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How to Keep Salon/Spa Employees Motivated to Achieve Goals


Goals are essential in business. Achieving those goals requires leadership, information flow, determination, and accountability. More importantly, goals demand teamwork.

There’s something about goals in the salon/spa industry — and working to achieve those goals — that too often creates more frustration than wins.

To illustrate, here’s what an owner posted on Strategies Salon, Spa Business Idea Exchange Facebook discussion group:

Goals — I love them. But not everyone is driven by them. It’s like an elevator trying to motivate employees to hit a goal. I coach. Motivation goes up … then down … and, after another meeting to get their heads back in the game, it goes back up again.

We do bigger staff meetings at the first of every month. A quicker mid-month meeting to keep everyone on track. Then we do one-on-one’s every month plus a 15-minute one-on-one mid-month to check on goal progress.

It feels like I’m always on a hamster wheel. (I don’t do hair, so I have time to invest in my team.)

How often do you meet with your team? Go over numbers? How are you keeping motivation alive?

I’m running out of ideas and feel like I’ve recycled some of the same things too many times over the years for my long timers.

If you’re feeling the frustration that this owner is feeling, you’re definitely not alone on the hamster wheel.

When it comes to communicating and achieving goals, what many owners struggle with is getting “me” thinkers to be “team thinkers.”

At salons and spas of all levels, there is an over-focus on hitting “individual goals/numbers” — not “team numbers/goals.”

Individual goals/numbers do more to reveal the achievers and non-achievers. Simply put, if it’s left to individuals to up their level of performance to hit goals, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Why? Because not everyone is motivated by money and goals.

FACT: Team numbers/goals create a dynamic and sustainable salon/spa company. Everyone pushes and pulls in the same direction.

At Strategies, we teach daily huddles as part of the information flow driver. But just adding huddles without elevating your culture to a true team-based state is, well, just adding another “micro meeting” to the mix.

FACT: Bringing team goals to life requires a culture shift and upgrading your business model.

Here are the five non-negotiable essentials required to bring goals to life:

  1. Team goals not “me” goals: Commission pay is “me” pay. That’s why the vast majority of salon/spa owners are stuck in the rut of setting individual goals. The problem with individual goals is that they are routinely set far below what the “company” as a whole is capable of achieving. KEY: The true goal must be the service and retail goals that the salon/spa must achieve. That’s the goal that pays the bills. Then there’s the problem that some owners are afraid to share the company goal because commission employees may want more. That thinking identifies a culture roadblock.

  2. Information flow takes more than most owners think: One team meeting a month, or week, is a trickle and NOT even close to qualifying as true information flow. Posting daily scoreboards without a team meeting usually means they are damn near invisible. KEY: Daily 5- to 10-minute huddles are a must. You need multiple daily huddles if you have multiple start times. No one starts their day without being briefed on the day’s goals, objectives, challenges, and wins. The workday begins at huddle — not when the first client arrives. Huddles are at the same time, in the same place, every day. Everyone stands. No mobile phones. No applying makeup and fixing hair. No compromise.

  3. Teamwork isn’t a word — it’s an outcome: It takes a team to achieve goals. Teams take time to build, nurture, and refine. KEY: A salon/spa culture is a reflection of the collective thinking and behavior of the team. Culture also reflects leadership. Teams fight to achieve goals. Anything less is best referred to as a “group of individuals” — not a team.

  4. A goal is an outcome — not just a number: How many times have you said, “You’re not hitting your numbers.”? More importantly, did the employee’s numbers change after saying that? In most cases, nothing changes. KEY: Systems, procedures, and shared responsibilities make achieving company goals possible. People fight for a cause they believe in. People don’t fight for number. Numbers are nothing more than measurements of the discipline, performance and effort put into achieving the goal.

  5. Leaders lead teams to achieve goals: A business cannot wait for an employee to decide to up his or her level of performance. There must be standards of performance, skill requirements, service time standards, and a massive amount of employee coaching. KEY: Watch the movie Miracle with your team. It’s about the 1980 US men’s ice hockey team and how head coach Herb Brooks unlocked the energy of the team to win the Olympic gold medal. The best line in the movie is when coach Brooks says to the team, “The name on the front of your jersey is more important than the name on the back.”

Here’s my challenge to you: It’s time to retire individual goals and replace them with salon/spa goals. It’s time to make “we” goals the true team goals.

The only way to make the shift from individual to team goals is to go through a culture shift to a team-based culture. To do so requires a higher level of leadership, more refined systems, and rock-solid information flow. That’s what we do at Strategies. We teach and coach owners how to achieve a true team-based culture. And we’re damn good at it.

? Schedule a free 60-minute strategy session to start building your Team-Based salon, spa, or medspa: Click here!


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