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In recent years, an increase in staff attrition has been one of the greatest challenges across the beauty and wellness industry. More businesses have placed a concerted focus on how they engage and retain their staff – the right strategies can improve both business results and staff satisfaction.

In our webinar Achieving greatness in 2023: Data insights and strategies to fuel business growth, two industry experts discussed the topic in detail: David Crisalli, former CEO of Massage Envy, the biggest employer of registered, licensed massage therapists in the world, and Sarah Simonelli, Director of Customer Success at Zenoti and former Director of Operations at luxury group Tricoci Salon & Spa.

Keep reading for key strategies to improve staff satisfaction at your business, or watch the webinar on demand to hear Dave and Sarah discuss.

“The guest is spending 95 percent of the time with a hairstylist, an aesthetician, a massage therapist, or a barber. If you really want to move the needle, then inspire, coach and, and teach them to create an incredible experience.”

– David Crisalli, Former CEO, Massage Envy

Strategy #1: Understand what motivates your team

Motivating providers to achieve excellence starts with a conversation. Where do they see themselves in one, three, or five years? What support do they need to get there?  

David suggests building a culture that recognizes each provider as a human being: Their individuality, their creativity, and how they think.  

“In any environment, it is challenging to win and keep customers. But I would say that it’s even harder to win and keep your team,” he says. “There are so many tensions pulling them away from businesses. Some within your control, many outside of your control.”

To retain a happy, motivated team, Crisalli advocates an empathetic approach to helping each provider ensure their personal and professional life can work in harmony. For example, a provider may find great emotional investment in a salon or spa that offers flexible scheduling around childcare commitments. He notes that every provider is different: Some prefer to work more, some less. Both are valuable, and all are unique: “This is human creativity. It's highly individualized and personalized.”

Understand what motivates your team

Strategy #2: Make each workday profitable and enjoyable

As a business owner or manager, you set the stage for your providers’ work. You likely supply the tools, facilities, and technology they use to apply their skills and serve their guests. Making the right choices in these areas can significantly impact their day, their commissions – and their stress levels.  

A flexible system for appointment management is the key to a smooth workday. Use a system that empowers providers to manage guests from their own smartphone or tablet. This kind of autonomy and convenience can be the difference between a great day and a frustrating one. Each provider should have access to appointment changes, quick rebookings, and invoice updates without needing to dash to the front desk.  

Sarah advocates showing providers you value their time by helping maximize utilization. Avoid schedule overlaps or dead time by giving providers the option to change individual guest appointment times – some customers may need a little more (or less) attention. Master your marketing and appointment tools to keep schedules full and earnings high.

Your appointment system should also give providers easy access to guest profiles. With service history and preferences at their fingertips, your talented staff can offer a more personalized guest experience – a necessary strategy to support higher tips, retail sales, and upselling opportunities. This customer information, coupled with relevant training, provides a solid foundation for higher commissions.

“Retail recommendations and selling skills aren’t necessarily taught in beauty school. Providing better insights in this area can give them the confidence to have those conversations with their guests.”

- Sarah Simonelli, Zenoti Director of Customer Success

Strategy #3: Help providers take charge of their own performance

“I remember a time in this industry when provider report cards were the way of measuring KPIs. Today’s generation all have their phone in their hands,” Sarah notes in the Achieving Greatness webinar. She suggests utilizing smartphones to share individual provider performance data. With real-time access to their daily results, providers are empowered to track and challenge themselves for growth.  

Whether it’s a stylist, a massage therapist, or an aesthetician, service providers stay engaged only when they know what they’re striving for. Not just paycheck to paycheck, but also their professional growth across days, weeks, and years. Help each provider set clear, realistic goals, and give them fingertip access to their own performance metrics – for example, their revenue, commissions, and guest ratings.  

Refer to industry benchmarks to show your providers how they compare to their peers, and to highlight the difference between average and exceptional performance. David emphasizes the importance of having that dialogue. ”Providers don’t want to be in the dark of how well they’re doing,” he says. “They don’t want to be surprised about the satisfaction of their guests – and one day the guest doesn’t show back up. Creating that dialogue about how you stack up against your peers is a really smart strategy for building a healthy culture.”

Get the right tools for staff satisfaction

Technology should play an integral part in creating a happy, high-performance workplace. The Zenoti all-in-one beauty and wellness platform helps you improve retention by making every aspect of staff management – and empowerment – effortless.  

Hear David and Sarah discuss the latest data and strategies for salon and spa success. Watch the webinar on demand.  

Find out how Zenoti can help your providers – and your entire business – thrive.


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Karin Moestam
Zenoti Copywriter
Karin has worked in the intersection between beauty, wellness, and technology for years. She loves helping brands succeed by sharing her knowledge about industry trends and best practices. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or enjoying nature alongside her giant dog.
Cullie Poseria
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fitness
Coming from a healthcare family, growing up as a competitive athlete, and being trained as a filmmaker, and MBA, Cullie brings diverse experience to her storytelling and digital business-to-business product marketing. Her writing focuses on sharing trends and insights from her experience in software, entertainment, wellness, and fitness.

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