Guest Article by Valerie Delforge, Founder & CEO Delforge + Co.
Delegation is and will always be at the heart of true leadership, and yet, it’s a discipline and a procedure that many struggle to master. Learning how to delegate makes you a better salon leader and allows for your business to grow. It lets you move from what you can do personally, to what you can manage. That’s right, you might not feel mentally ready to move away from the chair, but sometimes, that’s what your business needs for it to stay successful.
Think about it this way: if management is about developing people, then good delegation is about bringing the best out of those same people. But often, we feel like we need to do it all or like it has to be done our way. Today, all I ask from you is that you think about how you manage your staff at the moment. What does delegation mean to you as a salon owner? Does it keep you up at night in cold sweats? Are you delegating to build people or are you getting rid of work you don’t like?
Why Does Delegation Have To Be A Part Of The Process?
There’s a thin line between a company’s success and its failure. In the hair and beauty industry, just like in any other industry for that matter, there are various benefits for a salon leader to delegate tasks. I’ve listed a few below:
- Allows you to focus on more significant tactics to help grow the business (networking, for instance).
- Develops your employees’ skills, and builds their motivation.
- Engages and empowers your staff in your business (read more on staff engagement here).
- Increases productivity and ensures a smoother running of your operation.
- Helps your time management (read more about time management here).
What Stops Us From Delegating?
The issue with not delegating is that everything relies on you. Even when you’re away on holiday, you end up having to work on things that you should no longer have to, or you come back to a mountain of things that no one has dealt with. The second issue with not delegating is that your to-do list becomes endless, which in itself is very stressful and overwhelming. The third issue is that you end up micro-managing everything and that can be incredibly deflating for your team, and even create an atmosphere of mistrust. Yet, we tend to think:
- “It’s easier and quicker if I do it myself…”
- “I don’t trust X or Y person to do it…”
- “I’ll always have to double check, so what’s the point in delegating?”
And then, of course, we only delegate to the one who is keen to help or, we flat out don’t know what to delegate – which isn’t any better!
The Three Keys Notions Every Good Salon Leader Understands
“Good delegation saves money, time, builds people and team skills, grooms successors and motivates people. Poor delegation sucks! Ask any employee. It causes frustration, demotivates and confuses people and teams.” (1)
- First, you need to know why you are delegating. Be patient: that in itself, will take a little time to get right. If you accept that there will be mistakes, then you are ready to start delegating and inherently, take your business to the next level.
- The second thing you need is to understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. I won’t lie, there is no point delegating something to someone if they hate doing that. You want to make your team feel responsible, almost as if whatever you got them into was their idea!
- The third and most important thing to understand is that delegation will support your time management. By delegating tasks, you will free up time that you can use to work on strategies to grow your business or even to further develop yourself!
The Delegation Process: Step-By-Steps
- Make a list of things you could delegate or don’t have the time to do.
- Have a team meeting in which you’ll ask your staff to create a list of everything that has to be done in the salon/spa.
- One by one, ask them what they’d feel they’d like to take on.
- Hold individual meetings right after your team meeting, explain your expectations around the tasks, and set up a follow-up meeting.
The key to delegation is to ensure that you follow up. Otherwise, I can guarantee you’re headed towards many headaches. If what you delegated to your staff is important to you, it will be important to them. However, if they feel like you tend to cancel your follow-up meetings with them, they will stop caring because they’ll start feeling that you don’t care either.
- Accept that they might not get it right straight away. That’s what your follow-up meetings are there for.
- If you can cater for it, change tasks quarterly. This will give them room for growth and while also keeping them engaged.
- Create the most impactful delegation by giving feedback and acknowledgement when things are done efficiently.
- Adopt a delegation mentality from the start (at recruitment level). This will manage expectations: “when you come to work here, you are not just a hairdresser/therapist”.
No One Comes Forward
Then you know the kind of team you have. Within your individual meetings, delegate the tasks yourself. You will know your flossy’s from the ones that can’t be bothered. Then it’s a matter of management.
Everyone Wants To Do The Same Task, Or No One Wants To Do One Task
Tackle that task in a team effort rather than individually. For example, in my experience of running a salon, I found myself with no employee wanting to deal with stock. So, I turned it into a monthly team activity. We’d all have a mask on, ate pizza for support and managed inventory as a team! In the end, that tactic made everyone look forward to it!
They Keep Making Mistakes
Maybe you didn’t delegate the right task to the right person. However, do make sure it’s not an attitude issue as this would have to be addressed in your performance management procedure.
Delegation is part of becoming an exceptional salon leader. In the long run, it’s the one management skill that will help you grow and give you freedom. The bottom line is, to keep a healthy your work/life balance, you must delegate. But, you need to be conscious that it’s also a two-way street. You need to build a team that understands that their work doesn’t stop at their stations/rooms. In turn, this will allow everyone to feel motivated, focused on growing the business together.
No matter how painful giving it a go is, I promise you that once your work is delegated (and for the right reasons!), you will be able to leave your business without worrying and have a decent holiday when you allow yourself one. Sure, you will have a lot of follow up meetings to set your expectations and ensure the tasks are in fact being done, but isn’t that also part of becoming a good salon leader? 😉
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow
Valerie Delforge is a Business Strategist, Commercial Trainer and Coach for the Spa, Beauty and Hair industry. Valerie specialises in creating specific workshops to help managers. Founder of Delforge + Co, she is keen to support the industry in achieving its best. For support with your 2018 Business Strategy, visit Delforge + Co. or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.