In an industry where practitioners are so used to being Jacks of all trades, it’s incredibly easy for pre-defined roles to become blurred, and staff wearing too many hats at once can soon cause major problems. We’re all human, and things can easily slip through the cracks if staff begin to feel overwhelmed. This is particularly true, for example, in environments consisting of part-time employees that require role-sharing, in situations where a position needs filling and existing staff step up to cover the gaps, or as a result of a very small team – just to name a few scenarios.
Determining clearly defined roles and expectations can be a huge factor in ensuring your team’s happiness, as well as the smooth-running of your business. Blurred lines are a common problem for spas, salons and clinics (in fact, many small businesses in general) so what are some ways you can nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem?
Define the role from the get-go
When filling a position, ensure that the role is 100%, set in stone, clearly laid out in its description. This is not only crucial for sourcing the right candidate, but also helpful for you in terms of figuring out what you and your business need – seeing things in writing can often do wonders. Maybe you need multiple roles filling as opposed to one? Once you’ve defined the role, stick to it. Of course, some therapists will continue to learn and grow in their capabilities as they go, and if this is the case, list this growth as part of the job description and ensure you discuss this as part of the hiring process. Do they want to grow in their role? You need to know whether that person is happy to perform new treatments or duties as time goes on, as it’s not a given that they will.
Give your staff opportunities to say no
Keep in mind that it’s very difficult for staff to say no to their manager. Great team members will always want to seem willing, capable and enthusiastic, so whenever you’re delegating tasks that a team member didn’t initially sign up for; whether it’s treatments, social media, admin or otherwise, be frank in your discussions and let them know that it’s ok to tell you they aren’t confident in performing the duties you’re requesting.
Openly discuss gaps in the team
Whenever there is a position that needs filling, existing staff with generally be needed to step in and cover the workload. This can be a very difficult time for your team, particularly for managerial or receptionist staff. For example, if you’re a therapist short, you can simply decline further bookings that you can no longer fit in, whereas reception and administrative duties must all continue on as normal – which can clock up a lot of stress and overtime for those stepping up to help. Discuss these gaps openly with your team, delegate the workload evenly, assist where possible and do your best to iron out concerns while you fill the slot.
Don’t take advantage
Even if a member of your team happily signs on for an additional duty, never assume this also applies to other tasks. You don’t want to make your staff feel like you’re taking advantage of them, or they may soon be feeling like ‘where does it stop?’.