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Five Tips on Clearly Defining Your Terms of Employment

  “How can you expect your team to perform if  they don’t know what’s expected and how your expectations  will be measured.”         

I’m always asked the same questions by salon owners. How do I deal with a problem employee who refuses to be part of my team? How do I deal with salon gossip and pettiness? How do I avoid staff turnover? How do I improve staff performance? The list of chalenges goes on and on.

Before you make the decision to add a new member to your team make sure you clearly define your terms of employment in the beginning process of employment. Many of your management challenges can be avoided if you establish positive and professional work habits within your team through your salon orientations period of training.

I do not believe hairdressers perform poorly on purpose. Many of our challenges are caused because of poor training and education of many hairdressers during their formative years. Most people that enter the beauty profession do so with unrealistic earning and career expectations. They see all the glitter and hype and fail to learn basic salon skills for our everyday customers who want easy to manage hair styles, experience outstanding customer service, and hairdressers that are skilled at listening and committed to work hard to exceed client expectations. Without the proper education and mentoring, many of our young hairdressers develop poor work habits, soon become discouraged and eventually leave the profession. Many more go from salon to salon searching for that perfect salon; their are no perfect salons.  Along the way they develop poor work habits and negativity.

I think you will all agree that 9 months of beauty school is not enough time to teach them all the skills they need to work in an upscale salon.

In the absence of an apprenticeship program you will have to train and develop your own.

Assuming you already have a staff development program and have chosen your new member I suggest the following.


Probation — I suggest that you set a six month probation period. Make sure you state that your salon is an at-will salon which means that you can let them go during probationary period and they can quit at any time as well

Employee Hand book — How can you expect your staff to perform if they don’t know what is expected and how those expectations will be measured. Your employee hand book should be the foundation to developing your  salon and team . For more information on writing your employee hand book,click here.

Salon Orientation— Make sure you cover everything from proper customer draping procedures, review your terms of employment in your employee handbook ,customer handling procedures, telephone etiquette, quality control guidelines etc.


Quality control — Before working on any customers, let your new team member assist and observe other hairdressers, and when you feel they understand your high quality control standards, elevate to junior stylist at reduced prices under your supervision or your director of education on paying customers at reduced prices. This allows you to gradually allow them to gain valuable hands on experience without compromising your client retention efforts.

Define Your Goals and Expectations — during their orientation period, make sure they share your goals, vision, and team culture.

These tips can and will help eliminate many of your internal challenges and help you take your business and team to the next level. For complete management  information. Click here.

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