Keeping pace with new techniques

How do you keep salon staff trained up on new techniques and technology?

This question, put forward by Helen Anton at the Australasian Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine, was one of six discussed over lunch at Professional Beauty’s fourth industry round table.

Our eight industry supplier and salon owner experts – including Lycon Cosmetics’ Lydia Jordane, Aesthetic Enterprises’ Tracy Lee Dobbin, Ex Import Niche Products’ Otto Mitter, Skin Fitness’ Linda Fenech, InSkin Cosmedics’ Maria Cocciolone, The Skin Clinic Concord’s Belinda Merlino, MediSpa Solutions’ Mariza Nuttall and Face To Face Skin & Body Care’s Maree Mondello – said there was no doubt some salons were more proactive than others when it came to training. But they agreed the connection between the supplier and the salon was crucial, not only for products but also when it came to support.

Maree said she would much prefer to educate her staff, then they leave, rather than them staying ignorant and so they stay, while Tracy said you needed to look at a salon’s training budget, which supplier you partnered with and interfacing your training with your supplier.

Linda said training needed to be tailored to meet the individual, while Otto said good planning came down to offering great training.

Belinda said you had to invest time, energy and money, while Mariza said training had to be good training, not a time-waster.

Maria said it was up to the clinic owners to ensure the training had a competency plan in place once training from a supplier had been undertaken.

Read their edited responses below or watch the video for the full discussion.

“I rely very heavily on my supplier, especially with machinery, equipment and products. Most of my equipment is from MediSpa Solutions. I have access to the engineers that create my machines. Most of the education is not paid education; it’s free and available to me and my staff so that I can send them. I get a calendar 12 months in advance so I can pre-plan. We create it and make it a team effort so it’s a team learning experience. I rely on my suppliers, be that retail, machinery or equipment. If any of my staff I hire need certification, then we book that in advance. We spend the money and we fund their ongoing education. I would much prefer to educate my staff, then they leave, rather than them staying ignorant and so can stay. It’s a very dangerous thing to have uneducated staff, so I put a big focus on education. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in the industry for 12 months or 20 years. We’re all going through the same procedures.”

“There are three dimensions that need to be looked at. One is the training budget of the salon. The second thing is being savvy about who you partner with, who your supplier is, and the manufacturer of the product. That’s really important because part of the criteria is the training that falls into the obligation. The third thing thing is interfacing your training with your supplier and having that planning ahead business. Having the money to do it, having the availability and then making decisions about who you’re going to partner with, because training is a really big criteria when you’re making that selection.”

“Each individual is at a different level than somebody else, so the training needs to be tailored to reflect that.”

“Good planning comes down to offering great training. As new staff come on board, that’ a great time to discuss it. Let them know what they’re in for. Keeping staff excited is a goal that we always try to achieve. You can offer incentives. On a global scale, the Australian beauty industry is very passionate about education and being on the forefront of the latest techniques. Our company practises a lot of training. We spend a lot of time working with schools, with salons. It’s what we do all the time so it’s very, very important.”

“You’ve got to invest the time, the energy and the dollars. Recently myself and my therapists were getting a rattled because I carry so many ranges and have so many different modalities. Which skin fits which range? Which skin requires something more basic and who needs the more advanced results, and how do you get them there? We organised through InSkin a specialised training day, specific to the lines that I carry. We then had our best retail month on record. Even just hearing what my staff had learnt that day was so satisfying. They carried that knowledge into the treatment room and into my clients and their skin journey. It was invaluable.”

“If you’re going to provide training, you have to provide good training. It can’t be a time waster. It’s got to be to the point. We’ve changed our training style. Most of our trainings are workshops now. There are a lot of hands-on, lots of practical. We really focus around keeping it simple but making sure the attendees get everything from us and are not wasting any time. We incentivise them at the end of the training. We give them a gift, we do a little certification of attendance, and they get their picture on social media with a tiara. It works for the young girls.”

“As a supplier, there’s a huge expectation for us to motivate the staff, change their behaviours and ultimately the bottom line. But it is up to the clinic owners to ensure the training that we do has got a competency plan in place from the minute they walk out. Even when you leave product training, you leave with a new skillset, you leave with new terminology, and you learn new scripts. It’s up to the clinic owner the very next day to call on those. I sometimes feel like we’re in a bit of a battle with the clinics – it’s simply a win-win. We will, if you will. We’ll come back and do training for you as long as that staff member has completed X, Y and Z. We’re not setting you up for failure, we want you to be successful, but it’s got to be a partnership. “

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