Friends in front of wall

Detox your work relationships

21 Mar 2019 by Kitomba

You want your salon, spa, or clinic to be a great place to work in order to attract and retain fantastic staff, who create a great place for your clients to visit so they refer their friends! A huge part of creating that environment are the relationships your team have with one another. Here are eight ways to foster positive relationships in your workplace.

Touch base regularly

Find time each day for everyone working to have a quick catch up to discuss what they have on. Do they have a difficult service they might need help with, have they had a last minute cancellation that frees them up to take on another client, does anyone need advice? Keep it quick – 5 minutes total. Even this small amount of time each day can build relationships and understanding between team members.

Keep chat positive

Your team should feel good about coming to work, and safe and supported by one another. Being surrounded by negative or judgemental chat doesn’t help in achieving this. Gossip can be fine if it’s about the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy or what celebrities wore to the Oscars, but keep it positive. While it can be therapeutic to complain about a bad experience or the way someone conducts themselves, nip it in the bud quickly before it turns into an all-out bitch session. Snide comments can be the most toxic as they quietly undermine confidence and trust. If you catch these kind of negative chat or comments, remind those involved in the negativity that that’s not how we talk about each other and you don’t want to hear that kind of negativity in your business – “come on everyone, let’s keep it positive please”.

It’s also not a good look if clients can hear your staff talking negatively about another staff member, client, or the lady down the road. They want to know that you’re not going to be talking badly about them behind their back!

Be approachable and listen

Make time for regular one-on-one catch ups with each of your team members. Use this time to discuss performance but also generally how they’re getting on in their role. Are they happy? Do they feel positive about the rest of the team and their overall work environment? By encouraging your team to come to you with any grievances, issues or conflicts early you can stay on top of the relationship they have with one another and if necessary, take actions to prevent issues festering and becoming negative or toxic.

Give credit where credit is due

Be generous with thanks and praise of good work and great attitudes. If your feedback is always constructive, you share praise readily and you treat your staff with respect, more often than not they will do the same to you and each other.

Remember your manners

When you’re busy or stressed it can be easy to forget your manners and be short with people, but remembering your manners when interacting with people is a sure way to show you respect them. Please and thank you are small words and easy to say, so use them freely on big and small things, and encourage your team to do so too.

Break down hierarchies

Salons, spas, and clinics can be hierarchical places with owners, managers, seniors, intermediate, and junior staff. This has the potential for junior staff to feel like senior and management staff don’t appreciate or value them, and for senior and management staff to feel superior to juniors. Two ways to break down these hierarchies is with socialising and sharing.

Socialising as a team also a great way to inject some fun. Try to find something that everyone has in common that they enjoy or do a variety of activities. Younger staff may love going for drinks and dancing but consider other activities too – creative workshops such as floral arranging or paint and wine nights for example.

Encourage everyone to share knowledge and ideas. While it is obvious that seniors will have knowledge to share with the team, you’ll find that juniors will too. So give them the opportunity to do so by always asking them for their thoughts and giving them time to do so.

Buddy up

Pairing senior staff with junior staff can be beneficial for both team members and the entire team. The junior benefits from having a mentor to learn from, they become more included in the team and have someone they can approach when they have questions or concerns they might not want to raise with you. Seniors benefit by being given a sense of responsibility, it can help them learn and develop their skills, after all, teaching is a great way to improve yourself. They can also be exposed to new techniques and trends they may not be aware of, especially if the junior is a lot younger.

Be clear on responsibilities

Misunderstandings have a habit of causing conflict and damaging relationships. When delegating responsibilities be sure to communicate clearly to the whole team what each person is responsible for. This could be ongoing responsibilities, or for a specific project or time period. If responsibilities rotate, which can be a good idea for less enjoyable tasks, consider having a roster so everyone can see when it is their turn and that the work is shared fairly.

Fostering a positive team environment starts with you leading by example, so take these considerations into work tomorrow and start building strong, positive relationships in your team!

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