Tips for Successfully Managing Your Salon Staff

People often dream of slipping into a cozy management position, but the truth is those management jobs are often tough gigs.

Being a good manager is a fine art of being a boss and leader, being an encourager, and letting people do their own thing. It’s a balancing act, but once you get the hang of things and consider the following steps, you’ll be able to lead yourself and your team to success.

Be an example

There’s nothing more frustrating than a boss who thinks they’re an exception to the rule. It’s important to make sure you’re leading your team by example through your everyday actions. Be on time, display excellent customer service skills, and talk to employees as you want them to talk to you and each other.

Set the tone

What’s your typical mood like? Everyone has their bad days and moments of frustration, but if you settle into too negative of a pattern it’s going to spread to those you’re leading. Don’t spend endless amounts of time complaining about problems. Be professional and friendly to staff. Don’t take out problems on the staff. Be upbeat and remember that the mood you present helps set the tone for the salon by the staff emulating it.

Let them lead

An overpowering management style is a good way to have frustrated and angry employees. Let your team seize opportunities to lead and contribute. Don’t hover. Let them solve problems or gently guide them to solutions without being overbearing. Give them opportunities to provide input and ideas for the salon. Have them take turns writing on the salon blog and develop areas of expertise. Employees who have a chance to shine and be independent are likely to be the happiest.


It’s easy to get too comfortable with the everyday routine. Seek ways to challenge them and keep them on their toes so things don’t get too boring. Send them to educational programs or bring in educators to host clinics in the salon. Discuss potentials for the introduction of new services or have training sessions with new products, like CHI Silk Infusion, you’re introducing into the salon. Have them work together on marketing ideas and plans for the team. And most of all, do your best when it comes to marketing to help them keep full and active appointment books.


Make sure your staff knows you have an open door policy. It’s good for staff to know how to solve problems on their own, but they should never be too uncomfortable to come to you for help solving larger problems, like an unruly client. It’s also important to reach out to staff on a regular basis and get feedback on things going in the salon and your performance, as well. In addition, make sure that employees are well trained in salon procedures and that their expectations are clearly defined. It’s easy to let an “I didn’t know” excuse get by if these things are not clearly communicated. Have refreshers of the rules, post procedures or reminders in a staff only space, or consider developing some sort of employee handbook.


There are always moments when employees go above and beyond, employees who shine with amazing dedication to their clients and the salon, or those that have breakthrough moments by mastering a new technique. Make sure you show appreciation for a job well done with words and tokens of appreciation. The encouragement will keep them heading in the right direction and know they’re valued.

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