Team Building Is Vital for the Growth and Success of Business

By Jenny Hogan

"Teamwork makes the dream work," stated Oscar Valencia, a business coach with over 25 years in the beauty industry.

"I come from a background in professional baseball," Valencia continued. "Sports teams always hold motivational pregame locker room sessions. As a ballplayer, I had 162 games in a season. That's a lot of meetings! Yet without those inspirational sessions, our chances of winning the game would have decreased immensely."

Valencia works with Inspiring Champions, business training and coaching company specializing in the professional beauty industry and founded by Lauren Gartland who with her team of business coaches help thousands of beauty professionals to motivate their salon teams through leadership and team building.

Fearing that meetings will turn into complaint sessions, owners often avoid them entirely. Yet not having regular meetings is missing a valuable opportunity for growth in your business. Productive, supportive meetings will feed that growth and become an exciting venue to share ideas, inspiration and support for the team.

Gartland claims, "Your role as a leader should be to help build your team up, help them to recognize their own value and what they can achieve. Once smaller goals are accomplished, help your team to raise the bar with new, bigger goals. Positive reinforcement works better than negative to help inspire your team."

You should meet as a team with your staff at least once a month to communicate your business updates and review your goals and progress. Begin meetings with an overview of your mission as a business and your shared code of honor.

"If you already have a mission statement, consider recreating it as a team effort," Gartland said. "What you co-create with your team members will be supported by them, as they will then have ownership in it. Treat your shared values as your code of honor. Select four guiding principles you believe are the foundation of your culture and success. Examples of guiding principles could be honesty, integrity, respect, excellence, trust, appreciation and fun."

Select four guiding principles with your team and include a one sentence phrase of what they mean to you and what you each commit to. Here are three examples of statements using guiding principles: Integrity: We will do what we said we would do and be accountable to each other and ourselves. Respect: We will receive all contributions as valuable and honor them. Appreciation: We will regularly express appreciation to inspire the team and to thank them for their contribution.

Much like the Marine code, establishing this kind of system holds team members accountable, holds them to a team standard and gives other members permission to call them out if they fail to honor it.

In between your regular meetings, find ways to regularly engage your team members. Using social media will be a fun and easy way to interact with your team, while also building your salon brand and client base. Provide a consistent social media voice through your Facebook and Twitter accounts to share salon and spa news, new services, new staff, product specials, seasonal promotions and any fun or interesting things related to your business. Encourage your team members to participate through sharing their own expertise, advice or ideas on haircare, skincare or nailcare.

Have your staff regularly post their newest hair design or nail artistry photographs on Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram or other popular photo sharing sites. Create a Pinterest page for your business and have team members create their own pages, linking back to your professional page. You can hold contests through your Facebook or Pinterest pages for the most number of "likes" or most creative makeover ideas. Engaging in this way with your staff will create a culture for your business that they will belong to, encouraging a team spirit and sense of value.

One team exercise that always provides fun results is to create "dream boards," where staff identifies tangible goals and dreams. Have your staff cut out magazine photographs and glue them to construction paper. One corner might be for a vacation, another for a wedding, a baby or a dream house. The team hangs the boards up in their break room so they can see their dreams represented visually each day.

A high tech version of this might be to create a Pinterest board where team members pin their favorite photos of their dreams. Getting salon teams excited and motivated about pursuing dreams helps salon owners quantify their goals and implement changes.

When an owner has laid out a clearly defined vision and business plan, then that allows the team to fully support it because they will then know what the finish line looks like. You should have a detailed business plan that includes established policies and procedures to clearly explain your expectations of your team.

Establish goals and accountability for every process in your spa and fully explain and support those processes. If you expect your team to retail professional salon and spa products, upsell haircare, skincare, bodycare and nailcare services or cross market those services in your business, then your team should be actively working daily to support those goals.

Implementing professional salon and spa systems will be a solution for every challenge in your business, from the front desk to client consultations, professional product retailing, upselling treatments and rebooking appointments. Ensure that you are following professional salon systems in your business and teaching them to your team members.

You should be regularly practicing your systems with your staff to help them become confident and proficient. You will see a difference made literally within one day of implementing business systems and just one system alone may double or triple salon profits in two to three weeks.

Repeatable systems are the tools for transformation for your business and they make that transformation sustainable. The positive outcome of your strong leadership is that you will find your voice in confidence to become an agent for that change.

While motivating your team is very important, Valencia says that motivation alone is simply not enough. "While people may love inspiration, I always say that inspiration will only last until Thursday! After that, your repeatable systems are what will save you."

By creating goals for your salon and spa members, teaching them how to successfully achieve those goals and regularly engaging them as part of your team, you will dramatically increase your business revenue and help your entire team to prosper.

For information call 800-496-9305 or visit www.InspiringChampions.com. Jenny Hogan is the Media Director at Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, advertising and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty business. For more information, contact 703-359-6000, visit www.MktgSols.com or send an email to MktgSols@MktgSols.com.