Motivators that Work: Healthy Competition and Bonus Clubs
It’s easy to get bogged down in benchmarks and KPIs when you’re trying to grow your numbers from year to year. But sometimes, you have to pull your head out of the books and have an honest conversation with your stylists.
What motivates them to work harder? Are they inspired? How can the management team provide new paths for their personal growth that will also help the salon’s bottom line?
We talked to Shanna Swing, owner of two Frangipani salons in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and Jen Baudier, owner of Bella Style Salon in Slidell, Louisiana, about how they found new ways to motivate their stylists that also helped grow their businesses.
Here are their success stories…
Fueling the Retail Fire with Competition
Every year, Swing tries to pinpoint an area where Frangipani can improve. In 2017, that area was retail.
“We were a $3 million dollar location in only 2,000 square feet, and I felt we should be selling double the amount of retail that we were,” she says.
So Swing and her management team started brainstorming. They realized their team performed best when they were motivating and positively influencing each other.
From this, Swing and her managers created monthly retail contests to drive product sales. The result was an overall revenue growth of $10,000 per month in retail sales.
Stylists are broken up into different teams every month and compete against each other for a reward.
“It’s usually a dinner or outing they do as a team or a gift card for the top three people,” Swing says. “We try to switch it up and make it different every month to keep it interesting and fun. I also mix up the teams so the person with the lowest RPCT is paired up with the person with the highest.”
Salon managers create the teams each month and Swing joins them at the celebratory dinners to motivate and applaud their success.
“They have fun at the dinners, and then they tell the team what a great time they had, and the next group gets motivated to win so they can go.”
In the past two years, these contests have taken the salons’ average RPCT from $12 to $14. And in one location, it’s up to $16.
“We have 21 stylists at one location and six in the other, Swing says. “Everyone’s RPCTs have gone up.”
Focus on Individual Growth
When Jen Baudier retired from working behind the chair in 2017, she decided to use her time coaching her team members individually (six stylists, two estheticians, two front desk). Her salon was getting close to becoming a seven-figure business, and she needed her team’s help to get to the next level.
Baudier’s intense focus on individual growth led to two of her stylists becoming six-figure hairdressers.
“I offered a $1,000 bonus on the spot when a service provider reached $100,000 in annual services.”
Last year, two team members were up for the bonus, and Baudier worked with them daily to break down the goal to the exact dollar they needed to reach it, making it less intimidating.
“I broke it down to the day and told them, you need to add a person here, or three conditioning treatments there—I was really specific,” she says.
“Watching these team members reach and exceed these benchmarks not only provides enthusiasm for the salon team as a whole, but also inspires individuals with the motivation to be next in line for these rewards,” Baudier says.
To motivate the employees, Baudier put a photo of the laptop one wanted to buy and the spa menu the other wanted to spend her $1,000 on up in the back room for them to see every day what they were working towards. And when they hit their goals, she presented one with the spa gift card for $1,000 and took the other to Best Buy to purchase the laptop.
The salon now has a six-figure club, and if they hit $200,000, they’ll get another $1,000 bonus.
“To keep incentivizing, I’ve created a $20K club and a $30K club, too,” Baudier says.
“When they hit $20,000 in retail sales for one year, they get a $2,000 bonus. At $30,000, they get a $3,000 bonus—on top of 10 percent commission.
One stylist missed it by just $3,000 this year and she’ll probably hit it next year.”
There’s also three more stylists working to hit six figures this year, and Baudier finds they aren’t motivated by the prize.
“Being a part of something exciting, being talked about, the extra attention and winning something all are motivators,” she says.
Now, the two stylists who hit $100,000 are aiming to hit $200,000 as fast as they can, which motivates the rest of the staff.
“We’re almost at the seven-figure mark as a salon, too,” Baudier says. “We missed by a smidgeon, but our goal this year is to end at the $1 million mark for our 10-year anniversary.”