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  • SKINtuition: 15 Ways to Build a Championship Team

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    A good job is hard to find, but every business owner or spa manager knows a good employee is even harder to keep. Great business leaders have many characteristics, but one thread that weaves among the best is their ability to foster culture and talent so staff (and clients alike) look forward to coming to work.

    In the spa world, owners are often also operators that still personally service clients in addition to managing a team, and this creates a challenge. By 7 p.m., energy is depleted to “empty husk” level, and there’s no patience for staff squabbles, training needs or a clogged dermabrasion machine.

    Contrary to belief, a fat paycheck is not the sole root to motivation. To build a championship team it takes effort, creativity and most of all, praise. If you are feeling a bit of a “husk” yourself and recognize that staff morale needs a boost, give a few of these a try.

    1. Be transparent about the numbers.

    Ensure you have ongoing open communication about the business, the good and the bad. Share these in monthly and weekly meetings. It helps the team understand spending, the meaning behind tasks and encourages ownership, accountability and commitment.

    2. Set goals and targets.

    Champions need goals with clear expectations for results to be achieved. Everyone needs to know their daily, weekly and monthly goals, and attention needs to be given to this on a daily basis. There’s nothing worse than an individual missing a goal by a leg wax or sale of one cleanser. As a manager or owner, it is your duty to help them reach these goals, which starts with them knowing what they are.

    3. Recognize a job well done.

    Have “shout outs” at team meetings, and compliment a team member when you witness outstanding customer service, teamwork and/or skilled performance. Start a public recognition program like employee of the month, share on your social media pages and physically hang a picture of the team member in your business for clients to celebrate them too.

    4. Encourage attendance to education.

    New modalities and ingredients get introduced into our industry daily along with skin scientific discoveries. Support your staff and encourage their progress and achievements. Get them to share new skills or relevant information with your other team members on their return. Champions aren’t created without training.

    5. Support new ideas.

    When staff members voice an idea or a solution to a problem they believe is for the betterment of the business, it shows that they care. Supporting new ideas and giving an individual the chance to ‘run with it’ is motivating, whether or not it works out in the end.

    6. Empower decision making.

    The salon or spa should not crumble if you are gone for a day or week. If you have trained and empowered your staff to make decisions, let them take full ownership, let go of the reigns and let them roll.

    7. Don’t let boredom sneak in.

    Keep it fun with planned outings and group activities. Host a best smoothie recipe taste-off, book an early spin class or arrange a group hike and picnic. Have someone suggest a team building activity quarterly.

    8. Give together and grow together.

    Have one day per quarter where you all volunteer for your chosen non-profit, be it a cut-a-thon, complimentary skin treatments and makeovers for a woman’s shelter. Giving feels good and goes a long way to boost empathy and team spirit.

    9. Hear from them.

    Have a different person each week run the meeting to break up the monotony. Have different team members update about different areas of the business like new client acquisition, social media engagement, retail figures and new products.

    10. Write to say thanks.

    Send a handwritten note or card for a job well done be it for client retention, delicate handling of a customer compliant or achieving a retail target for the first time.

    11. Treat them.

    Chocolate and good coffee are always a winner. Purchase a small surprise unique gift for an outstanding team member. Bring in homemade treats, or let them organize a potluck.

    12. Help them to prioritize.

    Learn to recognize burn-out and make sure your team knows it is part of the teamwork culture to ask for help.

    13. Celebrate.

    Celebrate important markers, be it team birthdays, hitting targets together, work anniversaries or milestones.

    14. Challenge.

    Whether it’s to spearhead a new project, social media campaign, new service promotion or event, give them the responsibility and guidelines to run with it.

    15. Encourage friendly competition.

    A competitive environment is a productive environment. Champs love to participate in competitions or challenges for increased camaraderie.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • Top Tips for Reaching Your Team Targets!

    The MacLeod Review of employee engagement proposed that the relationship between employees and employers should be placed at the center of business plans. Strengthening this relationship can have a multitude of benefits on the overall success of your business and can be the tipping point of whether you achieve set targets or not.

    One of the best ways to build a positive proactive relationship is through implementation of a rewards program into your business. Employees that work in businesses that have a reward program in place say they feel more valued (85%), are more loyal to the business they work in (65%) and get better results (60%).

    Tips for Implementing an Effective Rewards Program
    When introducing a reward program, be mindful of these few points:

    1. The program should have well-defined business objectives (increasing their retail sales or raising productivity or ability to up-sell or cross promote).
    2. Your rewards program needs to be meaningful and valuable to employees, and it must encourage better levels of performance. It should not put their targets beyond realistic reach.
    3. Employees need to be consulted so that the benefits of the rewards program can be effectively communicated and clearly understood by all those participating. One-on-one meetings tend to work best in this regard.
    4. All set targets need to be tracked on a daily basis and their results measured and reviewed regularly.

    It is important to choose a reward program that is customized to fit your team and business model. Take the time to get to know your team and what motivates them, and try different rewards until you can until you can formulate what works best for you.

    Here are a few basic examples of reward incentives that could work for your business:
    • Reward therapists for retail sales using a sliding scale for commission.
    • Reward entire team when monthly goals are achieved.
    • Reward highest re-booking rate.
    • Reward achievement of productivity goals.
    • Reward for therapist with the highest retail-to-service ratio.

    Remember that money is not the only reward that motivates people. Other options might include:

    • Product allocations
    • Time off
    • Tickets for a special event
    • Internal staff recognition program

    While rewards will incentivize some team members, others may simply need some additional training. We all know that knowledge equals growth and success, yet it always surprises me how few businesses in our industry actually invest in staff training. One the biggest reasons why someone is not good at retailing is because they have little to no knowledge about the product that they are retailing and therefore lack the single most magical ingredient when it comes to retailing – confidence! Investing in staff training is a sure fire way to boost confidence levels while providing the individual with the fundamental retailing skill set. It’s imperative that you partner with a company that has an ongoing training program that provides your team with a variety of workshops to help them refine or develop their individual retailing skill set.

    These workshops should be followed through with a specific action plan that has been set by management. The action plan should include specific, realistic retail targets and a customized reward incentive for achieving those targets.

    Ideas to help your team achieve their goals might include:
    • Use a strong retailer to coach someone who needs improving.
    • Have a product focus of the week/month and follow through with education at your team meeting.
    • Allow team members to try samples or testers of products. Therapists are more confident in recommending products they use and love themselves.
    • Make sure that your day-to-day management is positive. You’ll waste both money and time if you use negative reinforcement as your management style. There’s no substitute for daily contact with employees – asking how they’re doing, asking if you can help with any problems and, most importantly, recognizing even small improvements.

    By implementing a few of the above-mentioned strategies, you’ll find that success is easier than you may have initially perceived.

    Wishing you a successful and prosperous new year!