Having an effective manager at your spa is invaluable – they are your right-hand person, always putting the needs of the salon first, empowering and mentoring more junior staff and, in a perfect world, giving you a bit of a breather.

And all managers know that their staff’s performance is an indication of how well they’re doing within their own role. But sometimes, managers unwittingly sabotage their own team’s performance.

According to Doctor Bryan Williams, founder of the BW Leadership Academy, the biggest downfall of the modern salon manager is a tendency to micro-manage.

“This is when the manager hovers over you, breathing down your neck,” says Doctor Williams. “They will ask you to do something, but insist on being involved in every step. It implies the manager does not trust you.”

As a result, staff members get frustrated, and this in our frustrates a manager. “It’s a toxic cycle,” says Doctor Williams. “When you don’t trust staff, you erode their self confidence and your confidence in them.” He explains that when staff become micro-managed, their discretionary effort is inhibited. “This is the level of effort people can put in if they choose to, above the required minimum.”

Micromanagement is the opposite of empowering your staff. But simply putting a stop to micromanaging doesn’t necessarily create an empowered environment. “You have to actually find ways to empower your team. Involve them in planning and decision making. Then give them an opportunity to flex their decision-making muscle, so that they know that they’re valued contributors to the organisation,” he says. “One of the best things I can do as a manager, to make you feel engaged, is to tell you that I believe in you and that I trust you well enough. And then, back up what I have said with action.”

For a manager whose default position is to micromanage, handing over any kind of control can feel dangerous, but Doctor Williams insists it’s imperative if a salon’s staff is going to exceed service expectations. “If you want your team to perform at their best, you need to step back.”

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