The Great Resignation is a phrase that’s been tossed around a lot over the past year. Over 4.5 million people have left their jobs in search of broader horizons. Without a positive and supportive company culture, your salon and spa employees could be next.
The good news is the beauty and wellness industry is experiencing explosive growth right now, with an estimated global worth of more than $1.5 trillion! This is fantastic for business owners, but it also means the space is becoming increasingly crowded. Top beauty and wellness professionals tend to be focused on growth, which means if you aren’t providing an environment that gets them excited about their potential with you, you risk losing them.
In this post, we share the top reasons why building an outstanding company culture should be at the top of your to-do list this year and some actions you can take right away to make your salon or spa the best place to work.
Top 3 Reasons to Prioritize Company Culture in 2022
1. It impacts your salon or spa’s bottom line
Let’s face it - hiring and training fresh staff on a regular basis is expensive and time-consuming. While not every provider requires the same level of training, there are real costs associated with hiring new staff. They vary depending on factors like:
- Advertising, recruiting, and interviewing new employees
- Onboarding and training new staff (and production hours lost as a result)
- A higher risk of mistakes and slipups as less experienced staff learn the ropes
It isn’t just hiring and training. If top providers leave, your guests might follow. US businesses lose $136.8 billion each year due to consumer switching, and it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Going out of your way to ensure a positive workplace is a small price to pay to keep more guests in your chairs.
Creating a positive salon culture pays off in other ways too.
Research shows that engaged teams enjoy a 22 % increase in profitability.
When your team has the chance to familiarize themselves with guests’ wants and needs, they can upsell services like your latest facial treatment, or prompt guests to purchase products that work with their skincare routine. High turnover reduces these opportunities, since new staff must relearn a guest’s preferences at each appointment.
If you don’t provide a positive company culture that includes clear goals, opportunities for growth, and meaningful work, top-performing providers will likely head for the door – or worse – find employment with a competitor. This often results in a number of their loyal guests following them, so ensure you’re creating a strong company culture at your salon or spa that retains the best of the best and keeps your guests coming back to your brand.
2. It affects your guest experience
Imagine two scenarios. In one, you walk into a salon and see happy, smiling team members with infectious energy and enthusiasm. In another, you enter to find the front desk employee is in a bad mood, and a stylist is on her phone and doesn't seem the least bit interested in the guests. Which salon would you rather book a treatment at?
Today’s guests aren’t naïve. They can easily pick up on your company culture and the overall vibe the instant they walk through the door. Even if they leave with a cut or style they love, they’re unlikely to rebook if they don’t enjoy their overall experience.
Happier beauty and wellness professionals equal better service. If you create a work environment that empowers your team and fulfils them, they’re more likely to spread that positive energy to their fellow team members and your guests.
In the beauty and wellness industry, the experience is in the details. Guests look forward to seeing their favorite stylist at their appointments. Especially within smaller salons or spas, some guests might have been seeing the same provider for months or even years. Providers have spent hours getting to know their guests and the details of their lives. Small added touches like asking about a guest’s promotion at work or their kid’s dance recital makes them feel important and keeps them coming back time and time again.
3. It boosts your productivity
Research shows that satisfied employees are 12 % more productive at work.
People excel when they’re happy and doing what they love. A thriving company culture isn’t just a mood booster; it’s good for business.
One of the top reasons salon staff quit their jobs is because of burnout. Ask yourself: do your employees seem tired or overworked? Do they feel they’re underpaid or underappreciated? If so, they probably won’t perform to their fullest potential.
The best way to foster a culture that boosts productivity is to make sure staff know their work matters. If everyone from your front desk staff to your cleaning staff feels like they are a valued part of a team, they’re more likely to invest in your business’s success.
Salon and spa staff can make or break your business. It’s your responsibility to cultivate an environment that maximizes productivity while prioritizing employee wellbeing. At the end of the day, your staff should want to see growth, both for themselves and the business. If they're showing up just to get a pay cheque each month, you have some work to do.
5 Tips for Improving Your Salon or Spa’s Company Culture
1. Inspire employees with a compelling “why”
What you do in your day to day is important, but not nearly as important as your “why.”
55% of younger Americans say that making a difference is essential for their career decisions.
If people believe in your business’s long-term vision, they’re more likely to stick around.
As beauty and wellness professionals, it’s likely that your team shares a common “why.” What gets your employees excited to come to work in the morning? Regularly encourage your team to share what drives them. You can even create a visual reminder, like a collage or vision board, to hang in your salon or spa and keep those reasons top of mind.
Beyond daily motivation, tap into how your business’s work fits into the wider community. Salon and spa owners can instill a deeper sense of purpose in their staff through philanthropic initiatives and community building. Check out the work of the Zenoti Foundation for some ideas!
2. Be real with your employees
Don’t be afraid to talk to your employees to find out what their biggest stressors are. They might feel like they’re working too many hours or aren’t earning enough to pay their bills. These conversations can be uncomfortable but show that you genuinely care about your providers and want them to succeed.
Ask your team members how you can best support them. You could try a flexible scheduling arrangement that gives stylists more family time. Or perhaps you start allowing double shifts and chair shares for providers who want to earn some extra cash. These small accommodations can be the difference between someone staying or leaving.
The best thing you can do for your beauty or wellness business is to create a culture that fosters collaboration and encourages camaraderie among employees and managers. Beauty and wellness businesses rely heavily on teamwork, and providers want to know that their managers and leaders have their back when they need it. Keep the lines of communication open and create a space where employees know they can come to you for help at any time.
3. Embrace transparency and set clear expectations
One of the best ways to create an outstanding company culture is to ensure that providers understand what they’re earning and why.
Be open about your finances and explain to your providers how your business is run. No provider gets to keep all the money they make. Salon and spa owners must factor in expenses like taxes, bills, rent, liability insurance, service fees, and much more. The more straight up you are about these things, the more employees will understand the value of your business.
Pay checks should never be a surprise to your employees. With the right salon software, you can make it easy for employees to view their earnings and commissions each month. If service fees make it difficult for providers to know exactly how much they’ll earn each month, make it clear and as simple as possible. Take it one step further by eliminating service fees on their behalf. It’s a small gesture that goes a long way in building a culture that people won’t want to leave.
A software like Zenoti makes transparency a breeze. It empowers employees to self-manage so they know where their production and commission stand, where they’re succeeding, and where they can improve.
4. Find opportunities to recognize and celebrate your staff
The number one reason staff leave a salon nowadays is a lack of connection. Additionally, 66% of employees say they are unlikely to stay at their job if they feel unappreciated. That means if your providers feel undervalued, you run the risk of losing them.
Beauty and wellness providers work in the industry because they care about making people feel good and love the art of beauty and excellence. They want to know they’ve succeeded and that they’re talented at their skill or craft. Go out of your way to compliment a team member at your next team huddle, pass along positive guest feedback, or post a shoutout on social media. Keep your praise plentiful, and make sure the words, “thank you” are commonly heard around your salon or spa.
Recognition doesn’t always have to be tied to major achievements either. It can be as simple as recognizing special things about each team member. Ask about the little things going on in their lives, like graduations or how their latest vacation was. These small signs of goodwill show you care about your team beyond their professional lives.
5. Invest in your people
One of the main drivers of the Great Resignation is that employees are no longer willing to put up with the pay or working conditions they did pre-pandemic. If your providers feel they aren’t being compensated fairly, they won’t last.
Investing in your team also means providing a salon culture that fosters growth. Access to training is known to increase engagement and retention - 70% of employees are “somewhat likely” to move to a company that invests in their development, while 87% of millennials view learning and development as an important part of the workplace.
Think back to the managers you’ve had over your working life. Do you remember the ones who merely greeted you at the door and handed you a pay cheque each month, or the ones who went above and beyond to help cultivate your career? From continuing education like workshops or courses for your salon, to a company mentorship program where top providers share advice with junior stylists, keep an eye out for opportunities to create connections and support growth.
Beauty and wellness professionals value culture more than ever amidst the uncertainty in today’s world. By putting in the extra effort to make your salon or spa a wonderful place to work, you’re not only creating a more pleasant work environment, you’re guaranteeing a healthier bottom line for your business.
A winning company culture doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of time and effort to build and requires consistent work. But ultimately, it’s worth it to build a stronger, more motivated team which leads to a top-notch experience for your guests.