The stylist world can become highly competitive, especially in cities that act as fashion centers for the world. If you’re not careful, your salon could be a poaching ground for managers looking to snatch up your best talent. While you certainly want to see your stylists grow, you’re still running a business — and that’s much harder when you’re constantly training replacements.
Thankfully, there are several techniques that should keep your creative geniuses loyal to your brand.
1. Pay people what they're worth
It’s cliched, perhaps, but the easiest way to earn stylist loyalty is through their bank account. In the United States, the average stylist’s salary is around $17 per hour, give or take a few dollars by location. If you pay above that amount or offer a competitive commission framework with performance-based milestones, your best stylists will have more than 17 reasons to stick around.
Of course, it’s not all about salary or commission — it’s the tips too! A few high-value gratuities can boost stylist morale without impacting your personal bottom line. Help them get there by adopting a POS system that has a 20% default tip option.
2. Show your team appreciation
Not all job benefits take the form of financial compensation. There’s also work-life balance to consider — does your schedule give them enough downtime to refresh themselves? Are you providing enough sick days? Do you support a workplace that your staff enjoys coming to every day?
Even something as simple as developing a positive work culture can boost the connections between stylists. Celebrate birthdays, acknowledge your hardest workers, and show them they matter both as stylists and as people. Even if they eventually move on to bigger things, these personal touches will leave an impression — and might lead to more referrals down the road.
Besides, it’s not all cynical business calculations. When you’re running the right team, forging these kinds of relationships is profoundly satisfying for managers and leaders as well.
3. Offer on-the-job mentorship
Most stylists are looking for opportunities to grow and learn the craft. Perhaps they are fresh-faced graduates looking to throw themselves into client work. Maybe they hope to become managers themselves one day. As a salon leader, you can offer mentorship and training opportunities to help them achieve this growth.
There are several benefits to becoming a salon mentor. First of all, it produces better stylists who enhance your salon’s value. Second, it helps you identify which team members might fill senior roles in your organization. Finally, your stylists-in-training can take on tasks you have limited time for, which drives long-term salon growth.
In a best-case scenario? One day you can open a new location and know there’s an excellent manager in your corner ready to take the reins.
Change is constant in salons. New stylists will continually arrive, and veteran staff will eventually say their goodbyes. But if you have the right process in place, it’s far easier to adapt to stylist turnover. Eventually, not only will you know exactly how to find stylists for your salon, you’ll build a loyal crew that can help it grow and thrive.