The biggest complaint I hear from disgruntled salon owners is that their staff up and leave after receiving comprehensive service and ongoing technical training, taking all that knowledge with them for the benefit of the next place they work! Unfortunately, there are too many owners with this fearful mindset around training. But, have you ever considered the value of training employees in the art of giving GREAT service?
Looking at the issue, we first must acknowledge that this could be a problem, yes. Training someone to perform at their best for your business and then having them leave can be soul destroying if you are looking at it from a victim perspective. However, while training is not the only answer to a successful business it is a very important cog in the wheel. It should be included as part of what you offer as a balanced, team focussed business, and in today’s salon world we should very definitely be a people (team) focussed business. It was Mary Kay Ash that said “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”
So here are five super reasons to offer regular training to your team:
1. Productivity: ‘is a measure relating a quantity or quality of output to the inputs required to produce it’. Training should help the team work more effectively thus helping the salon to achieve its long term goals.
2. Culture: ‘is a shared, learned, symbolic system of values, beliefs, and attitudes that shapes and influences perception and behaviour’. Training helps develop a culture of learning within the salon, one of my favourite quotes is ‘knowledge breeds confidence and confidence creates sales’.
3. Quality: is a measure of excellence; quality defines desirable characteristics of a product, a process, or a service’. The team will value the added quality they can give to their clients, and clients will love the added quality they receive from well trained, well-informed team members.
4. Image: ‘the general impression that something (a person or organisation or product) presents to the public’. Ongoing training and development helps in creating a better more professional salon (and industry) image.
5. Profitability: ‘the ability of a firm to generate net income on a consistent basis.’ Training leads to improved profitability as your staff become more productive, knowledgeable and produce higher quality work, taking them to a more senior price point.
Of course, there are many additional benefits of team training including the development of leadership skills, higher motivation, loyalty (yes it does happen), and better, healthier attitudes amongst your team.
Look to your suppliers for specific product training. Most of these organisations have some great ideas on the art of selling, some even have programs to help you with this. Consider looking at what other organisations are out there for sales training, the chamber of commerce is a good resource for this. There are organisations set up to train service and many business coaches like myself that are well versed in providing this type of training. Don’t discount industry-specific experts as sources of inspiration, these people are generally experienced in the salon industry and are more than willing to share their knowledge with you and your team.
Raising the service knowledge of you and your team is a step in the direction of raising the knowledge of the industry as a whole. In the last few years, technology has somewhat ‘dehumanised’ the buying experience. As a result, your team (particularly younger members) have rarely been on the receiving end of great service, thus have not experienced the warm feelings that great service can bring. The salons that recognise the value of pleasing the client and embrace this into the future will be the ones to reap the rewards that great service can bring.
Just a quick note on technical training, think about this; better educated hairstylists means better educated clients, and clients these days that are better educated are more inclined to spend their money knowing exactly what they are spending it on.
Let’s face it, with the availability of the internet with its plethora of hair advice and knowledge, you better be up with the play or your clients could end up being better educated than you!
Oh and one last thought – whilst understanding the real fear salon owners have of training their team in giving GREAT service and they then leave, consider the implication to your clients and your business if you don’t train them and they stay!