Every salon, spa or clinic owner would agree that one of the most important things for a successful business is having a great team. Whether it consists of two or 20 people doesn’t matter, finding qualified staff – and more importantly – people with a great work ethic and positive attitude is no small feed.
So once you’ve done the impossible and curated a team that works like a well-oiled machine (congratulations!), you may feel tempted to shift your focus onto other things, thinking your team’s doing well as is, but it’s all downhill from there.
As a manager, having a constant two-way conversation with your team is crucial for the development of a business. Remember, you hired them for a reason. You thought they were the right fit for your salon/spa/clinic, so naturally, you need to be open to their feedback and ideas.
Even if everything seems to be going well, that doesn’t mean things can’t change quickly. Have an open-door policy for you staff, or even better, schedule a specific time every week for feedback meetings.
Chances are your staff know better than you what works and what doesn’t as they’re the ones facing patients, performing treatments, or administrating. If they come to you with ideas, it’s a sign they care about their job, the brand, and everything it stands for. If they want to improve it, it’s not a critique of the way things are done at the moment, it’s motivation personified.
According to leadership expert Steve Keating, “sometimes we ‘lead’ by letting the people we lead teach us. Sometimes we lead by simply listening to our people. We always lead by demonstrating that we value the people we lead.”
Of course this doesn’t mean you have to implement each and every idea thrown at you. It’s important to let your staff know when they’re wrong, but doing it respectfully and explaining why will have a much better outcome than shutting the door. At the same time, when your staff come up with a great idea, let them (and the rest of the team) know their input is appreciated and has helped everyone. This, in turn, will motivate and form a bond with the team member that results in increased loyalty.
If the opposite happens and your team know you don’t want to hear their ideas, they will disengage, and most likely look for other opportunities to grow and be heard.
Communication is key – always. But instead of doing the talking, make sure you learn to listen just as well.