed workforce and in an industry with a shortage of Stylists retaining our people is vital to the businesses health.

It’s wise to sit back from the business from time to time and take an honest look at how team members are rewarded. Acknowledging their hard work is a sure way of building the business and ensuring a healthy cash flow.

If you’re not sure where to start your investigation here’s six of my tips that work for me at my Headmasters Mayfair salon where over the last financial year we have achieved a 23% increase in turnover. 


Set realistic targets for each stylist breaking it down into easily digestible chunks monthly, weekly and daily. Explain your expectation e.g. x5 haircuts and x3 colours per day or a monetary value of how much revenue you’d expect each level of stylist to achieve daily.  Targets need incentives, so you need to decide what is appropriate for you, your team and for individuals.

Whether its commission and bonus’s to extra holiday or flexible working hours decide what motivates them and give as a reward for achieving growth and success. Having different stylist levels with clear pricing offers clients choice but can also be used as a promotional tool to accelerate a stylists career.

Achieving certain targets consistently over a period of time deserves a promotion and therefore an increased income, it also helps stylists to achieve price increases over time especially the busier and more successful they become. 


Recognising long service in a business is an important way for stylists to feel valued. The industry does experience some level of transience and therefore acknowledging service every year after 3 or 5 years will help to make them feel appreciated. 


We all need things to aim for and it should not just be about how many clients a stylist sees per day or how much retail they promote to their clients. Ultimately hairdressers are creatives, so recognising their work is essential. This can be done in many ways from internal photographic competitions, giving stylists an opportunity to demonstrate their ideas to the team in a team meeting / soiree, investing in a photo shoot to capture the work of the team or supporting entering industry competitions are all ways of encouraging creativity and showing how valued a stylist is in the team. 


Colour without doubt is the biggest growth area in the salon industry at the moment and setting targets for stylists to achieve personal growth in colour ratios and rewarding them for achieving their targets with shopping gift vouchers or creating an annual competition with a grand prize. At Headmasters we run a colour completion each year with the grand prize of winning a car for the stylist that achieves the most amount of colour services. Each colour receives a ticket and the tickets accumulate over the year. Obviously this isn’t achievable for all salons but it’s good to think outside the box when it comes to rewards.


Appraisals are a brilliant way to ensure stylists feel they are part of the business and recognised for their contribution, a notable way to outline areas for improvement but an even greater way to acknowledge success.  I’ve always believed in checking in daily with each member of the team for an overview and then booking weekly catch ups with each stylist regarding their targets to help motivate and keep everyone focused.  It’s important to invest in annual appraisals and to make sure an appraisal form is circulated with each stylist at least a week before the appraisal date giving them time to recognise their achievements, areas of improvement and to prepare. 

Diarise these appraisals to make sure each stylist is given time to discuss their goals and ambitions and how they are going to achieve them.  I know it’s hard to take time out of the business however appraisals are proven to ensure your team feel valued and in turn will reward the business. 


Appraisals should also include an education focus to agree what further training each stylist needs to do their job best and achieve more success. Training should never be used randomly but should have a focused objective and action for example if a stylist is nervous of Balayage then this is the training they need to attend. The Headmasters London Academy offers a host of one day inspirational hairdressing courses for all levels of stylists. 

Brining your team together to celebrate success is imperative from a celebratory dinner, a mini conference or an away day will all encourage teams to be engaged with the business and feel part of the brand. 

The annual Headmasters Awards, which have been running for nearly 20 years, is a glittering event with a celebrity host and is attended by over 1000 of the Headmasters team. It includes a high-octane hair show by the Headmasters Creative Ambassadors and Artistic Team as well as seven Business and five Photographic Awards. This has always been an important date to the business to really acknowledge all of the teams hard work but also an opportunity for all the salons to come together and celebrate.  No matter how large or small your team are coming together and recognise everyone’s input is key to business success. 

Also, at Headmasters we recognise elite stylists in our network with a bonus related A List & Honour achievers programme, who throughout the year achieve outstanding targets. Set up your own version of your elite club and reward them with something they aspire to but that also suits your business.

I hope this strategy to recognising your Stylist success has helped you to look reflectively at your business and decide on actions that will help you to push forward in this new decade.

Here’s to a successful 2020!