It’s no secret that the spa and beauty industry is bursting with passionate individuals who remain dedicated, hard-working and focused and yet we are suffering widespread staffing challenges like never before.
Perplexed by this dichotomy, Vanessa Main of The Loft Studio embarked on a collaboration with performance specialist Meg Salter, owner of Auridian Training and Consulting, to understand the problem.
Meg and Vanessa have been helping business owners build and lead profitable operations for over 20 years and they believe there should only be two main focuses: attracting and retaining customers, and attracting and retaining good staff to take care of them.
Both are just as important as the other in terms of sustainability and profitability.
If the manager is the brains behind the venture, the staff represent the heart and soul of a business, and the customers the life-blood.
To keep the blood circulating, the heart needs to be healthy, but the heart can’t remain vital unless there is blood pumping through it.
At the end of the day, you need quality staff to be attracting enough of the right type of customer in order to turn a consistent profit.
Most business owners are investing tremendous effort and money into attracting customers to their business, however they are not throwing as much energy and enthusiasm into developing strategies to retain and develop their people.
As a result, the financial cost of ongoing recruitment and training campaigns is enormous for small businesses.
There are five questions that you need to be able to answer YES to:
- Do your employees recommend your business as a great place to work?
- Do your staff members view the business as a place where they can build their careers and leave their mark?
- Do they feel like they are making a difference?
- Does a productive and genuine comraderie exist amongst the team?
- Do you enjoy leading the team you have created?
If the answer is NO to any of these questions and you would like to learn more, join Meg and Vanessa at their next THRIVE-360 workshop. (For dates and more information contact The Loft Studio).
As a taster of what you can expect to learn, Meg and Vanessa here provide some smart and simple strategies you can implement right now to help nurture your talent and grow your business:
BE CLEAR IN YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Rather than try to hire the person with the best resume who has been in the industry the longest and expect them to just slot right into your business, work out exactly what behaviours and values you are looking for in order to create the culture you desire.
What do you need your employees to do in order to delight your customers and keep them coming back for more?
Write a list and use it as your interview template. Always remember that even a talented and dedicated person will perform poorly if they are not certain what it is they should be doing.
Ensure you always employ people who can do what you need them to do, who want to do the job you are offering them, and who see this role as an opportunity to grow and develop.
If you don’t find the right person, struggle on until you do. Allowing a “bums on seats” hiring habit, even as a short term fix, makes it almost impossible to create a high performance culture.
MAKE IT MEANINGFUL
Simon Sinek states in his brilliant TED Talk that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and this is also true for employees.
People don’t connect over the “what” or the “how”, they engage with leaders and businesses who can proudly express their reasons for being, and who can articulate their heart-based purpose.
The clearer you are on your “why”, the easier it is to attract the right staff, build a strong team, keep everyone on the same page and deal with underperformance as it arises. The “why” is where humans connect – it is honest, it is authentic and it is worth working hard for.
BE REFRESHINGLY REAL
Often we think that being a “professional” means we have to act and dress in a particular way. However you can be quirky, you can be shy, you can be flawed and still be taken seriously in the business arena.
As a leader you need to let people in, be vulnerable and give staff a reason to bond with you.
Don’t be afraid to let your employees know that you are a real person running a team of regular and passionate people.
Let yourself be funny and conversational. Be refreshingly real with your recruitment approach, and let your personality shine through your brand in order to tell a story that attracts the talent you seek.
PS from Vanessa and Meg: Insight without action is worthless. The benefit of investing some time with us in the lead-up to the new financial year is likely to be an increase in both profit and sanity!