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How can I make my staff feel valued?

Recognising an employee's achievement is always a good idea; however, the pandemic has made the way we value them more challenging as their demands have changed. So, how do you continuously motivate the individuals and your team if their intentions at work have changed?

Over the years, I have created a lot of different programmes and incentives to make employees feel recognised for their hard work; however, we must understand the negatives that can be associated with these:

  1. If you're not careful, it's always the same person that wins

  2. It can be demotivating for the people that don't win: am I a loser if I do not win? What about my hard work?

  3. How do you measure success? Do you have a new KPI every month?

  4. Can you guarantee the whole team's motivation?

  5. Even if you ensure that a different employee wins every month, is there any point in this case?

What is considered a positive mindset can actually have a completely different effect on the team's work.

I strongly believe, especially with what's going on with recruitment at the moment, that learning about your leadership skills and developing them is a fantastic path forward for your salon or spa. Part of leadership should be creating an individual development plan where each individual is targeted according to their abilities and trained to perform to the maximum of what they can achieve in their field. Leaders create leaders.

Focusing on these individual plans allows growth on both accounts: individual and your business.

Let's look at what those plans should include:

  • Training plan: what training do you have planned for the year ahead?

  • Individual targets: targeted to each staff member's ability bearing in mind that this will grow every single month to achieve what is reasonable for the business

  • Retail focus: the plan to ensure that your employee will become excellent at retail sales, including training, soft skills, consultations etc.

  • Personal motivation: "I want to learn a new skill, I want to do something completely different, I am motivated by money, time back, I want to open my own salon". As an employer, the more I know about my individual team members the more I can target their motivation. If you perform, I will help you with what you truly want. Think of it as a win-win situation.

  • Performance: it is crucial to track everybody's performance within your team. The Individual Performance Plan is performance related, so we need to track the figures and KPIs but mostly give feedback to ensure they continue performing. As an employer, I want each team member to become the best at what they do, but that means you must deal with underperformance. A lot of issues come when we are inconsistent with the tracking of their performance so the plan becomes of no value to them. If the targets are reasonable and achievable, then my expectations are set, and it is down to me to ensure they are supporting that person. When I recruit someone, I am setting them up for success and will do everything in my power to ensure that they are high achievers.

Once that is all set, how do we recognise their performance?

For those who follow me, you will know that I am obsessed with communication through regular meetings, so they are aware of their performance. At team meetings, recognise the hard work of each person and highlight someone who had a particularly good month, let it be retail, customer service, an amazing review, or whatever you decide to highlight, which is what I call: the cherry on top! A little bouquet or an extra unexpected gift voucher will always positively impact that person. Because it is personalised, everyone else is far from being affected since the recognition is based on said person's individual performance.

In all, the point of an individual plan of action will recognise the hard work and value everyone in their own ways, whilst keeping the whole team's motivation high.

Encouraging every little positive step is one of the most important aspects of team motivation and will bring high value to those plans that you have created. One word to remember out of all of this is consistency. If you are irregular in your approach to valuing your staff, it will have the opposite effect as you will be seen as being a "too busy" leader, so disgruntled is how you will make everyone feel around you. Your team is the only important aspect of your business; only with them are you able to achieve the targets set. Be mindful of your time for them; acknowledgement and praise go a long way, far beyond what you could expect.

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