Everyone wants to be part of something – to belong. Team momentum and excitement are infectious. Teamwork pulls people together in the most positive and inspiring way. When your salon/spa’s team spirit is strong enough, even your self-proclaimed diehard loners and change resisters will find themselves subtly seeking a way to align with the team. Call it teamwork, camaraderie, or your family at work, the effect teamwork has on staff retention is the magic that every company can, and must, strive to achieve.
Throughout my working years, I’ve been part of three teams that stand out. With two of those teams, I was an employee. Of those two, one was a salon and the other was a publishing company. We were truly tight as co-workers, and relentlessly focused on goals and vision. Both companies had inspiring leaders who kept us on task and totally accountable for our actions and results. We were proud and WOW, were we ever productive. In both cases, when our teams’ fearless leaders moved on (one was promoted and the other turned into a jerk) the team energy and focus left with them. For me personally, I yearned for the involvement, camaraderie and growth I experienced on those teams. So much so, that without the team connectedness, I found myself looking for other opportunities beyond the company. In both instances, my searching led me to start my own companies.
Clearly, all teams go through up-and-down cycles as people come and go and as the business environment changes. But the no-compromise leader does the best job of maintaining high-performance teams. For them, the lows are not so low. They inspire teamwork. They attract and nurture the right players. For the no-compromise leader, the team and the company endure above all else.
The third and very best team I have ever been on is my team at Strategies. Some of us have been together for over 20 years. Since founding Strategies in 1993, we’ve only lost a handful of employees. Not bad for 22+ years. Some departures were emotionally tough with people that will be missed. Likewise, some were the best decisions for the individuals and the team. It all comes back to creating a culture and level of personal involvement that make people want to stay. They stay because they’re part of a special team that can’t be found elsewhere.
Here’s a hit list of 10 teamwork strategies you can use to drive staff retention:
- Keep operational tasks off your plate: Delegate and empower those tasks to individuals and teams.
- Set up project teams: These teams work on special projects, problem solving and system development.
- Do daily huddles and mini rallies: Teamwork should be fun, exciting and inspiring.
- Create orientation teams: Indoctrinating new employees into your no-compromise culture is key and teams hasten the process.
- Set up games to create friendly competition between teams: Don’t forget to include some cool prizes for the winning team. Games keep employees engaged, and engaged employees are easier to retain. Games bring life, energy and opportunity to slack periods or during seasonal trends.
- Make time to play on a team: Nothing like having their fearless leaders get down and dirty with the troops.
- Create a mentor program: Mentors are key for employees moving into new positions within the company, or to help employees with specific challenges to overcome them. Set strict qualifications to be on your mentor’s team. Make it a privilege and an honor to serve on your mentor team.
- Team is about “we”: Identify every term and situation where “I/me/mine” terminology and thinking detracts from your teamwork standards and practices. Coach, mentor and inspire team members to understand how simple terms and practices can lift and solidify teamwork.
- Educate your customers: A team approach to service is a huge advantage to clients. It improves access to services when it’s best for the client – not the limited availability of one particular service provider. It exposes clients to the skills of the entire team.
- More than you realize: The more your employees embrace teamwork, the faster and more efficiently the salon/spa operates and grows. Most of all, for employees, the emotional bonds of teamwork are hard to let go of. Leaving the company means leaving the team that brought out the best in that employee.
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