29 Apr Best Practices for Salon Staff Training
If you’re a salon owner, you know the importance of developing a team that is on the same page. Even the most qualified, remarkable employees still need structured training. Whether you’re training a receptionist or a stylist, salon staff training is beneficial for everyone in your business. The primary goal of having a structured salon training program is to build a wider understanding of your brand and your vision.
Do All Salon Employees Need Training Sessions?
Even experienced new hires need training, because conducting proper training implies that you are an employee-based salon that values the quality of your brand. Likewise, a quality employee will always be excited to advance their education in their career. While this training may involve some skills that they’re already familiar with, it’s crucial to company culture that they participate in learning. Enforcing training for your team–no matter the experience level–means that everyone is dedicated to creating a team that provides consistently exceptional work in all aspects of the salon.
What Makes a Successful Salon Training Session?
Having a set of written policies in your salon is incredibly important, for both your employees and your clients. It’s important for your employees to know each of them in detail. Written policies for employees would look like a set of expectations and procedures created for them to follow while they’re on the clock, while written policies for clients would look like a set of procedures regarding late arrivals, late cancellations, no-show’s, refunds, and more. Reviewing the expectations of both should be at the forefront of your salon training sessions, as it’s the most basic set of guidelines you can give your employees as a business owner.
Upon hiring, your salon employees are already qualified for their roles. That being said, emphasizing the necessary technical skills in their training sessions is still beneficial. Technical training is essentially a way of refreshing what they already know and determining what might need extra work. It's important that as a salon owner, you have a process in place for going over each and every role in your salon. You might find it helpful to ask yourself questions about what each role implies, what an employee should know for the role, and what a particular employee might need to be taught/reminded in preparation for the role. Think of it as a checklist.
Is your stylist confident in cutting, coloring, and styling? (This can be addressed on a level-to-level basis)
Do your stylists know how to handle a difficult client?
Does your receptionist know how to properly greet your clients as they walk into your salon?
Customer Service Skills
The core of any industry is grounded in customer service. How are you making customers happy, and how do you keep them returning? When training your salon and spa staff, stylists or front desk receptionists, it's important that you establish a set of customer service practices that help you navigate your client relationships. Greetings, the process and delivery of consultations, and handling complaints are examples of areas where training is helpful. What makes your client relationships strong is having patience, listening to their needs and preferences, and fulfilling their vision. When training your salon and spa team, customer service should be a priority. By teaching your team the proper way to interact with clients, you're also teaching them how to build client loyalty, increase conversion, and effortlessly resolve any overall problems that could arise.
Retail can often be overlooked in salon training sessions. The shelves are stocked and full, but that doesn't mean that your clients are going to be interested in them. Even if your salon does not have a large retail selection, it is still important to include what you do have to offer in your training sessions. All employees, regardless of position, should be knowledgeable on what is being sold in your salon. If you're going to educate your clients, then you need to educate your team. If you're training for customer service, then your employees will already know how to listen to a client and understand their needs. In your salon training sessions, you can ask questions concerning what products are in your inventory and what those products are used for. Likewise, you'll be able to guide them through the process of closing a sale if a client is interested in a product.
It's important to include all of your employees in your salon training sessions, not just your stylists. Including all employees in these sessions creates a healthier and more productive company culture, as well as a stronger salon brand. While customer service skills definitely play a large role in training your receptionist(s), creating a checklist of what the role responsibilities are is the easiest way to train properly. The main responsibilities of a salon receptionist are having smooth telephone etiquette, greeting clients as they arrive in-store, and processing transactions. As a salon owner, you can't be everywhere at once. Neither can your stylists. This is exactly why it's important to train your receptionists to be just as knowledgeable about your services and products as you are, with the customer service skills to match. Including reception training into your sessions means that you'll exude a welcoming vibe to your customers, have fewer missed sales opportunities, and lead a smooth checkout process.
Side note: You can also consider utilizing your front desk staff for producing social media content during slow hours!
While health and safety practices can definitely be included in your written policies, it's best that you keep them separate during your training sessions. Demonstrating how you want your salon to be kept sanitary is crucial, especially in current times. Aside from this, the vast majority of states require salons to maintain ``a certain level of cleanliness`` to avoid any potential health concerns. If your team is up to date with what your health and safety guidelines/procedures are, then it would also be beneficial to have them listed or posted for clients to see. Not only does this let clients know that you take cleanliness and their safety seriously, but it would make everyone feel more comfortable in these uncertain times. Including health and safety procedures into your salon training sessions isn't just for your clients. Ensuring that your employees are in a sanitary workplace and are safe while working with tools, blades, etc. is a priority.
Examples of topics to cover during your salon health/safety training:
- any updated procedures (example: COVID)
- disposing of any chemicals or products
- disposing/cleaning of towels
- proper sanitation of bowls/tools
- the cleaning of styling tools
Key Takeaway’s for Your Salon
- Even experienced new hires need training because conducting proper training implies that you are an employee-based salon that values the quality of your brand.
- Enforcing training for your team–no matter the experience level–means that everyone is dedicated to creating a team that provides consistently exceptional work in all aspects of the salon.
- Establishing and enforcing training on written policies, technical skills, customer service, retail, reception, and health/safety are all ways to have successful salon training sessions.