While most of our salons have reopened across the country, and staff have returned to work, it would be remiss to suggest that the anxiety of 2020 has evaporated.

Many workers still fear for their job, particularly with the end of JobKeeper looming. While that reaction can be normal, particularly given the enormity of the year we’ve all just experienced, a common reaction is to look elsewhere for work, says corporate psychologist Hannah Freedman.

“When we feel we’re on a sinking ship, our natural reaction is to look for solid ground. The same goes for when we’re feeling insecure in our jobs. We will start looking for employment that offers us a solid foundation.”

If your salon is in a position, Hannah suggests investing your time and money into your staff. “It may seem like a tough time to be investing into training or the like, but hiring new staff is more expensive,” says Hannah.

Talk it out
If you don’t have regular catch-ups and appraisals with your team, you should be. A regular check-in lets you get a feel for how they’re feeling about their role. “It will also give you a chance to assure them of their performance, and that you value their contribution to your team,” says Hannah. “Ask them what their plans for the future are. Do they have visions of becoming as manager? Are these skills you can help them to achieve with the view of giving them more responsibility in your business? Getting sense-check enables you create a development plan for staff, and that is statistically more likely to remain working with you for longer.”

Get out of the salon
Plan a staff bonding day, or an evening away from work. “The quickest way to find out how someone feels about work is to take them away from work,” says Hannah. “Plan a casual day, or evening, limit the alcohol and find out how everyone feels. As their defences come down, they’ll also be more likely to ask you about the state of the business, their roles and where you see the business going.”

Ask for advice
It may sound counter-intuitive for a boss to ask their staff for advice, but there are several reasons this can be a good idea. “Firstly, your staff have certain insights into your business that you won’t. They’re at the coal-face, speaking with clients, using the products and dealing with the day-to-day. Their insights are invaluable. Second, when you give your staff a voice, and when you actually listen to what they have to say, you empower them. They feel valued and an integral part of the salon’s success. And when they feel that, they’re more likely to stick around.”

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