Friday, March 14, 2008

Building a Team Culture

It's difficult to create a team culture in an industry that has historically been "all about me". We like to say that it's all about our client, but if we're honest, it's been all about the hairdresser. The stylist is concerned with having that client in HER (or his) chair. When stylists are infighting over clients, the clients pick up on it and it's bad for everyone! Even the newest stylists, right out of school, share the "me" mentality as they try to build "their" book.

We ran into this recently with our newest stylist. She would try to steer clients checking out to prebook with her instead of their regular stylist. Of course, we want them to feel comfortable booking with anyone, but we don't ever want them to feel pressured.

Our front desk team picked up on this, took her aside and gently showed her the error of her ways. She's a young, sweet, enthusiastic but naive girl. They made her think about how the other stylists would feel if they learned that she was trying to steer clients away from them - how would that affect her relationship with her peers. And they reminded her that in a team based salon the important thing is that the client come back to the salon - not to a particular person. She now understands how her personal "marketing" could make a client feel uncomfortable.

I'm pleased with how they handled it - professionally and discretely - and optimistic that it will have the desired result.

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