How to Move Forward When Salon/Spa Employees Quit

January 19, 2020 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment

As a service business, salons and spas are labor intensive. Employees interact one on one with clients to deliver services and expertise.

Talented service providers get busy. They become popular and often evolve into a key player in the business.

As in all labor intensive businesses, employees come and go. At salons and spas, employee turnover has always been a nemesis.

The biggest nemesis of all is the dreaded “employee walkout” where employees, clients and revenue can leave the business and its owner devastated.

The following ten-point recovery plan was written by Strategies Coach Heather Strock, to help an owner deal with the emotional blowback and how to move forward after a few employees left.

  1. Take time to honestly reflect on your part in past staff turnover: This is an empowerment process. Taking the opportunity to learn from the past can help you move forward with confidence.
  2. Take extra good care of yourself: Get a spa treatment, spend time with family, meditate — whatever works for you. Owning a business is full of surprise stressors. Having a proactive self-care plan can keep you cool, calm, effective, and sane.
  3. Clear your head about negativity towards former employees: You need to get it all out. Vent to a loved one, a therapist, or your business coach. Vent as much as you need to, but set an end date for the venting. Just like you can’t date when you’re hung up on a bad ex, you can’t hire when you’re still upset about past employees.

  1. Get genuinely excited about your company and its mission: It’s time to get new candidates excited about your company. That starts with you, the leader. Reach back to that version of you that was seriously pumped to open your business. Take note of everything you love about your company, that clients love about your company, and everything you’re truly excited about for the near future.
  2. Don’t get desperate (yes, they can smell it): Would you change your whole life for some stranger after the first date? Let’s hope not! So don’t change your whole business for a prospective new hire. Stay true to your vision. Trust where you want to go. Choose the right fit for your plan.
  3. Channel all of this love and excitement into your hiring ad: The right candidate is out there looking for the opportunity your company offers. Isn’t that exciting?!? Act, advertise, and promote your career opportunity through this lens to attract them.
  4. Give new employees the benefit of the doubt, but uphold your standards and expectations: They only know what you’ve shown and told them so far. Get them started on your Internal Training Program. Help them embrace your culture. Coach them on your systems. Support them. Nurture them. Hold them accountable.
  5. Address issues immediately, while they’re still small: It’s not a big deal yet. That’s the perfect time for a conversation. “Hey, just a heads up, it’s important to us to be on time,” is great. “How could you be late six days in a row, you delinquent fool?!?” is not so great. How you communicate authority defines you as a leader people love to follow — or the leader people run from. 
  6. Avoid major promises: Don’t tell your blind Tinder date what kind of wedding dress you want to wear. Likewise, don’t tell your brand new hire they’re going to be your spa manager, buy your business someday, or be earning $$$$ years from now. Get to know each other, communicate clearly, and escalate gradually.
  7. That positive attitude, every day: Yay! You hired someone new and they seem to have great potential. Now on to the real work: communicating constantly and clearly, coaching them on your company’s systems and culture, and keeping them excited to serve clients to the best of their ability.

Here’s my challenge to you: If employee departures leave you with feelings of broken trust, anger and self doubt, it is imperative that you lock into this ten-point plan.

Keep up your self care, remember the lessons you’ve learned so far, and go be THAT boss. The boss who has standards, but cares. That boss that has a lot to do, but takes time to recharge.

You can do this, I know you have it within you.

Categories: Leadership

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  1. So simple yet excellent advice. Take the emotion out of it its hard but imperative. Looking back on many years in business every catastrophe was a huge learning experience. This was an excellent blog thank you!


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