The best managers get to know what motivates each of their staff individually

A strong commission structure is the lifeblood of many salons and spas, encouraging therapists to go the extra mile in sales and service.

But get it wrong and your well-intentioned incentives could have a negative impact. Rewarding only your top sellers, for example, could actually demotivate newer therapists or those whose strengths lie elsewhere, and make them feel it's not worth trying.

It's said that the best managers get to know what motivates each of their staff individually and find ways to recognise their strengths while still encouraging them to improve on their weaknesses. Employment specialist David Wright explores the potential structures for achieving this in the April issue of Professional Beauty, and we also speak to Zen Lifestyle director Fiona Fowley about how she makes this work in practice.  She shares some of the strategies that landed Zen Professional Beauty’s Employer of the Year – 21 Employees or More award in February.

The awards were set up as a new level of recognition for those individuals who consistently perform, but also for the businesses that make our industry great. Judged by the industry for the industry, the PB Awards is the only scheme to recognise businesses that not only deliver an amazing client experience but also develop their staff, and the beauty market as a whole.

We try to support that kind of innovation in everything we do at Professional Beauty, which is why we’re launching a brand new initiative to promote the benefits and value of professional treatments to a wider market. The project is in its early stages, because we want you to direct it. We’re looking for a panel of industry experts – from salons, spas and suppliers, to help us motivate the industry to get behind the scheme then decide how the money is spent to best get our message across to consumers, and ultimately to raise the recognition and value of the work you do every day, and I hope that’s incentive enough for you all to get involved.