Junior League

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Junior League

Jay Chapman from Zing takes a look at the ideal 12-point blueprint for qualifying competent, confident and salon-ready juniors.

Amidst the day-to-day cut and thrust of a busy salon, you might feel that simply getting your juniors across the line and qualified is all you can manage. If so, you’re letting down the industry, the rest of your team, your business and yourself.

Why not step-up and shape a team of amazing young professionals who are confident, competent and totally ready to help make your salon rock?

1. Engage and inspire.

You must lead by example. Monkey see, monkey do! You have to bring your A game every single day and practice what you preach. It’s your salon — instil your culture from the get-go and forge an exciting, rewarding path that your juniors are inspired to follow.

2. Teach consultation beyond the dolly-head.

Client consultation is paramount to the service we deliver. Mannequins make a great starting point for novices, but there’s no substitute for a living, breathing person sitting in your chair, giving you feedback to ponder, challenges to solve and questions to work with. Don’t deny your juniors the opportunity and experience of interacting with your clients every day. Let them learn how to build rapport and manage the expectations of real people, not Susan the dolly-head.

3. Boost communication with trade school.

There’s often a huge disconnect between what you’re teaching in the salon and what’s being taught at trade school where teachers are overseeing the education of many, many students. Close the gap by making an effort to schedule diary time to chat with junior’s educators about curriculum, progress and learning outcomes.

4. Get them cutting.

It takes years to master the art of cutting, so get your juniors started early. I’ve always got scissors in the hands of my salon juniors within their second week. Give me a week with a motivated apprentice and I can teach them how to apply a tint with their eyes closed! Cutting, on the other hand, takes time and practice to perfect.

5. Show them how to read the play.

Being a team player doesn’t come naturally to everyone— you need to show them how to read the play. Walk together from the font salon to the back, showing them what you notice and how they can suport the team. Being able to jump in and mix more colour, handle point of sale or take timings for colour clients without being asked pushes team culture and respect sky high. Work flows smoothly and your clients appreciate your efficient team.

6. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Thing carrot, not stick. ENgage your juniors by setting them a goal to follow, sharing their wins and rewarding their achievements. Use the S.M.A.R.T goals format to increase everyone’s idea of success.


7. Plan like a boss.

I’m yet to meet a salon owner who’s built a successful business through guess work and stabbing in the dark. You absolutely must have a plan to grown your business and the same rule applies for training your team. If I asked to see your plan, right now, would you have anything to show me?

8. Make the time to train.

Henry Ford said, “The only thing worse than training employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” HEnry was a smart guy! You must make time in your week (every week) to train your juniors.

9. Teach the big picture.

Great salon culture is built on delivering more than simply a service — your clients want an expert and an experience from the moment they walk through your door to the follow-up onece they’ve left. You need to systemise the complete experience and instill it in your juniors as they’re training. Technical trsaining is only half the picture.

10. Impart the power of problem solving.

Problem solving si the essence of what we do. From day one, teach your juniors how to use service and retail products to solve client’s hair challenges. As a salon coach, I often have to train newly qualified hairdressers in ‘suggestion thinking’. It’s like opening a whole new door for them. A good hairdresser looks after the needs of the client, both in the salon and between visits.

11. Stop hogging the ball.

There’s a saying: You don’t keep a dog and bark yourself. No, I’m not calling your junior a dog! What I’m saying is this: If you’re still shampooing, rinsing, toning, tinting, blow-drying and performing basin services, you’re denying your juniors an opportunity to learn and interact with your clients. Stop hogging the ball! Go through your day sheet and check off what tasks you can delegate. You’ll be surprised just how capable your junior team members are if you just give them a chance.

12. Outsource the education.

We all have strengths when it comes to training in certain areas. I could show a junior how to blow-dry hair so it’d last a week! Brainstorm and outsource specific training roles to your team members, matching up their specialist skills. Sharing the load exposes your juniors (and your seniors) to a wider range of ideas and experiences. That’s a win for everyone involved. Never, ever stop training, teaching and improving your salon team – or yourself!

Jay is a specialist ZING salon coach. For more salon wisdom email ZING at [email protected], visit the website, find video tips on Youtube or read ZING leader Liza Conway’s brand new book: Your Salon Team – the salon owner’s guide to finding, motivating and keeping great staff. www.zingcoach.com.au

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