“I just had a salon/spa walk out. I’m not sure how to pick up the pieces.”

Invariably, whenever a salon/spa experiences a service provider walkout, it usually comes down to conflicts with leadership styles. Leadership styles vary and should be adaptive to employee and business situations. Bottom line is leadership styles impact employee satisfaction and overall business performance.

Different situations require different forms of leadership for decision-making. Successful leaders understand this fluidity, utilizing different styles for different situations. But not all leaders are proficient or experienced enough to handle this demanding daily changeability.

The two main types of leadership style are democratic (team participative, willingness) and authoritarian (leadership directed, willfulness) and the purpose of these two main styles is to accomplish tasks or goals as set by the vision of the leader.

The differences in these two styles is quite drastic from the leader and team member points of view and team members respond differently based on their disposition (their character and temperament). The leaders point of view is that either the team member will do what they are asked to do (democratic) or they will do what they are told to do (authoritarian). From the team member point of view, under a democratic leadership they are either being entrusted to make the right decisions in accomplishing their responsibilities whereas in an authoritarian leadership, they must accomplish their duties in a certain way or else.

Leaders in the salon/spa industry must understand the drivers that daily motivate and that lead their team members to this industry. Many who pursue a career in this field had no sense of direction prior to attending a beauty school program. They thought it would be “fun” and “easy to do”. Not having this realistic view of what the service provider role entails leaves man disenchanted who attempt to enter this field, making the role of leaders in the salon/spa environment that much more challenging.

Democratic styles work best in salon/spa environments typically having the highest team member satisfaction. The leader entrusts the team members to accomplish their daily tasks with minimal supervision which adhere to standards of quality and client satisfaction. These team members are loyal and have a sense of cohesiveness which easily translates over to increased productivity, personal satisfaction and client satisfaction. Team members are recognized for their personal success and their role in the team’s success. On a basic level, the team members personal vision and goals are aligned in support of the leader’s vision and goals. The leaders are easily approachable, considerate of others and focus on the general well-being of the team all of which impact overall client satisfaction. These leaders encourage collaboration and empower the team members, making them feel that their input is valued and respected. The freedom to act and make decisions allows creative team members to flourish, knowing that they are entrusted to act responsibly for the overall good of the salon/spa culture.

In sharp contrast is the authoritarian management style. Trying to implement an authoritarian management style where service providers are limited in their role by the responsibility they contribute to the salon/spa culture does not work when managing a group of creative people. This type of environment conveys lack of respect that the service provider is incompetent and has no responsibility in the overall client satisfaction experience. There is no team member accountability for the overall culture in the salon/spa. The authoritarian leader can have a condescending view of “look at what I have done for you” verses “look at what we have done together”.

The key word in the above paragraph second sentence is “trying”. Owners who try to implement an authoritarian management style will always have an environment of turmoil complete with worker walk outs and constantly in business building mode with new hires when if the culture instilled would have been one of team-based, they would be reaping the benefits of service providers with full books and a dependable revenue stream. Authoritarianism can be construed for an owner over-compensating for incompetence or covering up their understanding of how to grow a successful business which includes financial and people management acumen.

An authoritarian management style leaves the team members feeling that the owner is unapproachable. They are often resentful that the owner(s) limit their control in the overall responsibility of the culture, being insulted that they are made to feel or look incompetent to others whether internally or externally to the salon/spa. What’s worse is that the clients can pick up on this negative vibe just through observing the interaction amongst the leader(s) and team members. Owners need to be wary of their actions and words. If they are not mindful of leadership style things can start to deteriorate rather quickly. Backroom and non-work hour conversations between team members ensue over the owner(s) treatment of them. Before an owner knows it, they are faced with a walkout. Not only do they lose a revenue stream, but also, experienced service providers and potentially their clientele.

Your leadership style is part of your salon/spa identity. What leadership style do you wish to embrace?

At Salon Spa Business Coaching, we are a group of independent coaches who are not brand affiliated. Let us help you in understanding the best leadership methods that fit your salon/spa business to support your vision and goals.
Give us a call today and ask about our complimentary two-hour team building session, a $325 value, that will prioritize your needs and immediately start to transform your business!

1-888-783-7035 ◊ contact@coach-ssbc.com