Excellent communication skills are the lifeblood of a successful salon. A good style of management, combined with a positive approach to communication, ensures that everyone understands one another, are more effective, leading to greater productivity, a great working environment and most of all – happy clients.
Time for Your Team:
Staff meetings are vital for effective management and communication. Properly run meetings save time, increase motivation, improve productivity, and solve problems. Meetings can create new ideas and achieve company ‘buy in’. Well run staff meetings can diffuse conflict in a way that emails and written communications can’t.
Even if it is difficult to justify the time, hold regular meetings. Plan, run and follow up meetings properly and they will repay the cost many times over because there is still no substitute for physical face-to-face meetings. Run staff meetings to manage teams and situations, to achieve salon objectives quicker, easier and at less cost. Well run meetings make people happier and more productive. Badly run meetings waste time, money and resources and are worse than having no meetings at all.
Meetings which involve salon staff and encourage participation and responsibility are more constructive than meetings in which the manager tells, instructs and makes all the decisions, which is not a particularly productive style of leadership.
Basic Rules for Salon Staff Meetings:
The aim of a well-run staff meeting is that whatever the agenda, afterwards all staff members feel that it took care of their needs, as well as the agenda.
Your choice of structure and style in running an effective meeting is dependent on several factors, such as:
- The situation
- The implications and needs of the salon/project
- The needs and interests of the team
- Your own role, confidence and personal experience
- Your salon position and relationship with the team
- The aim/agenda of the meeting
Remember, there will always be more than one aim, because all meetings bring with them the need and opportunity to care for and develop staff, both as individuals and as one entity. You have a responsibility to manage the meeting so that it is a positive and helpful experience for all attending. That way, staff will be happy to attend and will look forward to your meetings.
The Structure of Effective Meetings:
- Use the agenda as a planning tool.
- Circulate the agenda in advance, allowing all team members to prepare.
- Run the meeting – keep control, agree outcomes, actions and responsibilities, and always take notes.
- Circulate the notes.
- Follow up on agreed actions and responsibilities.
There are many reasons to have salon staff meetings on a regular basis, such as: training, giving feedback, generating new ideas, planning, getting client feedback, solving problems, performance reporting, setting targets, making decisions, team building and motivation. To avoid boredom, vary your salon meetings.
Always have a clear purpose, decide on the topics and their priority. Important matters may not need to be resolved quickly, whereas urgent matters generally don’t require a lot of discussions. Circulate a draft agenda in advance of the meeting and ask for any other items for inclusion – that way everybody feels included in the process. Decide on the outcome for each issue so that each item will be more productive with a clear aim at the beginning of the meeting.
Put less important issues at the top of the agenda, not at the bottom. Otherwise, you may not get to them because you tend to spend all the time on big issues. Put urgent issues high on the agenda and vary the agenda to create changes in pace. Staff tend to be at their most sensitive at the beginning of meetings, so schedule anything controversial later in the agenda, giving people a chance to settle down and relax.
Running the Meetings:
The key to successful salon meetings is keeping control. You achieve this by sticking to the agenda, managing the relationships and personalities, and concentrating on outcomes. Meetings simply must have a purpose. Every item must have a purpose. Remind yourself and the team of the required outcomes and steer towards making progress.
Politely suppress the over-zealous and encourage the nervous staff. Take notes as you go to avoid forgetting items later. Concentrate on achieving the outcomes you set for the meeting when you drew up the agenda and stick to this. Defer new issues to the next meeting. Don’t waffle, just be honest if you can’t answer any queries. Don’t tolerate useless moaning, instead tell the moaning individual to research the topic and report back to you with recommendations.
Always watch how staff are behaving in meetings – look out for signs of tiredness, exasperation, confusion, boredom and take necessary action. As much as possible, stick to the agenda and if things get too serious or heave, swap to a team game or a light hearted exercise.
You must take notes, as this is how you take control. Two things happen when you are seen to be taking a written record of proceedings:
- Staff respect you for not forcing them to do it, and
- They see that you are recording agreed actions, so there’s no escaping the outcome.
A meeting without notes is mostly pointless. Actions go unrecorded and therefore forgotten. Staff feel that the meeting was pointless because there’s no written record and are less likely to want to attend future meetings. Keep those notes brief or else nobody will want to read them. Include relevant facts, figures, actions and timescales.
You must follow up agreed actions and hold staff to them. If you don’t, they will learn that they can ignore these agreements every time, leading to ineffective meetings. By following up on agreed actions, at future meetings you will positively condition your team to respond and perform, making your salon meetings work for you and your team.