Biggest Lies We Believe About Support Staff

By Bekah Nash

Biggest Lies We Want to Believe about our Support Staff

By just reading the title of this post you probably already have a pretty good idea of the lies to which we're referring.  The support staff issue of high turnover and low wages plagues many salon owners.  We all desperately wish for things to be different but have no idea how to bring about a change. Interestingly enough, we have been able to debunk every one of the lies listed below in our own salon.  How?  By challenging what others have accepted.

The best (and only) hirable people are college-age women that want some extra spending money.

There are people out there looking to make a career in the salon customer service industry that could really add major value to your business!  Search for them and be okay with waiting to find them.

Support employees don’t need any “real” job training…it’s not like they’re cutting hair or anything.

This lie is married to lie #1.  Since they’re not staying for any substantial length of time there’s no reason to spend time training them.  The reality is if they handle your front desk then they are the first and last people your clients interact with at each visit.  Don’t you want the person that interacts with your clients that much to be impeccably trained?  Employees that are trained well feel appreciated and trusted which leads them to stay with you.  

Hairdressers pay the support staff's salaries.

This lie is maybe the most lethal because the little bit of truth in it is degrading and hurtful.  It’s true that support employees don’t perform services in exchange for money.  However, hairdressers can only perform their skills at a high level with the help of the support staff.  One group is not more important than the other. If this lie exists in your salon, work diligently to change it.

Sending support employees to any kind of continuing education classes is a complete waste since you'll never get a return on your investment. 

Investing in continuing education for your support staff can have major benefits.  For starters, if the level of customer service in your salon goes up, your revenue will increase as a result.  And secondly, learning up-selling techniques and top-notch client handling skills will empower your support staff which will lead them to feel valued and important to your team.

You will never be able to afford to pay them what your hairdressers are able to make, so they’re not going to stay with you for more than a year or two.

Given that you change nothing about how you manage your support staff, this lie will remain a hard truth for you and your business.  Only when you hire the right person for the right position and train them the right way can you even think of debunking this lie.  Support employees are highly capable of increasing your overall revenues and profits which can allow you to pay them more.

Developing a strong support staff in your salon is very possible and can be very profitable!  Challenge yourself to rethink what others have accepted about salon support staff.