3 steps to maintain a productive and happy salon team during COVID-19
For hair and beauty business owners, COVID-19 and the smorgasbord of ever-changing government regulations that follow it have turned the industry into a mere shadow of what it once was. No more care-free walk-in clients or lively chit-chat in the waiting area, and services are often expedited in order to make time for station disinfection – we’re not even going to touch upon the topic of face coverings. And in the middle of this muddle are your staff. Although they claim to be holding up, they’re more than likely burned out, distressed and both physically and mentally fatigued – and that will impact their work performance. So, what can you do to keep your team content and productive during these difficult times? Here are the only three steps you need.
Obviously, sending a text like, “Hi, can you come in at 10? See you 😊!” isn’t what we had in mind. You ought to strive for improving communications on the individual level. Although you’re the captain of the ship, you still need to care for your crew – after all, they take your business from point A to point B. Consider hosting weekly salon meetings, during which you:
- discuss goals – a team without clear goals can easily become side-tracked and productivity can hit rock bottom. By setting KPIs (key performance indicators), your staff will be able to track their work progress more easily, helping them to maintain a high level of productivity.
- praise good work – if an employee has done exceptionally well throughout a given week, their work should be praised. Not only is this an effective morale booster for the employee, but also gives other staff members a good example to follow. Note that praise should be given only to employees who have earned it – commending a staff member because you have tea with them after work is biased and can actually discourage the rest of the team.
Team meetings give staff a feeling of belonging and a sense of security, knowing that you’re there to hear everyone out. However, you should also speak to each employee individually, especially if you notice they’re falling behind in assigned duties or are feeling distressed about working during COVID-19. By doing so, you let them know that you’re there for them and that they truly matter to the team. You can do so by sending a text or email to the employee, asking how they’re feeling and if they have any concerns or personal problems they’d like to share with you. Although an employee might be all smiles at work, they might be struggling internally. When you reach out to them, you give them the support they need to get back on their feet and be more productive at work – these are the benefits of effective teamwork in a salon.
Tip: if an employee is suffering from severe anxiety, depression or experience suicidal thoughts, have them speak to a professional, or contact your local helpline.
Another effective way to kickstart your team’s productivity and simultaneously put a smile on their faces is by introducing the right incentive. The most common incentives come in the form of commissions and contests, which you can customise to fit your business model accordingly. Here are some ideas we came up with:
- commissions – sales commissions are widely used in the hair and beauty industry, however, you can spice them up by putting higher commissions on less popular items on your menu and adding an expiration date to the campaign. Staff will not only help to clear your shelves, they’ll be more productive in doing so in order to take advantage of this incentive. You can easily track, create and manage commissions using Versum’s commissions report feature.
- contests – reward staff who sell the most treatments and products, make the most profit and score the most positive reviews on your online booking page. By introducing a contest, your team focuses on the prize and remains productive at work in order to win it. Temping prizes can include anything from a treatment or product package at the salon, to a shopping voucher and even a financial reward. Just like with tracking commissions, Versum salon software also includes staff sales reports, salon staff work time reports and much more.
It’s important to note that although introducing a fun and lighthearted contest might sound like a great idea to lighten the mood and get the current social situation off of your team’s mind, it can backfire. If your staff are distraught about COVID-19, or are not in the mood for such festivities, implementing fun contests might actually alienate them from you. Before doing so, it is essential that you speak with your team and get their opinions on this.
A less stressful work environment
It’s impossible to create a completely stress-free workplace, however, there are ways to substantially reduce it. Less stress means better work productivity and a more relaxed team. It is essential to recognise the main factors that cause stress for your team while working under COVID-19 restrictions. Anything from being overworked to getting sick, fearing job loss and acute claustrophobia from wearing facial coverings are enough to diminish your team’s morale, thus consequently affecting their work output.
To help prevent work-related stress caused by these factors, you should consider:
- creating a break area – break areas are ideal for helping staff to blow off steam during a stressful workday. If there’s no room on your premises for this kind of area, encourage staff to take a break outside.
- encouraging breaks – in order to prevent workplace burnout, your staff ought to take a short break after treatments that go on for an hour or more. During this time, they should remove their face coverings and catch a few breaths of fresh air, which also makes working in them more tolerable.
- healthy snacking – treat your staff to healthy snacks during their breaks. Dark chocolate, fruit smoothies or whole fruits will help keep them focused, and this kind gesture will cheer them up!
- lenient working hours – having to clean and disinfect work stations before and after each client and working in face coverings for hours at a time can significantly wear down your team – even if they’re taking breaks. If you notice that an employee is underperforming due to burnout, consider letting them off early, in order to avoid wearing them out completely. By the time they return, they’ll be ready to work with a smile!
Most importantly, the best way to maintain a happy and productive salon team is by showing them that they matter to you and that you’re there for them. Working in the salon with the constant threat of COVID-19 looming over the business and government restrictions preventing you from operating normally will significantly impact your team’s work output and contentedness, but you can still do something about it. Be there for your team and reward them appropriately with Versum. Your free account is just below – what are you waiting for? Grab yours today!