Employees are your most valuable commodity; they can make or break your business. An unhappy staff member or someone with a negative attitude doesn’t only “affect” your business but “infects” it and spreads the virus. On the contrary, employees that are valued and feel the passion for their work can spread the smile, creating a welcoming environment for your clients.
Communication is key to success. Involve your team in decision making and embrace their ideas and creativity. Set goals and targets together and make them realistic and achievable. Schedule regular meetings or huddles that are not to be cancelled unless an emergency occurs.
The most valuable lesson that I learned from my manager, was that mistakes are OK! This was revolutionary for me, as I am a perfectionist. Without mistakes there is no growth. If you create a safe environment, it allows your employees to be creative and provides a vehicle for empowerment. Support them to try something new, and affirm them. It may or may not work, but out of it comes a learning curve, and growth.
Lead by example. Be involved, participating, enjoying, but not controlling. Be approachable; be a mentor, rather than a boss – someone they can relate to and respect. Treat staff how you would like to be treated yourself.
Reward and recognize if your staff go above and beyond. This can be monetary, but find out what motivates the individual. Determine the value to the business. It could be a day of education, if targets are achieved, or a one hour skin or body treatment, a product, extra 2 hours off work, cake, chocolates, a team lunch/dinner, or even a designer handbag. I have been with the International Dermal Institute for 20 years and I was given a year’s supply of my favourite product to say thank you. As you can imagine I was absolutely thrilled and I felt really valued!
Plan an informal chat with your employees every 6- 8 weeks, but make notes on accomplishments, areas for development, where they are now, strategies for development, and support or training needed. This is not an assessment or a yearly personal review, it is valuable time together, and an opportunity to share and discuss the business, but it’s also useful to keep for reference as an action plan.
The business of skin is serious. But the best environment for staff and clients is one where they have freedom to smile, socialize, snack and chat.
British broadcaster and radio journalist John Tusa once said “Management that wants to change an institution, must first show it loves that institution.” Do you love your business enough to change?!
How to Motivate and Empower Your Employees
by Sharon Maxwell, UK