How To Upskill Your Salon Staff

How To Upskill Your Salon Staff
Learn how you can grow your salon by up-skilling your staff through consistent and relevant training. Here are four tips on where to start.
by Square Apr 27, 2023 — 3 min read
How To Upskill Your Salon Staff

There’s always a new trend to learn in the health and beauty industry, and new treatments emerge regularly. Making continual learning part of your company culture is the best way to gain a competitive edge for your spa or salon.

Giving your staff opportunities to up-skill has all kinds of benefits. By being able to provide the latest, sought-after techniques and treatments, they’ll attract more clients and land repeat bookings, making your salon more profitable. Your staff will appreciate being with a salon that values and trains them. Learning new things means they’ll enjoy their work more and provide a quality service.

Happy, stimulated staff have higher morale and are less likely to leave, plus they’ll tell their industry friends about you. It all helps to make you an employer of choice, where the best talent wants to work. Here are a few handy tips.

Embed training from day one

Ideally, up-skilling should begin with each new hire you make. A fresh slate offers you the best chance to instill your culture and values as well as thoroughly inducting new team members to your processes and systems.

Culture matters. A salon’s values and culture should organically shape its strategy by guiding the choices that align with its beliefs and reflect its identity. Working in health and beauty, it’s likely you already hold to values such as wellbeing, personal care, inclusion, and professional excellence – share these with your staff and encourage them to embody them in their client interactions. You’re probably already doing this intuitively but formalising it in your training will help embed it in ways that lead to the practical outcomes you’re looking for.

It’s important to link your salon or spa’s values to practical goals that your team can work towards. Ensure that everyone is aware and invested in this vision to propel the business forward on a daily basis.

Your goals don’t need to be lofty or vague. For example, If your aim is to increase revenue by 15% this year, you might link this to your values of professional excellence and explain that you’re counting on your team to let clients know about some of the more advanced treatments you offer. In the same example, let your staff know why the revenue target is important to you and, if you want their help to get there, clearly explain the bonuses on offer for your best-performing staff.

Square Appointments has recently added powerful staff performance reporting. Found under a new Appointments Reports section in Dashboard Reports, the report allows sellers to view client retention and pre-booking metrics, with the ability to filter by individual team members, services and locations. This can help you plan extra training where it’s needed as well as showing you areas where staff rewards might work to incentivise revenue growth. In a competitive market, where leading salons see retaining quality staff as a top challenge, these tools can give you an edge by highlighting ways to nurture and reward staff.

Look for strengths and weaknesses in your staff’s knowledge

What are your staff good at already? Ask them directly (they may have hidden skills you’re not drawing upon) as well as observing them in their work. How do you rate their performance? And in what areas could they benefit from more training?

Again, you’ll need to articulate your goals here. Be clear on your vision for the salon and what differentiates your offering from those around you. What skills will help you get where you want to go? What are the gaps?

Ask your team what skills they’re most keen to learn. Of course, if these don’t match your business goals then they may be non-starters, but you might just be given some killer ideas for a technique or treatment that no one else is offering yet.

In-house training

The next thing you might want to do is create an in-house training curriculum. You can draw on your team’s expertise and skills for this. For example, a senior stylist could lead a training session on advanced cutting techniques, while a team member who excels in customer service could share their strategies and insights for building strong relationships with clients.

To keep your team engaged and motivated, it’s important to challenge them with new tasks as they make progress. For example, if one of your employees is great at systems and processes, you could task them with coordinating stock orders based on inventory reporting in Square. If another has a great eye for composition and has loads of Instagram followers, perhaps they’d be interested in running your social media.

External training

The final piece of the puzzle might be to identify the areas you need the salon to upskill in to reach your business goals but for which you don’t have any training capability within the team.

There are a number of spa and salon training organisations that can come to you to run in-salon training sessions on specific skills. Searching online for refresher courses in your area should lead to what you’re looking for.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

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