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How regular is your staff communication?

Written by Sally Doubleday on June 2nd, 2016.      0 comments


Communication within any business is essential, and the spa and beauty industry is no different.
As many business have rosters, which have some staff on a regular rotation it is difficult to always have strong lines of communication.

To be honest you have to plan your communication, planning and booking in time to communicate with staff will guarantee a positive influence on your business.
As many owners work in their business, it is difficult to find the time to pass on valuable information to our staff, so scheduling communication can take the guess work out of the equation.

 
How often do you communicate with your staff?
 
Now, no silly responses of course you talk to them daily, but is it informative or is it small talk?
 
As a business mentor I recently was involved in a non-communication standoff between to staff, and wow, I tell you, you cannot effectively work in a business without any lines of communication, it just will not work. So make it your priority to review your existing communication procedure within your Spa.
 
Things happen within our business daily, we have set business plans, updated marketing calendars and our brands introduce new products, how do communicate these operational changes/ reviews with your staff, below are a few suggestions of communication tools.
  • Message system, maybe on computer, or in a communication book
  • A diary/calendar where important dates are scheduled for all staff to see
  • Daily catch up or power meetings
  • Weekly meetings
  • Meeting book
  • Meeting agenda
  • Meeting minutes
  • Meeting follow up



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The communication that we are discussing is around your staff and the daily operations, and monthly planning. It is also important to remember schedule other forms of communication ie staff and client reviews etc.
However for this article we are just going to discuss staff meetings.
I used to work in a big Spa in Auckland, it was amazing, I was the Manager of the Spa and we had a manager of the Hair salon as well.

As a business model the spa was created from Hair dressing back ground, which we can all appreciate can contradict the essence of Spa, but is also an integral part to offering full service to our clients.
With the spa on one side and the hair on the other there of course was a meeting point which was in the middle.
Quiet, subdued lighting, soft music, meets, colour, loud and noise.

Communication with our staff was vital for business to work effectively, it was also different types of communication.
We had many meetings scheduled, with many people, the most important were myself and the Salon Manager, our two front desk managers from each side, and individual Spa/ Salon team meetings.

 
We had a white board in the staff room for messages, empowerment and reminders, as in please be quiet!
We had meetings minutes books, calendars in the staff room of events and staff holidays, birthdays etc.

Communication was key to our operations, but we had too many meetings booked in, and a lot of the time we had very little staff at the meetings.


You ask WHY?
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Well practically we all couldn’t make it, we were a seven day operation, with seven late nights, and between us we had 30 staff.

So compromise was needed and some special planning, scheduling systems.

The Salons shows to have their team meetings every morning, they were a smaller number, worked less days and hours, and as a team preferred the daily communication.
The Spa rotated its meetings weekly, we analyzed the days where most staff were on in a week, we analyzed the best down time to have the meetings so that we wouldn’t disturb client bookings and that the staff could make the meeting.
We then scheduled these meetings well in advance and educated our staff on the expectation of these meetings.
The education or procedure if you like was vital, as you need to have the buy in from the staff, we needed that buy in as most of our staff were paid commission and if they weren’t with a client they weren’t getting paid.
So we negotiated the following….

 
  • Attendance payment
  • A proactive meeting agenda
  • A monthly shared b/fast lunch meeting, which all staff had to be present.
  • A meeting book, which had the minutes from the meeting in
  • A follow up management book
Attendance payment

We simply had to encourage our staff to be there so we negotiated a lower rate, similar to a training rate, staff were happy as they felt that we were respecting that there time was important.

  

A proactive meeting agenda

We encouraged our staff to have their say pro-actively, insights, messages etc. that they wished to have discussed at the meeting were documented at least 24 hours prior to the meeting and given to, management. Management reviewed and then shared the appropriate messages during the meetings. Now by sharing did not mean that only management spoke. We invited team members to speak, and we also gave the chairing of the meetings to different individuals each week.
Any inappropriate communications were followed up individually with those concerned, this way valuable communication was not wasted when it only involved a couple of staff.
 
A monthly shared B/Fast/ lunch

The staff wanted to feel like we were spoiling them, so it was perfect to invite them to have some refreshments with us during a monthly meeting. We still had the same focus of Agenda, but it allowed us to present in a slightly informal manner while still getting the message across professionally. This monthly meeting also allowed us to share accolades with the staff on powerful performances and guest feedback. There were always very positive meetings.
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A meeting book

As all staff cannot be available at all times due to “Life”, it was important for those who couldn’t make the meetings to be informed, and not miss out. Communication was kept alive by our staff meeting minutes book, where staff who were absent from the meeting were asked to read on their return to work and initial to show that they had read the staff minute meetings. It was the job of Front Desk to complete the minutes immediately after the meeting and have these available for the staff. Management managed the process of completed minutes and staff reading the minutes.
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A follow up management book

As we all know even with a meeting’s agenda and a pre comments agenda, people need to feel they can share at all times, if not applicable they will be directed to discuss the subject later.
But like staff a process will only work if reviewed and managed at all times, so the management book was managements list of jobs to be completed.

This gave our staff the understanding that we would priorities their communication and follow through, it gave us as managers a follow up procedure.
 

 
  • Not every meeting can go to plan, but if you don’t have a plan what do you expect?
  • Finding and scheduling the timing or your meetings is also not easy, but if you don’t schedule them they won’t take place
  • Communicating to your staff the importance of meetings is vital, if you do not expect them to be there, why should they?
  • Don’t have staff meetings unless you are happy to share, listen and encourage your staff.
  • Remember when you are a Leader you are leading a team, and consistent communication is necessary for effective Leadership.
Spa Beauty would like to share our Spa Meeting agenda with you, some of the categories may not be applicable to your business, there may be more that you feel you need to add. A suggestion don’t write your staff agenda as the owner by yourself, get your staff involved

The Spa Beauty Agenda has WIGS, there are widely important goals for your team leaders as well has individuals. I will share the success of introducing Widely Important Goals into your business in the near future.

Please if you would like any further assistance based on any of the information provided in this article please feel free to contact me Sally, sally@spabeauty.co.nz.

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