Stylists and therapists move around, particularly in the earlier days of their career. If you’re lucky enough to have one or more linchpins (someone who adds salon-wide value way beyond their role) on your team, you’ll want to keep them for as long as possible. In fact, some salon owners think that it’s their responsibility as a manager and leader to invest in people’s futures and prepare them for the next opportunity; even if it isn’t in their salon. But at the end of the day, we’re all human. When someone becomes increasingly disengaged, it can hurt. Personally and professionally. Fortunately (and if you’re vigilant enough!) employees who are thinking of leaving your salon will drop hints here and there.
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Could You Tell If Someone On Your Team Was About To Bid Farewell?
Remember that old French tale “Little Thumb,” in which the young boy dropped breadcrumbs in the forest to find his way back? A stylist or therapist who’s thinking of leaving your salon will scatter breadcrumbs without realising it. If you can catch them doing so before they’re too disengaged, you’ve got a chance at turning things around. The 9 signs listed below aren’t by any means a foolproof way of telling if someone’s about to quit, but they certainly should be a cause for concern.
1. Tardiness Is Kicking-in
Some people are naturally poor timekeepers. Others though, develop the habit out of nowhere; sometimes years after they’ve been hired. If they lack motivation, they might just be finding it harder to get up. The standard approach when facing this is to pull someone up on it. If you notice this and consider it’s completely out-of-character, maybe grab a coffee with that employee and use it as a segway to ask them if everything is okay. By doing this, you stand a chance they open up a potential core issue. But if nothing else, they will at least know their lateness is bothering you.
2. Employees Who Are Thinking About Leaving Your Salon Will Seem Distracted
A common sign that someone is unhappy in their current role is how distracted they are. This is particularly noticeable if the person has amazing attention to detail, is quick at getting things done or usually goes the extra mile. Giving that additional 10% usually comes from motivation and drive. If these traits are suffering, then it could be their motivation and drive are dwindling.
3. They’ve Started Talking About The Future… A Lot
Most of us wonder what the future holds, it’s normal. Even the most motivated and driven among us don’t always have a clear life/career/accomplishment path forged out in our minds. However, we never question the future more than when we’re stuck in a rut. And that in itself is another indicator that an employee of yours might be thinking of leaving your salon. Often, when people feel it’s time for a change but haven’t fully admitted it yet, they make statements about boredom, “getting away from it all” and question what the future holds.
If you’re aware of some of the motivations they have – personally and professionally – it’s often a good idea to sit with them and ask them about their fears and ambitions. You may not be able to help achieve them all, but the fact that you’re willing to listen to them shows you care. That’s the type of relationship that reduces employee turnover.
If you’re interested in hearing more on this, listen to Phorest FM Episode 61, on which Killian and Zoe are joined by Saad Aslam, CEO of HC MedSpa, to discuss staff retention strategies:
4. They Update Their Social Media Often
Are they updating their LinkedIn a lot lately? Have they started suddenly posting lots of their work up on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest? Have you searched the history on the reception PC and noticed someone has been on job sites? Not much you can do here, but maybe it’s time to accept that you are going to be advertising a job posting soon. Sometimes when we accept the worst scenario, we end up pleasantly surprised. At the very least, you will be more prepared to kick off the recruitment process again!
Disclaimer: No, we’re not suggesting you engage in stalking your staff! But in a world that is shifting to online presence, it can be hard to avoid the signs that someone is advertising themselves as a prospect.
5. They Seem Colder With Their Clients and More Irate With You
Is one of your team members lacking their usual bubbliness with clients? We all have bad days, but if they seem particularly irate or down for a prolonged period, then ask them how they’re doing. Being rude to clients is simply unacceptable! Bear in mind that it might be something personal that’s affecting them. In that kind of situation, the best you can do is have a chat with the person concerned.
6. You’re Getting Zero Feedback Or Input
This is pretty much an add-on to the last point. If you’re not getting any feedback or as much input in conversations and team meetings, it can indicate that they’ve started to care less. Again, it can often be temporary, but if it keeps on keeping on, there might be more to it than what meets the eye. Download our free employee feedback sheet here.
7. Their Client Reviews Score Lower Than Usual
Are three-star reviews beginning to creep in? Having a review in hand is an excellent way to ask what’s going on and see if the answer the concerned employee gives you can lead you to any insight. If you only get a shrug and a dumb play attitude, maybe it’s time to ask what’s happening that has them acting out of character. A great starting point here is to use the word “usually.” This way, you’re not alienating anyone; you’re merely comparing them to their normally brilliant self.
8. They’re Socialising More
We’re social creatures by nature, particularly the younger of us in the bunch. However, if a staff member is spending 40+ hours in a salon every week and isn’t enjoying it as much, they might turn to other methods of enjoyment or even escape to cope. This could be something like the gym, but sadly for some, it may be drugs, alcohol and an abnormal level of partying. The latter is usually easy to spot. Being late in is one sign, turning up every day looking pale, tired and anxious is another. Again, bear in mind that this can be a sign of some personal grievance or issue and may have nothing to do with the salon. Advise accordingly.
9. They’re Beginning To Talk About Others’ Salaries
“I should have studied law”.
“My friend earns twice as much as I do for half the hours”.
“I would hate for my children to get into beauty”.
These self-hammering and industry depreciating comments can be a sign that someone is feeling undervalued in the salon or that they have goals and ambitions that aren’t getting achieved. You can’t fix or be responsible for someone’s self-esteem, nor can you battle someone’s self-entitlement. Try to see if there is an opportunity to talk about the future. Maybe they’re just waiting to take on more responsibilities and feel better about their position in the salon.
Related | Keeping Staff Engagement High In An Operational Industry
There’s No Silver Bullet
If someone on your team is thinking about leaving your salon, you’ll see it coming. As a manager, try your best to get to the bottom of things and most importantly, take the time to listen to your staff. If there’s no resolution, maybe that loss is an opportunity for new talent. And if that’s the case, stay tuned for Valerie Delforge’s blog on staff recruitment coming out this Wednesday!
Got feedback? Let us know either in the comments below or tweet us @ThePhorestWord! (Pssst. We’re on Instagram too!)
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow