In talking with a salon owner the other day, one thing became very clear: we need to establish the minimum requirements we expect of our employees before we even open the doors. It is up to the salon owner to decide what is acceptable not only in behavior, but in performance.  Please notice the wording; minimum requirements, not targets or goals.

The Importance of Guidance and Boundaries

No matter what our position is within the business structure, it is when we know our boundaries that we can explore the options that are available to us. It is when we know how to guide and train our staff to grow within those boundaries that we can create a smooth and cohesive group.

By establishing accountability we also establish consequences. Why do we have to be so explicit? Because we can’t leave room for the wrong interpretation!

Your job descriptions or stylist tier descriptions should include the minimum requirements that you, as an owner, expect from your employees.  For example:

  • set a daily requirement on how many retail products you expect your stylists to present to clients for their at-home care (do you like how we got out of saying, “selling retail”?)
  • establish the minimum requirements for your services: how many dollars should a stylist generate either per hour or per day.
  • have a minimum requirement on the percentage of clients who are re-booked.

Our staff need to know what the result will be if they don’t meet the necessary minimum requirement.  We often have salon owners tell us that their staff doesn’t perform to expectations, but what can you do about it?

You do have options, but only if you have your expectations written within your systems.  For example, if someone falls below your minimum requirement for presenting products to clients for their take-home use, you can approach them and ask them what it is you need to do to help them with this issue.

How to Take Accountability

It is up to you to train and retrain your staff to increase their abilities to meet the expectations you have set out for them. If after training your staff several times and they still do not meet your minimum requirements, then you know they do not really belong in your business.  With established consequences for non-performance you and your staff know exactly where they stand.

It seems that everyone has become focused on what someone else can do for them rather than focusing on what they can do, and achieve for themselves. The only person responsible for getting you what you want in life is yourself; and that applies to your employees.  It is up to them to earn your regard and it is YOUR choice on whether to act on that regard.  Here are some tips on dealing with the me-me attitudes:

  • Call them on their attitude. If we let the behavior slide it only encourages the sense of entitlement. It is important to let your employees know what is acceptable and that their expectations are unreasonable. Start the conversation that gets them to explain the reason behind their demands so that you can eliminate the wrong ideas and clarify job requirements.
  • Set specific expectations. Be very clear on what is expected in their job description.  Make sure they understand that these are BUSINESS expectations.
  • Keep control of your emotions. Employees with an entitlement mentality are frustrating to deal with, no doubt. They can push your buttons and cause you to say something that you’ll later regret.
  • Remain positive.  Put a positive spin on work and your business. Let them know why your business is a good place to be and give them a chance to shape up rather than ship out.
  • Get employees to take ownership of their actions. Rather than let them tell you what THEY want, ask them what the salon is entitled to from them. If they are complaining about an issue, get them to find solutions.
  • Document bad behavior. Keep track of your staff`s actions, particularly when there is something of which you disapprove.

Remember, this is YOUR salon business. As an owner it is up to us to foment change in attitudes.  Keep a detailed picture of what your vision is and continually communicate this vision with your staff.  We can make a difference in our employees’ actions and we can aid them in personal growth.