There are significant costs attached to losing an employee at your salon. If you lose a top performer, you’re also saying goodbye to their leadership, client and employee referrals, and the time you invested in training and promoting them.
Millennials are especially susceptible to job hopping. Gallup reports that 60 percent of those born between the years of 1980 and 1996 are open to new job opportunities. This is driving the average tenure (4.2 years) of employees down across the board, according to The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To keep your high-quality employees motivated, consider moving them into management roles where they can instill the same drive and ambition they bring to work in other employees. In addition, there are numerous other ways you can retain and invest in your best employees.
Provide On-the-Job Training
Talented employees want to continue to learn, whether it’s new salon techniques or management tips. A study published in the Global Journal of Management and Business found that continued training is one of the most impactful ways to retain top talent. Since a salon is different than a corporate environment, consider:
- Providing a stipend for job-related classes
- Bringing in a guest speaker or stylist to lead a demonstration
- Creating or cultivating a knowledge bank of resources you give employees access to, such as targeted webinars or podcasts
- Sponsoring a leadership-focused team-building retreat
Once you have identified the top talent at your salon, have conversations with those employees about what their career goals are, how those fit in with your business and what assistance you can provide to help them achieve their goals.
Create a Brand Ambassador Program
Get your top performers more invested in your salon by creating a brand ambassador program that rewards employees for advocating on behalf of your business. You can create contests that spotlight employees who complete actions such as:
- Signing up clients for a salon loyalty program
- Promoting the salon on their social media channels
- Bringing in new clients
- Garnering positive reviews online
The more you can spur your employees to promote the salon to their personal networks and expand their client bases, the more reason they have to stay at your salon and impress the new customers coming in. Offering cash prizes or time-off rewards can increase action that serves as powerful marketing for your brand.
Offer Flexibility Wherever Possible
Since top stylists are so valuable to your business, giving them more freedom and flexibility in how they work can help them do their jobs better. From picking their work schedules to deciding how much they charge, you should accommodate their needs and help them maintain a better work-life balance.
A study by FlexJobs found a flexible work schedule is one of the most important qualities an employer can provide. In the case of your salon, allowing top stylists to work when they want can actually provide more benefits to you. Their best clients will still be coming to your salon, and your employees will be happier when they can spend time away from work attending to family and personal obligations without stress.
It is beneficial to let your top talent determine how much to charge clients. If your stylists had a successful customer base at a previous job, they’ll want to keep charging their loyal clients the same price. Give your best employees permission in your point-of-sale system to charge customers what they deem appropriate. The offering provided by QuickBooks Point of Sale, has customization features that help your salon and best stylists work optimally.
Invest in the Relationship
Your employees want to know that you care about them. Gallup reports some of the most important things a manager can do for employees include setting clear expectations, offering quality feedback regularly, identifying strengths of employees and giving employees an opportunity to use those strengths.
Employees also want to know they’re valued in monetary rewards. Common reasons they might ask for or expect an annual raise include:
- Increased responsibilities
- Compensation compared to peers
Top talent may be prime to be recruited by other salons offering more money. If you offer a yearly wage increase, even at a small percentage, that’s something your best employees can look forward to and that motivates them to stick around. You could base an annual pay increase on the fulfilment of certain duties, so employees know exactly what is expected of them and are motivated to perform so that they can achieve their wage raise.
As a salon owner, it’s your responsibility to strive to provide exemplary communication. Manage your employees assertively but empathetically. Learn your employees’ passions and invest in their professional development. By working to foster genuine and powerful relationships with those you work with, you can start to turn every employee into top talent at your salon.