Push performance

Professional beauty grilled the experts to find out the best approach to inspiring and motivating staff...

Consider their individuality

“If our staff are not happy at work, then how can they begin to deliver a happy experience for our clients?” asks Becky Woodhouse, chief executive of Pure Spa & Beauty and founder of recently opened Pure training academy. Taking into account the individuality of each staff member, Pure uses flexible hours and unique career development routes to keep staff motivated and positive. “We have a staff benefit scheme that includes extra perks, such as holidays on their birthday and free loyalty treatments. The passion of our staff is a result of understanding that one template cannot fit all.”

Praise publically

There is no custom without good therapists and good treatments, according to Chris Gillam, managing director of Guinot, “Your team make up the heart and soul of your business, so it’s essential to keep them motivated and happy. The value of recognition is integral to good motivation, but it’s one that can often be forgotten. Taking the time to speak to your staff members and publically acknowledging their achievements can be a great morale boost,” he says , while Woodhouse adds, “We recognise achievements by celebrating the customer feedback each therapist receives.”

Ensure job satisfaction

Motivation comes from job satisfaction. Lorna Bowes, director of Aesthetic Source, thinks that it is critical to ensure job satisfaction because this in turn secures high repeat business, strengthening client relationships. She encourages job satisfaction with her staff through financial rewards based around commissions and bonuses, or through competitions. “Great success can come from entering external competitions. For example, winning top sales person for a brand could lead to a trip to see the manufacturing and R&D facilities, which is a great learning experience,” she says.

Offer special gifts

Clare Roger, founder of the Treatment Rooms, suggests offering staff free products as incentives for great sales records, or to mark special occasions within the salon. “We always give an anniversary gift of champagne or vouchers of their choice, and we take staff out twice a year during Christmas and summer in appreciation of their hard work,” she adds. The Treatment Rooms also rewards long service, giving staff an extra day of holiday after two years and a two-night spa break with a partner after 10 years of service. Importantly, she adds that it is key to find out individual likes and motivators, as there would be no point in gifting champagne to someone who prefers wine.

Get creative

For Karen Ashworth, spa manager at Woodland Spa in Burnley, thinking creatively is a must in order to keep staff motivation high. “Monthly product commissions work for most therapists but they also need motivating in other ways,” she says. “Our therapists love ‘Decléor Bingo’. Make up some bingo cards of different product names rather than numbers, and the first to fill in their card wins a treatment. It’s a good way to reward staff and let them see what it’s like to be a client for the day.”

Reward regularly

“To reward our team we find that regular, little things have the most impact,” explains Karen Maloney, owner of two Renaissance beauty salons in Liverpool. These don’t need to be big costly prizes - regular praise in front of colleagues, a thank you note, a bar of chocolate or a bottle of wine for the highest retail sales that week would be enough, says Maloney. “We find that small daily or weekly prizes work better than monthly incentives,” she adds.

Include all staff

At Guinot, a dedicated business development manager regularly sits down with salons to discuss incentive schemes based on business objectives and to decide upon rewards for meeting certain targets, says Gillam. “This kind of activity shouldn’t just be for therapists,” he advises. “Creating a bespoke incentive scheme for front-of-house staff is also a fantastic way to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal, and its often these members of staff who have the potential to close a sale when therapists are busy.”

Invest in progression

Staff see training as a way of developing their personal skills and furthering themselves, says Sally Penford, education manager for Dermalogica and IDI UK and Ireland. “Be it in-house or external workshops, investing in regular staff training can be a great way for your team to feel valued,” she says, adding that knowledgeable staff will result in increased retail sales and better treatment services for your business – a win-win situation.

Stefania Rossi, director of Utopia Beauty & Spa in Hornchurch, agrees that one of the biggest motivating factors for staff is constantly updating their training. “Investing in their progression through regular one-to-one meetings to discuss career aspirations and development is hugely motivating,” she says.

Involve staff

Making staff feel involved and as though they have an input keeps morale and confidence high, says Maloney. “To keep our team motivated we hold regular meetings to discuss the direction and the future of the salon. All our team are invited to share thoughts and ideas,” she explains. She suggests displaying a vision board in the staff room so that everyone can see what directions the salon will take and what new approaches have been planned.

Hold a team strategy day

"We unlocked the key to a happy, well motivated team when we held a team strategy day to speak to the them outside of our usual environment,” says Victoria Lees, manager at Rockliffe Hall Spa. For her staff, taking time to understand each other’s roles is instrumental, because it helps the therapists to understand their own personality drivers as well of those of their peers, for a better grasp of the ways in which everyone works.

Reward results

Many management trainers believe that motivating your team to work harder comes from celebrating the results they achieve, not the processes they follow, as this makes them more accountable for the success of the business. Becky Barraclough, owner of Saks Beauty in Halifax, does this by setting monthly incentives based on rebooking and retail sales as well as highest commission. Team rewards include nights out and spa days. She also runs competitions for the highest earners to win a Saturday day off, for example. 

Give feedback

For Kieran Fowley,?director of Zen Lifestyle, it’s all about feedback. He advises actively seeking client feedback on a daily basis to pass on to staff, and facing up to potentially awkward conversations by being honest and dealing with issues as early as possible. He also recommends giving staff clear objectives and targets for each month, making sure there is a fixed schedule for reviewing performance against targets. His final tip is to “always look for opportunities to recognise and praise achievements and efforts”.