5 skills for salon managers - feature

5 skills every salon manager should have

14 Nov 2022 by Kitomba

Managing a team can be difficult, particularly as we often don’t receive any formal training on how to be a great manager. Very few people could walk into a role with all skills, and of course not every manager operates in the same way! There are a few key areas however that as a manager you should be competent in, or working towards improving.

To help get you on the right track, we’ve put together a list of five key skills every manager should have, or be aiming towards. Read on to find out how constantly developing these skills will benefit your salon team, and ultimately work towards success for your salon, spa or clinic.

Skill 1: Communication 

Good communication skills are essential to be successful in almost any role, but it’s particularly important when you’re leading a salon team.

As a manager there are several areas of communication you could focus on:

Set clear tasks 

How you outline what you’d like your staff to do will ultimately determine the quality of the task. Be clear and concise with your directions, and make sure your team members know they can approach you with any questions! If the tasks are regular or daily duties, write them up on a visible board so everyone can see what is expected of them that day.

Host team meetings as necessary

Meetings are great for communicating important news, upcoming events or other issues to the whole team, however can be notorious for wasting time! Ensure you clearly communicate the purpose of the meeting beforehand, and what you’d like to achieve by the end of it, then it’s just a matter of keeping the meeting on track.

It’s important to see these as a two way track as well, so make time at the end for any comments, ideas or feedback from your team. They’ll feel more valued if you make the time to listen!

Read more about how to hold effective team meetings for your salon, spa or clinic

Provide feedback

Being able to give constructive, helpful feedback is key. Make time to provide your staff with regular feedback and advice, and discuss any training they might need to thrive in their role.

It’s important to combine your communication skills with great listening skills too! Your team need to know that their opinions are heard and valued. It also helps avoid misunderstandings and assists in building trust with your team.

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Skill 2: Delegation

A top priority for any successful manager is delegation of tasks. No matter how skilled you are, there’s only so much one person can do in the hours we have each day! 

With a team behind you, you can achieve so much more and that’s why it’s so important you delegate effectively. This starts with sharing the big picture with your team – take them through your strategy or future plans and ideas. This will allow your team to see where the work you’re delegating them fits in!

Don’t forget to allow your salon staff the opportunity to put their hands up for more responsibility. Delegation is all about matching people and tasks – is there someone who wants to upskill in a particular area or has a natural ability that perfectly suits another task?

This will lead not only to empowering your staff, but also freeing up your precious time to work on more important things like growing your business. Read more about time management tips for busy salon managers.

Skill 3: Motivation

A big part of a manager’s role is motivating their team! To truly be successful as a motivator it’s important to understand that different things motivate different people.

You want your team to be able to perform to their full potential, so you need to understand them and effectively adapt your management style to match.

Here’s an overview of common personalities you might find in a team and how to motivate them:

  • The healer: Healers are imaginative idealists who are concerned with the personal growth of themselves and others. Motivate them by pushing them to find an alternative way to solve a problem or complete a task.
  • The visionary: Visionaries want to analyse, understand and influence other people, and they enjoy challenging ideas. Motivate them by giving them challenging tasks that perhaps others don’t believe can be done.
  • The provider: Providers are sensitive to the needs of others, eager to please and like to work in a cooperative environment. Motivate them by showing them how a task will improve something and provide them with structure and organisation.
  • The supervisor: Supervisors are hardworking, keen to be in charge and like rules. Motivate them with a clear list of outcomes for projects and tasks, and encourage them to pursue management roles.
  • The inspector: Inspectors tend to be introverted and concern themselves with ensuring standards are met. Motivate them by telling them the completion of a task relies entirely on them and help them create their to-do lists.
  • The performer: Performers are spontaneous, energetic, talkative and they like to be the centre of attention. Motivate them by telling them how impressed others will be if they complete a task and allow them to be spontaneous in the workplace.

Blog Pull Quotes_Jacob Faour, Manager of Edwards and Co_2 (2)

You can also use Kitomba targets to motivate your team! You can set these as a shared goal to work towards, which has the added bonus of creating a better dynamic amongst your team, or you could choose to set targets for your team individually, where you have the option to create separate goals for each staff member. See more about how using targets can motivate and inspire your team for success.

Skill 4: Development

Teams are made up of people who have different goals and abilities, and are at different stages of their careers. Some may be very driven and looking for more opportunities, while other younger staff may be unsure and need guidance.

As a manager, a very important part of your role is understanding where each person in your team is at and how you can help develop them.

If you can help your team become better at what they do, your team’s performance will increase which will benefit your salon business overall.

Some effective ways of developing your team are:

  • Giving regular feedback to each of your staff so they can see where they’re doing well and where they need to improve.
  • Providing opportunities for development. A model that works well is the 70:20:10 model. This suggests that 70 percent of learning happens through experience, such as daily tasks, 20 percent through conversations with other people, such as coaching, and 10 percent through traditional training courses.
  • Having regular performance reviews to discuss progress, create goals and build a clear career path.

Learn more about developing your team: Five super reasons to train your team

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Skill 5: Organisation

The ability to organise is key to being a successful salon manager! 

Your days are always going to be busy, so it’s imperative to remain organised and create ways to help your team stay organised too. Here are some ways you can improve your organisation:

Create systems

This is all about deciding how you want to handle things so when they come up you know exactly what to do.

This goes for your physical spaces as well – clutter has no place in the organised life! Ensure your desk and office space is tidy, and you’re clear-headed by planning ahead and focusing on one thing at a time.

Use your time wisely

Time flies, especially if you’re not aware of how you’re using it. Keeping a schedule of your commitments and tasks helps keep you in check so you’re using your time more effectively.  

Be flexible

Often things don’t go exactly to plan, especially in the hair and beauty industry. If you’re flexible it’s easy to adjust your schedule or plans without collapsing into chaos.

Download our free daily planner to help manage your days or weeks! With space for a to-do list, daily tasks and more, it’s the perfect way to help manage your time.

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Take your salon from good to great

Can you confidently say you excel in all of these aspects of management? Not many salon managers can! Transition from being a good manager to becoming a great manager by making it your goal to improve in at least one of these areas. 

Does your salon and spa software help manage your business? Book a free demo with Kitomba today to discover features that can save you time, help manage your staff and boost revenue for your salon: book a demo.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 9 October 2018 and has been updated for relevancy and comprehensiveness. 

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