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Flexibility: It’s Today’s Salon/Spa Hiring & Retaining Strategy

FACT: Flexibility is NOT a Compromise.

Damn near every business, in every industry, is struggling with hiring and employee retention.

If misery loves company — you are not alone.

The Hiring Challenge: We are experiencing the mother of all labor shortages and it’s not going away anytime soon.

  • You can blame it on the pandemic or unemployment benefits that pay workers to stay home — but playing the blame game doesn’t fix the problem.

  • The one bright spot is the federal unemployment benefits are set to expire on September 4th. But unemployment benefits are just one factor in this tight labor market.

The Employee Retention Challenge: The quest for work/life balance has been around a long time. The pandemic made it a serious mainstream hiring and retention factor.

  • Work/life balance does matter. It should matter. That’s why today’s salon/spa employees are attracted to work schedules that allow more time for family and non-work pursuits.

  • It’s one of the reasons booth rental and suites have exploded in recent years.

  • It’s not, and never was, just about the money.

Today, it’s all about flexibility. Owners of employee-based salons/spas fear losing employees to booth rental and suites.

Flexibility is the big enticement for rental and suites, but how much work schedule flexibility does an independent contractor really have? It’s always a tradeoff between time devoted to work and earning potential.

It’s the reality of work: Work more — earn more. Work less — earn less.

But that doesn’t mean employee-based salons/spas can’t offer a level of flexibility to employees to create higher job satisfaction. If the pandemic puts a spotlight on the need for flexibility, owners need to get innovative and figure out how to meet this need without compromising revenue goals.

Here are five strategies to help you build work flexibility into your salon/spa systems so everyone can come out a winner — and be happier in the process:

  1. Square peg in a round hole doesn’t work: Simply put, yesterday’s rigid work schedules are a thing of the past. Just as the pandemic proved that companies can be just as effective with employees working from home — to the extent that many companies do not plan on returning to their offices at all. Work from home is highly cost-effective and opens the door to hiring talent without the need for relocation. KEY: Salons/spas can’t do “work from home” — but you can rethink employee work schedules.

  2. More flexible work schedules: Wouldn’t it be great to have your salon/spa open and generating revenue seven days a week? If your salon/spa is — well congrats. But if you’re like many these days, you’re short-staffed with high productivity rates. The last thing you need is one or more productive employees leave because work schedules are too inflexible. And with potential new hires looking for flexibility, it’s time to rethink work schedules. Key: We’re seeing more salons/spas close on Saturday/Sunday or Sunday/Monday. Others are offering four-day work- weeks. Still, others are limiting, or eliminating, evening hours. You need to determine what approach is best for your company and what is attractive to existing and new employees. No one approach is right for all. Flexibility is the goal.

  3. Value work/life balance and personal wellbeing: Businesses that suck the life out of employees (and their owners as well) are the ones with turnover issues. Hammering employees with, “You’re not doing your numbers,” does more to demotivate than inspire great performance. (Numbers are outcomes. Owners/leaders need to coach on the drivers like customer service, consultation skills, prebooking, client retention, retailing and more. That’s how to achieve great performance numbers.) KEY: Make your salon/spa known for how it respects the wellbeing of employees. It doesn’t mean lowering performance expectations or turning your company into a country club. It means making employee wellbeing a true company value.

  4. Charge what you’re worth: As we have been pounding away for months now — charge what your work and client experience is worth. When high productivity rates, high client demand, and a labor shortage, converge, it’s time to raise or rethink your pricing. KEY: Prices must always be based on the cost to deliver one hour of service plus desired profit margin. It’s a calculation you must know and understand to ensure that your prices are set to create profit and positive cash flow. Click the link at the end to schedule a free coaching call so we can help you.

  5. Rethink your compensation system: If it hasn’t already, minimum wage is going to be $15 an hour in most regions. If that freaks you out, you need to rethink how you pay. KEY: Your payroll cost percentage of total revenue must remain a manageable and controllable number. That’s damn near impossible on commission without lowering commission or implementing product/service charges. On Team-Based Pay, payroll is a 100% controllable number. If you pay commission, you owe it to yourself to learn the advantages of Team-Based Pay. You can’t pay attractive wages if cash flow is flowing in the wrong direction. RELATED: Download our free Team-Based Pay White Paper here.

Here’s my challenge to you: Get comfortable building flexibility into your salon/spa. Why? Because being inflexible no longer works.

? Schedule a free 60-minute strategy session to start building your Team-Based salon, spa, or medspa … CLICK HERE


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