Beauty Salon Worker Burnout

The nature of the beauty industry can be exhausting. Hairdressers, nail technicians, barbers and more are expected to bring high energy, be readily available, and give their clients 100% of their attention. Demeanor aside, beauty professionals’ work is also held to exceedingly high standards, particularly as social media empowers clients to post their looks for approval. Given the pressure of staying in top form and providing the best quality and service possible, salon and spa professionals run the risk of burning out.

Deemed an occupational phenomenon in 2019 by The World Health Organization, burnout is a real concern across all professions. It can cause the most attentive, dedicated spa attendant to become unmotivated, disconnected and unfulfilled. Salon and spa owners should be aware of the mental effects of burnout on employees, as well as the risks it poses to the business.

Businesses that prioritize workplace wellness can attract and retain highly motivated workers Consider the following tips for avoiding a discontented workforce that can lead to poor performance and, potentially, a loss of clientele:

  1. Support your staff: Cultivate an environment that encourages staff to speak up about their mental health. According to the Mayo Clinic, “individual factors, such as personality traits and family life, influence who experiences job burnout.” It is important to foster a professional environment that allows people to feel human. Communicate regularly with staff about their clients and how their appointments are going. Allow opportunities for them to talk about things that could be impacting their performance outside of work. It’s important that workers feel heard and appreciated.
  2. Allow time away from the job: Whether offering paid mental health days or scheduling team social outings, employees need time away from the workplace to maintain long-term, positive work performance. The key is ensuring employees have time to unplug and recharge uninterrupted. If the business prioritizes time off for employees, they will feel less hesitant to ask for time off when needed. This can help with employees who struggle with feeling stuck and unappreciated in the workplace.
  3. Reward your employees: Throughout day-to-day operations, employees may begin to feel as if they’ve gone unnoticed or as if their efforts are not necessary. A salon or spa cannot function without the hard work of the entire staff. Owners should make sure their employees feel appreciated and that their superiors are investing in their future. Consider offering educational opportunities to grow their skill sets or service offerings. Implementing a performance-based bonus program can be helpful as well. Before doing so, owners and management would do well to first consult staff about how they’d like to be rewarded. Try to avoid too much steady competition as it could contribute to a toxic environment.

A demotivated workforce will cause high employee turnover. This could lead a business to struggle to bring in those energetic, high-performing professionals who add an additional layer of attractiveness and desirability to a salon/spa’s clients. More importantly, the work will suffer, and clients will take notice. With only a few extra steps and a little more attention, salon and spa owners can ensure their teams are ready to provide clients a top-notch experience.

Kathy Lopez, Account Manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. She can be reached at klopez@brownyard.com.

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