Good employees are the backbone of every business. When they’re working with you, your business will prosper, but if they are working against you, then expect turbulent times.
You might be wondering, “Why would my employees want to work against me?” After all, you employ them, pay their wages and do your best for them. However, sometimes your best isn’t good enough in their eyes. They can get disgruntled over things that you’re not even aware of.
Here are some of the reasons why employees will silently attack your salon:
- They feel that they are not being provided enough professional development training.
- They’re expected to attend team meeting and training sessions without being paid
- They’re not getting meal breaks
- They’re being double booked with clients
- They’re expected to treat clients in less time
- They cannot achieve “unrealistic” service and sales goals
- They’re not being paid overtime for additional time worked – sometimes for as little as ten minutes
- They’re refused days off for personal reasons
- They’re expected to come to work even if they’re sick
- They’re being treated disrespectfully by management or other employees (and nothing is done about it)
- They don’t have the tools or product they need to do a good job
- They never receive a productivity bonus
- They have to wait for their wages
- They never hear a thank you at the end of the day
And this would not be the complete list by any means. Dissatisfaction can spring up (and does) for any number of big and sometimes those reasons can seem incredibly petty. It can be just one small thing or a collection of multiple things that will set them off. But whatever the reason, once your employee believes that they are not being treated fairly, they can take subtle actions that can most definitely harm your business.
Now, as an employer, your focus will be on increasing your salon revenue, however, your employees have a different focus altogether. Most employees simply want to come to work, be paid for their time and effort, be treated respectfully, get their wages on time, then go home and forget all about the job.
So you can see where the opportunity for discontent can arise. And once it sets in, employees can have some very creative ways of disrupting the flow of your business. These disruptions can be almost invisible to you in the beginning, but if they happen often enough and by enough employees, they can have a major impact on your profits.
Let me share an interesting story with you.
A while back I was heading off to my usual hair salon. It was the owner’s day off, and so it wasn’t long before I got to hear about how terrible she was to her staff. The stylist was obviously unhappy and told me about all the things she didn’t like about her job and especially her boss. In her eyes the boss was just all about the money and never respected the needs of the team. I asked her how she dealt with that, and she told me that she made up for it by helping herself to some stock as she left the salon. She then went on to tell me how she never accepted walk-ins when the boss wasn’t around, never up-sold a service, never offered a retail item and never re-booked the client. A little while later, the boss told me how her cash register was always short at the end of the day.
I call this “silent sabotage”, and I believe that every salon has been sabotaged like this at some point in time. Employees, who don’t want to jeopardise their jobs, simply don’t talk to their bosses about their issues. Instead, they indulge in practices that hurt the business. It helps them to vent their frustration.
Here are some of the deceptively subtle activities that your disgruntled employees may be indulging in at this very moment. They’re:
* Leaving lots of catch up gaps between client appointments.
* Rejecting requests for appointments when you’re not around.
* Not making any effort to re-book their clients.
* Calling in sick with little thought of clients’ appointments.
* Over-using or wasting product during services.
* Making no attempt to up-sell services or retail sales.
* Takings are always down on the days you don’t work in the salon.
* Helping themselves to retail and professional stock when you’re not around.
* Removing cash from the register.
* Not keeping the salon or their work area looking clean and professional.
* The cause of increased client complaints.
* Not following Salon Procedures and Protocols.
* Resisting attending team meetings.
*Talking about you to clients behind your back
* Providing cheap treatments to salon clients at home for cash
Does anything on this list feel familiar to you?
This brief list is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are bound to be many other ways your unhappy employees could be damaging your business.
But the important question that needs to be answered here is “What can I do to make sure this isn’t happening to me?” Well, while you are never going to get your employees to treat your business like it’s their very own (and why should they), there are definitely things you can do to minimise this kind of destructive behaviour.
Here’s what you can do about it.
#1. You must increase the amount and quality of communication with your team. Run meetings more often, and invite individual team members to make suggestions about ways to improve your business. Employees, who have the opportunity to put forward their own ideas, will be more likely to follow through with them as it’s been their idea to start with. So instead of you being the only person who creates the solutions to problems, get your team to give you their ideas instead. You’ll be surprised by just how good some of their suggestions will be.
#2. You must have an open door policy so that your employees know you are prepared to listen to their problems, take them seriously and do your best to make things better. Being a quality listener rather than a talker is the secret to success when it comes to fixing employee grievances.
#3. You must take the time to acknowledge great performance when you see it. This isn’t as difficult as you may think. A genuine “thank you” for a job well done will often get the desired results. The goal, of course, is to make the employee feel genuinely valued and appreciated.
#4. You must show the same level of respect to your employees as you expect them to show to their clients. Always do what’s right, honour their needs, listen to them when they want to speak and be the kind of boss you would like to have had when you first started out.
Loyalty from your employees is not something you can expect automatically. It must be earned, and you’re the only one who can do that. A loyal and happy employee is one who will never intentionally set out to damage a salon and job that they love.
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