Renowned celebrity hairstylist and founder of HNB Salon and Spa, Steph Stevenson knows first hand how demanding customer-facing roles are. The idea of always being on your A-game, allowing room for positivity on your darkest days and ensuring you’re delivering the best quality service has to take it’s toll on your workforce at some point. If you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to start to think about how to protect the wellbeing of your workforce, through Steph Stevenson’s simple steps, which make big differences.
Hair stylists take great pride in knowing that they sometimes become a soundboard for their clients to vent some of their personal frustrations and secrets. Their one-to-one interaction and non-judgemental listening mean that clients leave not only looking better but feeling better mentally. But what about the hairdressers themselves, how can you make sure your workforce’s wellbeing is taken care of?
We all know that a happy workforce and the wellbeing of your employees correlates directly to your business’s success. Employees that are happy and supported in their wellbeing are much more likely to be productive, engaged and creative.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can protect workforce’s wellbeing and make it a priority:
- Silent seat
If one of our clients hates the thought of making small talk with a hairstylist, introduced a silent chair. We’ve tried this in our own salon and it’s fully booked for months. This gives the client and the hairdresser the chance to seek some peace and quiet for a couple of hours, without the added pressure to make conversation. This can make all the difference, especially on busy days for your employees as it provides them with a solitary comfort in times of need. Sound like something you’d love? Try asking your employees and clients if they would be open to the same concept.
- Keep your team updated through uncertainty
The past year has caused so much uncertainty and anxiety for many industries on job security. Make sure you’re keeping your team updated and in the loop. This can be done through a closed Facebook or WhatsApp group. That way your team will have an easy and safe way of contacting you and their colleagues during a time that is still causing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety a year on. It’s also a great way for you as a boss to inform your team of any new developments or protocols being put in place and to reassure your team. Not only is it great for tackling uncertainty, it’s also an effective way to praise your team and share positive news, which is a great way for employees to feel engaged and happy at work.
- Create a safe space your workforce can retreat to
If you’re in an industry where remote working isn’t possible, is there a safe space in the office or workplace environment your employees can retreat to if needed? This doesn’t mean a break room or communal area away from customers / clients, but rather a solitary space separate from colleagues. This will give your employees the reassurance that if they need to take a short time out to recharge, they can.
If you’re a remote company, then offer short 10–15-minute time out breaks for your employees at home that let your team know when they’re unavailable to be contacted. This can help to create boundaries and reduce stress or burnout, which is crucial to an employee’s wellbeing.
- Recruit outside help
Sometimes just giving your employees the option of being able to speak to a psychologist or trained professional, is the reassurance they need that you’re making their wellbeing a priority. At HNB we’ve recruited an in-house psychologist that our employees can book an appointment with when needed and is a service that we offer free of charge. This can be that “safe space” as mentioned above or a separate benefit you can offer your employees depending on your budget and workplace size.
Having an open-door policy is also a great way as a leader to let your team know their wellbeing is important. That way your employees know they can have a confidential discussion with you at any time to raise any concerns or issues. Also, be sure your employees are clear about what’s expected from them within their job role, as being unsure can increase anxiety levels for some employees.
- Flexible working
Flexible working is so important when it comes to your employee’s wellbeing. Hopefully, the changes made during Covid will have let employers see that flexibility is not detrimental to the performance of the individual or the business. Sadly, particularly in hairdressing where 83% of stylists are female, there’s still a real lack of understanding and flexibility around child care when, realistically, it should be super flexible. Two stylists can easily cover each other to accommodate pickups and drop offs, and equally, evening working around those clients that work is a no brainer. Where possible and dependent on your employee’s needs, offer flexible working. It’s meant that our talent pool remains strong by giving experienced women the freedom and flexibility to be able to work.
However, it is important to make sure that you’re encouraging your staff to work sensible hours, take full lunch breaks and make sure they rest and recuperate after particularly busy periods regardless of if they are flexibly working or not.
By implementing some or all of the above practices, you can be sure to protect your workforce’s wellbeing by making it a priority. A happy and protected workforce contributes to a successful business that is more likely to flourish and grow as a result.