The number one problem in most businesses is staff. Issues such as staff motivation, staff loyalty, punctuation, respect and customer service as well as filling their own columns are the headache of many a salon owner across the world.
Staff management itself is complex but the key points employees should be engaged in are:
· Responsibility of their own columns and salon housekeeping
· Giving exceptional customer service
· Selling retail
· Being punctual and attend work regularly
The above points you presume are ingrained into the habits of every human being, that is, until you start employing staff. Then you realise staff can be lazy, lack responsibility for breakages or cleaning, turn up late or call in sick often and suffer from empty columns, all while you work back to back and run your business on top of everything else.
Where does Ann Summers fall into all this you may think? 18 years ago, I had my first child. I wasn’t working, and I held an Ann Summers party for a few friends. While at the party the rep told me how great it was to work for Ann Summers, how much money I can earn and that I would be great for the job. So, I signed up! I worked for Ann Summers for over 3 years, moving up to team leader very quickly and made some good money. This was my first encounter with staff. I realised very quickly those that put in the effort did well, those that didn’t – failed!
Along my Ann Summers journey I learnt so much that at the time I never realised. The principle of party planning is incredibly successful. They have created a system that works and one that can be copied over into any business.
Why did I sign up to join Ann Summers? The first reason wasn’t actually money. I had a good partner, plenty of income and a comfortable lifestyle. However, I was a first-time mum and I was at home all day, so I joined because it sounded like great fun, I could leave the house, I had potential to earn lots of money the harder I worked, AND it was flexible!
What I learned from this later in life is that:
· Not all staff work for money. Yes of course, money is important, but many of your staff members may want more of out of their job.
· Flexibility is key! I loved the fact I didn’t have to work such strict hours. Giving some flexibility to your staff has been proven to motivate them to work harder.
· Fun is crucial! The happier the staff the more they become naturally motivated to be part of the team. My recruitment came about because of how much passion the Ann Summers Rep had for the job! Imagine that passion in your interview, do you radiate the love for your business that’s so infectious it carries on throughout the employee’s time at your salon. A fun workplace is a happy workplace, happy staff are loyal staff.
When you start your recruiting process do you offer a great place to work? Does your passion show through in interview? Have you told the potential employee exactly what you expect from them and what they will get in return? You as the company are also on interview, so what makes you a great company to work for?
Outlining your expectations at the start leaves no movement for laziness or issues during their employment with you. Doing a staff induction at the start and showing the staff member what is expected of them is equally important.
Ann Summers had a badge system and prize system that encouraged the team member to achieve certain goals. This would be hosting their first party, earning their first £500 in sales or recruiting a new member to the team. Many companies embrace a praise system to recognise achievements. Even something crazy as ringing a bell in the office when they made a sale etc. Whilst it sounds cheesy, it does work, and it will motivate your team!
I mentioned earlier that not everyone is motivated by money and this is certainly true. Ask anyone and whilst money is a key factor to attending work, recognition and praise will usually rank higher on their list. So, what can you do to recognise and encourage great behaviour?
Create little tasks and achievements that staff can hit to win little prizes. Some fun ideas might be:
· Treating their first client
· Achievement rewards for treating 100, 1000, 5,000, 10,000 clients etc.
· Hitting their first £500 of sales
· Hitting £5000, £10,000, £25,000 or £50,000 of sales
· Selling 10 retail items
· Going the extra mile for a client
· Getting their first review and then increments of 10, 50, 100 reviews there after
· Meeting 75% column bookings for 1 consecutive week, then 4 weeks, 12 weeks and so on.
· Other ideas might include:
- Having the highest sales of the month
- Highest numbers of rebooking’s in any month
- Selling the highest amount of a certain product or treatment
This keeps continuous staff engagement. Rewards should be given out at staff meetings and a fuss should be made. If you have a few team members, this works so well as a round of applause and them receiving a prize can create a snowball effect with other staff members to motivate themselves into action.
What prizes or incentives can you give away?
Anything simple works so well. Little trophies that they can leave in the salon to show their achievements or little badges to wear. Other ideas can include:
· Gift Vouchers
· Engraved tweezers or other work tools
· Spa days
· Training courses
· Personalised chocolate like from Thornton’s noting their achievement
· Lunch with the Salon Owner
· Engraved Fob Watch
· Retail Voucher for your Skincare products
· Personalised Tip Box
· Champagne or wine glasses (personalised)
· Personalised Keyring
· Professional Photoshoot
· Flowers or a plant
· Personalised or a posh writing pen
Set the prizes for each achievement and see how well your staff respond to hit bigger targets.
Throughout the year, run monthly competitions to shake things up and give staff new targets and prizes. Make it a tiered prize that means you have 1st, 2nd and 3rd place with an option for those to be in with a chance if they are weaker or newer team members. The idea is for your business to bring is as much profit as possible in any given month. Ideas could include:
· Sales of gift vouchers
· Sales of Mother’s Day/Valentine’s day or Christmas Gift packages
· Selling a particular item or line or retail items or retail kits
· Upselling an add-on to clients like an eye or lip treatment during a facial or even a brow wax
· Recommending and booking in clients for any new treatment launches
Prizes for this can be as simple as winning an Easter egg for every 5 Easter pamper packages sold or cinema tickets or a monthly cinema pass, retail gifts from your retail line, paid time off work, team pizza for all hitting a target, bowling vouchers or have a table of gifts at staff meetings that they can choose from. Always make sure you have a minimum overall target too, so for example, if you want to do an eyebrow wax competition as an upsell, then staff overall should sell 400 brow waxes overall for the prizes to be won individually. This prevents you from losing out on prizes if no-one hits their target.
Another idea could be setting prize tiers. For example:
· Sell 100 add-on brow waxes in (month) and win a £25 Voucher for Amazon
· Sell 150 add-on brow waxes in (month) and win a £40 voucher for Amazon
· Sell 200 add-on brow waxes in (month) and win a £60 voucher for Amazon
· Sell 250 add-on brow waxes in (month) and win a £100 voucher for Amazon
If a staff member treats an average of 50-60 clients a week then the higher tiers become more achievable. This tiered system allows all staff a chance to win (especially if you have stronger team members). If you have 5 team members each hit the 150-brow achievement is will cost you £200 in prizes however, you must look at what you achieved in sales extra for that month, which would be in excess of £3750 in revenue.
The idea is to make it fun! Give staff a monthly handout with who has hit certain achievements in a month and what the next month’s competition will be! Make the handouts colourful and easy to read and keep the competitions simple.
This system works for party planning companies across the world. It also works for regular businesses. Prizes do not need to be expensive as the idea is to praise the staff during meetings and for them to feel great winning. This feeling will be something they want to feel month in and month out and you will soon see your team become very motivated and competitive to win prizes.
Let me know how you get on!