How to Attract and Keep a New Generation of Hairdressers

By Bekah Nash

This is likely not the first thing you have read about connecting with Gen Y’s.  There is talk everywhere about this generation and how different they are from older generations.  But we all have to understand them a little better because they are a huge part of the work force today!  Here are a few things we have learned over the years about Gen Y’s.  

1.  Understand that they make decisions based on how they feelabout something, not what they know about something.  Gen Y’s want to feel good about themselves and the trajectory of their lives.  Since their job is a big part of their life, they need to like it and enjoy it.  Earlier generations tend to look at a job as an accepted part of adulthood that funds their personal life.  A Gen Y doesn’t draw such a defined line between personal and professional.  They will join your team and stay with you because they like you and believe that you care about them.  

2.  Welcome their thoughts and opinions.  Gen Y’s have strong opinions and feel that they have the right to share them with others.  Directly or indirectly making them feel as though their opinions don’t matter is the quickest way to lose them.  In our salon we ask them to give us honest feedback, but insist they come with solutions if they feel something should be changed.  This makes for a nice balance.  Their voice is heard and is accompanied with solutions.

3.  Don’t expect them to show a lot of appreciation when you go above and beyond for them.  Gen Y’s enjoy nice things and appreciate kind words the same as you, but they may not show it.  Don’t let this discourage you!  Take their diligent work and loyalty as a sign of their appreciation.

As leaders in our industry we have to continue to evolve with new generations coming into the work force.  Refusing to do this will do nothing but make managing our businesses increasingly difficult.  Stay open to new ideas and ways of leading your team that will allow you to continually grow!