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This is an interesting question, Karen, which I believe focuses on two key areas. The first is your recruitment process: sadly, with the shortage of quality team members nowadays, salons often employ people out of desperation, which in turn often leads to them becoming desperate employers. It’s regularly said that you can teach a skill but it’s much harder to change an attitude. Any interview process should focus on the person and how they will integrate into and enhance your existing team.

Understand what their aims and ambitions are and why they feel that they would be a good fit for your salon. Leopards rarely change their spots, and a job-hopper with a personality that clashes is unlikely to change.

Assuming that you have recruited the right person, the second key area of focus is your induction process. First, do you have one? And by that I mean a thorough and comprehensive process that covers all areas of behaviour, knowledge and performance criteria that you need someone to know before they serve your clients. Often new team members are let loose on guests before they have received a thorough induction and you can spend the next few months pulling your hair out constantly muttering the words: “That’s not how we do things here,” when a few days spent on a thorough induction process could have set them up to win!

At 3•6•5 we provide our members with a list of about 30 topics that should be included in an induction process. Some of these could each take a day alone to deliver. Last of all, and this is an area that I am passionate about, is setting minimum performance standards. At the interview process it should be clearly explained to a prospective team member what they will be expected to achieve in terms of productivity. These standards should be confirmed during the induction process. All of this will mean an investment of your time Karen, but it will be worth it in the end.

Ken West is director of business experts 3•6•5 – email him on KenW@365Hair.com

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