Why do people leave?

What 3•6•5’s Ken West doesn’t know about business frankly isn’t worth knowing! Here, he looks at what salons should be doing to avoid seeing talented staff walk out the door…

“A concerned salon owner recently contacted me because they kept losing team members. They were even considering cutting training – they felt that they were spending a lot of money growing their team and failing to see the returns they would have liked.

I could have given an obvious response, such as: ‘You’re not paying them enough, or you’re not being nice to them’ but I felt that the salon owner deserved a more considered answer. I thought about it and considered the many reasons that team members give for leaving… and I had a light bulb moment. Apart from maternity or relocation, most people leave because someone else has offered them a fabulous new opportunity. My conclusion then was that the reason most people leave is because of a lack of opportunities. This still might seem like an answer that doesn’t really give you an answer, but let’s look at a couple of reasons that people often give for leaving. First, let’s look at the most obvious one:

More money

I would never say that you should merely pay people more in order to keep them – in fact this is often absolutely the wrong thing to do – but be honest with yourself and think about what you as a salon owner are in control of.

Is your pricing structure providing the potential for a stylist to earn a good salary? Do some simple maths and look at what each of your team are charging and the number of clients they are serving each week and see if they can easily earn a reasonable salary. Is it possible for them, with a realistic amount of effort, to change reasonable to good? If you currently feel that you can’t raise your prices to enable your team to earn enough, then consider your product.  You will have heard me say before that when people pay £70 for afternoon tea at The Ritz they are certainly not buying sandwiches, tea and scones. If you truly understand what people ‘buy’, then you will begin to understand how you can raise your prices. It’s not only pricing that can affect earnings though. Is your salon and your marketing attracting enough new clients not only to maintain your clientele but also to grow it? How many new clients are you retaining beyond three visits? Most salons monitor second visit clients but rarely monitor four visits and beyond. Now let’s consider another reason:

Setting up their own salon

If you have a great team member that you know and love and who wants their own business then why not do it together? Surely this is a win/win situation? You win because they don’t leave you and they win because they can benefit from your wisdom and experience. There are multiple ways to do this, which could be an article in its own right, but surely it’s worth considering?

Now I urge you to think of all the other reasons that people give for leaving, and consider how this could have been prevented had you provided the right opportunities before someone else did. It’s far better to regularly spend time with each of your team to establish what their aims and ambitions are and how you can help them to achieve them.

At 3•6•5 we have a set of ‘Guidelines to Greatness’ and number 21 is: ‘Find out what people want and help them to achieve it.’ Wise words indeed!”

Ken West is director of business experts 3•6•5 – email him on KenW@365Hair.com