10 Ways Every Salon/Spa Employee Can Start Stepping Up

May 2, 2016 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

You see a client in the retail area that needs help

…but “it’s not my job to help.”

The lone guest-services staff is slammed with the phone ringing, clients needing to checkout and clients waiting to check in. You know how to check clients in … but you walk away.

There’s a pile of dirty towels that need to get washed … but “someone else will do it.”

You use a coffee mug, leave it in the sink and walk away … when the dish soap and sponge are right there. You didn’t have 15 seconds to clean your own coffee mug? Who was going to clean that for you? Your mom?

The trash can is visibly full … but you jam your handful of trash in and walk away. How much effort does it take to empty a trash can?

You have fifteen minutes before your next appointment and you’re asked to rinse out a color. You reply with, “I don’t have time.”

It’s the end of the day, you finish your last client, gather your belongings and just leave … knowing the salon is a mess and needs to be cleaned, prepped and pristine for the following morning.

You’re given an hour for every haircut and style. You’re supposed to do a pre-book and product recommendation before sending a client to checkout. Your usual excuse sounds like, “I don’t have time.” Really?

Your performance review is coming up and you’re expecting a raise.

I could write endless examples of what failing to step up and take ownership looks like. Stepping up is about being responsible and taking personal ownership for your own success and the success of the team you are part of. Stepping up is not that hard to do.

Here are the TEN essentials every employee needs to know about stepping up:

  1. Avoid the “getting nowhere” room: The break room is not a launch pad for a successful career. People that hang out in the break room are getting nowhere. They’re not creating extraordinary client experiences. They’re not showcasing their skills. They’re not contributing to the team goals. They’re not getting better at their chosen profession. The break room is truly a getting nowhere room. The action and the career opportunities are where the clients are.
  2. If you see it … own it: Approach a client that needs help with a smile and a handshake. Pick up that piece of paper on the floor. If you see dust, clean it. Sweep the floor if it needs sweeping. Empty that overflowing trash can. Clean up after yourself. Change the dead lightbulb. Put a new roll of toilet paper on the holder (over the top please). You’re not being a maintenance person … you’re simply taking ownership because anything that detracts from the salon/spa’s brand detracts from you too.
  3. Always give 100 percent of your 100 percent: Why choose to give 70 or 80 percent when you have 100 percent to give? Dialing back the level of effort you’re capable of giving is dialing back your growth opportunities and success. Slackers are always huddled around the bottom of the success ladder looking up and whining. Doers are actively climbing the ladder. Doers stand out and get recognized. Doers keep climbing … even when it hurts. Be a doer.
  4. Own your critical numbers: Critical numbers, like productivity rate, pre-book rate, first-time client retention rate (returning to you or another team member), retail recommendation rate and more are measurements of your personal effort and performance. You cannot achieve impressive critical numbers without an unwavering commitment to delivering, not only your best work … but the best customer service. If some of your critical numbers need improving, take ownership in the improvement process. Ask for some coaching and skill development. Find a master to mentor you. Nothing changes if you don’t take action. Employees that are hungry to learn and grow are the ones that get noticed and advance.
  5. Help when help is needed: If you see a teammate running behind, step in and help. If the front desk is slammed, step in and help. If the salon/spa is shorthanded, step in and help. If a big product order is delivered, step in and help organize it. If there’s a special project that needs some help, step in and help. There are plenty of employees that run and hide when they see that help is needed. Be the one that steps up. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.
  6. Professionalism in all you do: So many give lip service to this concept the industry calls “professionalism.” What you say and how you say it has as much to do with being “professional” as does your talent and skill level. We all know the stories of trash talk, arguing over “who gets the credit,” and inappropriate comments easily overheard by clients. We all know stories of rudeness, indifference and egotism. Professionalism is a chosen and disciplined form of thinking and behavior. Never compromise your professionalism by choosing to be something less.
  7. Success has a look: We are in the customer service business that specializes in making clients look and feel their absolute best. Dressing for success means no flip-flops, t-shirts and butt cracks. The business you work for has a brand … and hopefully … that brand is supported by a dress code. So why is it that so many employees feel it’s okay to routinely test the dress code? Business isn’t high school. Business is serious. Brands, reputations and careers are on the line … including yours. Arrive at work dressed for work … and in code. That’s what career-minded professionals do.
  8. Client comes first: It’s a pretty simple concept in the salon/spa industry … it’s all about the client. No matter what your price point, clients have expectations and needs. You’re the trained professional. It’s not about your schedule. It’s not about your problems, your dogs, your kids … or your issues with the owner or a fellow employee. When a client is in your care – really care. Really listen. Really advise and recommend what you feel will benefit the client most. Stepping up means leaving your personal life and issues at the door and being present to deliver your best to each and every client.
  9. Be on time: Late is late. Late is disrespectful to both clients and your fellow teammates. Late is “all about me.” Late creates unnecessary stress for the guest services staff. Some late people take pride in their lateness and brush it off as a personal trait. That’s a crock of poop. If you’ve been reprimanded and warned about being late … and still show up late … then just be honest with your employer, teammates and clients and tell them you just don’t care enough and choose to be disrespectful. When repeated warnings fail, I coach leaders to simply and calmly say the following, “Next time you’re late … you can be a client.”
  10. Being the best takes work: This is a skill-based industry. Styles change. Techniques change. Products get better. Customer service systems relentlessly improve. The success bar is perpetually rising and it’s your choice to continue to stretch and grow. The skills that got you this far may not take you any further. If you’re content with your current level of success, stop complaining and step aside because others around you are not so content. I listen to all the talk about generational differences … and still the opportunities and successes go to those willing to work for it. If you’re willing to work for the success you desire … let it show in all that you do.

Here’s my challenge for you: Success is not an entitlement. Coach your employees to step up and take ownership for their own success by living the ten steps I presented here. They may seem simple and obvious to you. If they are, why are the behaviors addressed in these ten steps present in mass quantity? As always, owners and leaders must step up and take ownership first.

Incubator Seminar for Salons, Spas and Medspas June 2016

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Categories: Business Builders , Leadership , Monday Morning Wake-Up , No-Compromise Leadership , Teamwork

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