How to Motivate Staff in a Hair Salon Including Hairstylists & Makeup Artists

How to Motivate Staff in a Hair Salon

One of the most common questions I receive from salon owners is: How do I motivate my hair salon staff?

Frankly, there is no one answer. Yet, there is one key approach that’ll help motivate your staff of hairstylists, makeup artists and others.

It’s this…

Find your staff doing things right.

In fact, I recommend setting up reminders to find each of your staff members doing things that positively impact salon growth. These conversations will not take additional time, since you’ll simply be replacing some of your stylists’ conversations with more (organized) positive feedback.

Soundbite examples that’ll help motivate your staff:

I love the balayage you did on Jessica, it was so natural looking. Everyone at the prom will be jealous of her. Nicely done, thank you!

You handled Stephanie really well. She can be quite particular, yet you did a great job remaining calm and giving her what she wanted. Thank you. I know clients can be challenging, and I appreciate everything you do.

I’m always impressed by your ability to try new techniques. Especially when a client doesn’t know what they want, you’re able to create something very subtle that makes them feel special.

You’re really good at listening to clients and not judging them. I was impressed when Claire started talking about how rude her son has been. My instincts were to chime in and ask why she puts up with such treatment, which would not have been professional. You’re doing a great job, and thank you for always taking the high road!

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When you run out of things to say…

At times, you may not have anything inspiring to say.

For salon owners and managers who find themselves in this situation, try these two strategies:

#1 — Place yourself in your hairstylist’s shoes. Consider everything that’s going on in your stylist’s life both personally and professionally. Now, if these things were happening to you, what would you want to hear? Generally speaking, your stylist would appreciate hearing what you have to say, increasing his/her motivation.

#2 — Routinely share your salon’s long-term business objectives with your staff. Later, when you see a stylist positively contributing to these goals, bring the helpful action to their attention, e.g., educating a new client about your salon’s referral program. When your team understands the big picture, they’ll feel part of a common goal. This camaraderie improves work ethic and overall motivation.

Money as Motivation

It goes without saying that most salon employees and contractors would enjoy making more money. Who wouldn’t! 🙂

Yet, study after study shows that what most people really want is to be:

  • Liked
  • Heard
  • Treated kindly

For salon and spa owners, the gem in all of this is that it doesn’t cost anything.

Instead, positive reinforcement is the most powerful employee motivation and retention tool.

Finally, for more ideas on motivating your staff; specifically, inspiring them to get involved in marketing your salon, check out my eBook:

Salon & Spa Marketing Strategies: 16 Ways to Involve Your Staff & Ignite Profits

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Salon and Spa Marketing Strategies


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Thanks for sharing.

Independently yours,