The one thing we never learned at college is how to manage and motivate a team of people. And yet, the key to success is doing just that!

Like everything in life there are ways and means to achieve this if you follow a philosophy that everything is negotiable. The follow five tools have been extremely valuable in building my businesses.

One – Selection

More diligence at the recruitment stage could avoid 80% of the staff problems going forward. You don’t just employ people for their skills, they also need to fit in to your existing team as well as the salon culture. Like your existing team they need to work for the noble cause of the business and to add value to the team offering. If they don’t take intellectual ownership of their job they will be difficult to develop. Their mantra should be “what more can I do to make the business more successful?”

Two – Training

It is impossible to develop people’s strengths without training and as a team leader you have to invest in the development of your team. It’s alright having people who specialise in certain disciplines within the business however the strongest team is one where people are skilled across the board. When staff do become multiskilled is does wonderful things for their self-esteem as well as their overall contribution to the salon’s success.

Three – Target Setting

Having employed the right person, identified and provided training to up-skill them, we now need to set them a challenge. Everybody loves a challenge and targets should not just be about turnover. Re-booking clients before they leave the salon, getting more referrals, increasing their clients’ average spent by consultation, education and recommendation are all measurable in terms of target achievement – and guess what, the turnover and their take home pay will grow as a result.

Four – Performance Appraisals

Performance reviews are probably the most powerful tool in the tool box. It is the opportunity to ‘stop the clock’ and give staff feedback about their current business within the business, how their turnover is made up and most importantly, how their take home pay is made up. It allows you to cover all their key performance indicators including where they get their clients, up they up-selling and, most importantly, where they would like to be in six months’ time.

Five – Disciplinary Procedures

If the word discipline comes from the word disciple, it is unlikely that it is meant to be a form of punishment. It is in fact similar to a performance review but more focused on the causes behind behaviour such as under-performance, bad timekeeping, bad attitude etc. It is an opportunity to refocus on the expectations of the job and to show how the individual is underperforming against those standards. Like every staff interaction the meeting must end on a high with the individual undertaking to close the under-performance gap and the team leader offering whatever assistance is required at the time.

Now go and build your business!