I believe every Work Team is a self-portrait of the person who leads it. Here is a snapshot of my experience and advice on Leadership.
Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy Salon Leaders typically have industry experience, and industry knowledge. The best leaders have the additional skills of both foresight and insight. This allows them to see the future trends and events as they draw upon their vast well of subject matter. Seeing future trends allows them to ensure the salon will be organised to make change and growth happen. As Leaders in 2016/2017 we know ‘to make it happen, you need some action’.
Salon Leaders need to know what it will take to affect change in the business in terms of organisation, people, process and the financial input required to get a result. In our current market the Leader knows that resources are finite so to affect change, priorities have to be listed and acted upon. Changes may often be adamantly opposed at the time yet when the leader leads from the front and make sacrifices, this is evidence to staff and clients that they are ‘walking the talk’ and that’s when others follow!
Model your 2016/2017 Leadership ability on the following 4 Successful Strategies
- Learn to be aware. Develop the need to read and become more aware of the culture in your salon. Take the time to ‘be the receptionist ;a half day a week’ as staff and clients enjoy the presence of a good leader. Attend the Business Network Groups locally, talk and learn from your accountant and avoid just filing that data and get to understand the ‘figures’ so you can test and measure all that moves in your salon – clients, retail, services ,stock turn-over, staff, in-coming phone calls and yourself! Test and measure yourself with a business coach or mentor or product supplier; even if it is only three times a year. This will hone your leadership skills as you personally learn to be accountable for your salon’s culture of success.
- Always be an example and be visible, be conspicuous, be present at staff meetings – you are the salon Leader and what you do the business will do. Unfortunately there is no escape from this accountability when you are the Leader. This leadership role is more demanding and ,at times, tiring during challenging economic times yet your role as Leader remains crucial to your success.
You set the behaviour of the business in your salon. Lift your professionalism and join, you and your entire team, with the H.I.T.O – Your Industry Association and the New Zealand Association of Registered Beauty Therapists for your Beauty Therapy staff members. Now all wear your logo/badges every day to work on your uniforms. This is a truly visible, professional difference that you can do, today, to set an example that your team, your clientele and your suppliers can see. The leader is that person ! The leader is the one who the managers, the senior and new apprentices and graduate beauty therapists and all other staff follow.
- The leader must know themselves as a person.
Be the person that you truly are. Be grounded, be compassionate, be understanding and live your values. Ask for and accept only the best on the day and be respected for having standards and make your decisions focussed on honesty, integrity and dignity.
- Execute to make a difference.
The leader must focus on the major business themes – the important issues in the salon – and have the day to day operational processes managed by another team member.
Inspiring Leadership must ensure that you keep your entire team informed and let them know they are appreciated.
The Leader must engage all of the team –The leader is aware and accepting of the differing personalities in the group ; acknowledge that the team members are all different. Spend time with each individual, if your staffing numbers allow, and establish what their motivational drivers are. Is it performance based rewards? Work-life balance? Opportunity to learn and grow in the hairdressing and beauty therapy industry? Collaborative and positive team relationships or the purpose that your salon embraces as it works towards making a real difference in the community?
The above ‘leadership in action’ skills will allow you to grow into a strong leader in your salon.
To execute to make a difference in this decade, you must acquire this good will. You acquire it by embracing the above strategic steps and in so doing you are helping and enabling your staff and colleagues, customers, suppliers and business neighbours to be successful!
Now here is your Check –List for the beginning of your year 2017
- Select the right people in the first place through behaviour-based testing and competency screening. The right person, in the right seat, on the right bus is the starting point.
- Do hire people with the innate talent, ability, and smarts to work in almost any position even if you don’t currently have the “best” match available. Hire the smartest people you can find.
- Offer an attractive, competitive, comprehensive benefits package with components such as life insurance, and flexible hours. One of my staff just loves our “Social Club” activities and another says it is the “ two mandatory post graduate trainings” that are to be completed every year.
- Provide opportunities for people to share their knowledge on-the-job via training sessions, presentations at staff meetings, mentoring others and team assignments. Team members like to share what they know; the act of teaching others ensures the employee’s own learning.
- Demonstrate respect for employees at all times. Listen to them carefully; use their ideas but acknowledge them ; never ridicule or shame them. Via your own business communication channels, share that you value them.
- Offer performance feedback and praise good efforts and results to reduce employee turnover. A simple star chart in the staff room works !
- People want to enjoy their work. Make work fun. Engage and employ the special talents of each individual. Invite a guest speaker to your staff meeting for a 20 minute “pizzazz” to lighten the mood.
- Involve your team in decisions that affect their jobs and the overall direction of the company whenever possible. Involve them in the discussion about company vision, mission, values, and goals. This strategic framework will never “live” for them or become “owned” by them if they merely see it hanging on the wall.
- Recognize excellent performance, and especially, link pay to performance to reduce employee turnover. Your key team members are motivated when their above-average efforts are recognized and rewarded.
- Recognize and celebrate success. Mark their passage as important goals are achieved. I celebrate the “Business Birthday “with each team member; the day they started as a team member. Celebrate and create traditions- Annual “Dress to Impress” dinner with their partners and a simple Picnic at the Park with all the family ! .Also encourage your team to have good, even best, friends, at work.
- And don’t wear them out! Be aware of burn –out ! Have the correct staffing ratios for the work burden.
- Provide opportunities within the company for cross-training and career progression. People like to know that they have room for career movement. This is a serious deterrent to employee turnover.
- Provide the opportunity for career and personal growth through training and education, challenging assignments and more responsibility. Do delegate! What a delicious action!
The Leader that makes a difference and is successful will need to embrace this new stewardship role of ‘what can I do for you, as my team member , to enable you to be successful?’
And as you begin, or continue, on your leadership journey please embrace Jim Rohn’s statement:
“Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.”