In today's time, people are your biggest asset.
And managing them is the most significant task.
Being a salon owner comes with its set of responsibilities. The one hardcore responsibility is to manage the salon staff. It's crucial as well as challenging. Critical as they are the direct connection and face of your business. Challenging because people come from varied backgrounds, with different viewpoints & have their own set of opinions & ways of working.
Considering India & its diversified culture, which is a mixture of many different religions, languages, emotions & beliefs, we can find people holding different viewpoints, thoughts, ways of working, priorities, etc.
Therefore, when the background is soo diverse, their needs & requirements also differ & so does managing them. As one shoe doesn't fit all. Therefore, managing people becomes a bit more challenging & even more important here in India.
With people from different cultures, means different belief systems, different languages being spoken & different values being followed. And when such different thoughts come together under one roof, it sure makes things dynamic.
But its up to the salon owner to make this feel challenging or convert it to a fun environment for all to work in together.
As a salon owner, it's in your best interest to have your workspace - a salon filled with people with various backgrounds & interests, but also keep this in mind this also brings challenges with it. But with the right sense, judgment, and management skills, you can create a healthy, growing & thriving workspace.
Managing people is not a one-time activity like finalizing a location or a monthly activity like managing finance. But it is an everyday job. People need to be addressed daily because of the dynamics of human nature.
Suppose people are not working in harmony or are not happy. In that case, it reflects on their work and hampers the vibe of the salon, the customer experience as well as the salon's growth opportunities. The list is endless.
Below are a few points that will help manage your people in India.
Communication is the key.
We Indians love to communicate. Therefore, always encourage open & transparent communication - keep a two-way flow of clear communication. Hear out your staff. Whether it's a challenge, issue, or opinion, build an environment where the team is welcome to share thoughts. Encourage active participation. In India, brotherhood & building the community has always been our USP. Leverage this idea & develop your team spirit.
You can either keep a grievance box or hold a weekly meeting to discuss it. Not just ask but also consider it & try finding a solution & implement changes. Remember, good communication often solves half the issue. It can be an issue with another employee, the kind of work, the rules, or a chit-chat session. Having a WhatsApp group can help too.
Also, be a good listener. Always telling other people what to do is not the only way to manage people. You have to listen too. Listen intentionally & patiently with the need for understanding.
To get to know each other, plan team outings - as simple as a group lunch or a weekly getaway. As these people work with each other for about 9 hours every day, they must be comfortable with each other & welcoming too. These team-building exercises help to bond over & initiate informal conversation & provide opportunities to get to know each other better.
As people come from different backgrounds, it's natural their thoughts, beliefs, needs may differ. To build a team, it's important that rather than suppressing a team member's opinion, everyone understands it & values it. Here I don't mean that everyone has to agree on everything, but being conscious of each other is the trick to maintaining a good team rapport & understanding amongst each other.
Rather than just individuals, focus on the team. Talk about their goals and ambitions. Ask for their input, listen to their ideas, and encourage suggestions about salon working.
Also, keep your feedback professional - about the work rather than personal. Remember to build a team.
Everybody loves to be appreciated & acknowledged. Once an employee knows their good work is seen, appreciated & talked about, it's natural. It sets them to work at that level of standard. It's easy to retain happy employees.
Highlight the achievements, talk about their success, and appreciate their work in front of others. Talk about specific events when an employee handled a situation quite well. Keep your team motivated - acknowledge their work, and appreciate their achievements.
Treat them all equally.
Nobody likes when someone is biased towards their colleague. But often intentionally or intentionally, as owners or managers, we tend to overpraise someone because of the background or connection and keep finding faults in another. This not only frustrates the employee but also grows tension between the colleagues. So always remember to treat every member equally as they are your team.
Also, while you treat the team the same way. Make sure you cater to different needs strategically. Not everyone has the same wish or demand; where someone may look for growth & development, the other may favor monetary benefits. This doesn't mean that you have to do ten things for ten different people. But you can definitely build plans that help everyone & cater to the well-being of all in total.
Hold regular meetings.
From time to time, hold meet-ups. It may be monthly or weekly. Discusses important points & reiterate the beliefs of the salon.
It brings oneness and makes the employee feel part of the group & wanted. Here you can share feedback, discuss inputs, brainstorm ideas, discuss new weekly plans, etc. Make this a fun interactive session that people look forward to attending.
Be a role model.
You can manage people only when you, too are doing it well. Only then will people be interested in following your steps. Develop your leadership style & make sure you lead by example. You will be better equipped to train them too. Being good at your work, aware of what's happening & what is the future plan - when a strong force is leading someone, it surely motivates & inspires the staff to do better & give their 100 percent.
Learning & growth opportunities.
In today's time, it's all about learning & growing. People are interested to learn & grow. Since the pandemic, there has been a massive growth in learning as things have come online. As an owner, you can offer multiple growth opportunities - instructor-led room classes, educational videos or on-the-job training, seminars, etc. Technical skills like learning new techniques or interpersonal skills like communication, the list is endless. This not only upgrades their skills & competencies but also gives them opportunities to grow.
It doesn't always have to be financial support. Sometimes being a mentor, providing guidance, discussing growth plans & aligning salon growth with individuals is needed to motivate an unmotivated employee. Remember, it's not just limited to money in today's time. Non-monetary incentive plays a considerable role. Employee development opportunities, work-life balance, growth & development are a few things people look for in their workspace.
One of the primary incentives to work is to earn money; that's the primary reason people look out while joining a workspace or opting in. Money plays an essential role in keeping the people motivated & put in that extra effort. The important thing you can do as an owner is to provide them with a decent salary on par with the industry standard. Other benefits include insurance, advance pay, promotions, incentives, bonus, etc. In India, for many people, the primary motivation is money (of course in the right sense), as many people work to support their families & provide them with a better standard of living. Also, with growing trends, things like wellness programs for mental health to manage stress paid leaves, etc. are seen as attractive indicators for the employees.
Hire the right people.
It always doesn't seem this easy. But state clearly what your salon's vision is - the work culture & what kind of person is best for the role. Be clear with your expectations. Therefore while hiring, while you test them on technical skills necessary for the job, ensure you also gauze if they blend with the salon culture, mindset, and values. This will help you build a where you both share the same vision & mission; it makes both of them be on the same page & create a thriving environment for both parties.
In India, if a person is happy in his workspace, the chances are less likely for them to leave as the mindset is usually they consider their workspace their second home & are less interested in quick switches once they bond at a place. But yes, if the environment is not thriving or there is no growth, or the workspace is lousy, it's sure that nothing can stop them from the shift. Also, don't hide things, be clear & transparent. Only a happy, well-informed employee will work happily. In fact, when employees find discrepancies between said & actual, they lose motivation & dedication towards the work & also leave the job easily & quickly.
Set clear expectations.
Let the staff know - communicate to your team what they are expected to do, behave & act like. Unless they know what is expected of them, you really can't blame them for not doing so or meeting your expectation. Define the roles clearly; this will minimize the override of duties & keep a smooth flow of work. Also, setting rules, guidelines, and policies, in the beginning, will make things clear & no space for confusion.
Obviously, one might think performing so many activities is even worth it.
Yes, let's find out why.
A motivated employee shows an increase in his productivity. They are better focused at work, happy & deliver better service & growth in performance.
And this, in turn, results in a better customer experience, resulting in repeated clients, referrals, etc. A happy and satisfied employee works towards brand building and considers the salon as its own & therefore, it works in line with the salon policies, culture, and behavior.
And for the employee, it provides a better environment, good work vibe, experience & growth & development. It also results in low turnover & lesser resignations, minimizing the stress level & improve their well-being, etc.
To conclude - the benefits are endless for both employees & the salon.