Tips and Tricks for Energizing Your Salon Staff

Lotus Salon

Everyone gets a little low on energy sometimes. But in a salon environment, low energy can kill creativity, put off clients and bring down sales. Luckily, these savvy salon owners have some innovative ways to encourage your team, drive out monotony and make the salon fun and lively.

Lisa Mika-Rollo

PIBBS Affiliate, The Beauty Lounge (@_thebeauty_lounge_)

I’ve known everyone who works at my salon for many years. We’re like a little family. I think people feel energized and encouraged when they know you care about them. That’s why I make a point of teaching, mentoring and demonstrating techniques with each of them, one-on-one, whenever I can. If there’s a slow period, I’ll take one of my staff members aside and show her a new curling iron trick, makeup application technique or braiding method. It just shows my team that I care about them on a personal level and I appreciate everything they do for the salon.


Bree’ McLain  

Scruples Ambassador, Lotus Salon (@salonlotus)

Lotus Salon

At Lotus Salon, creating a positive, fun, encouraging atmosphere is at the top of my “salon goals” list. It requires us to make sure our staff stays connected inside and outside of the salon—especially with multiple locations. We do semiannual salon outings—be it wine and painting parties, laser tag, bowling, bonfires, mini golf or dinner cruises—and they’re always a hit. As soon as we end one, they’re asking when the next one is. Many times we also include significant others, so they can see the connection and support received in the salon. The events help develop relationships, beyond being co-workers, and helps us become a bonded family of friends.


Kelly Bileddo 

Sexy Hair International Master Artist, Salon Antebellum (@salonantebellum)

In our break room we created a board to track our individual successes. Every week we list each individual stylist’s retail sales, average ticket, referrals, pre-book percentages and number of add-on services. Everyone goes through their highs and lows, recognizes their achievements and where they want to see growth. We do this as a group so that we can help each other grow on a personal level. And the girls get a kick out of me writing inspirational messages to them. The practice is a mix between constructive criticism and a confidence boost.  


Robert Santana

Matrix Artistic Director, Elements Hair Studio

As a part of the Elements culture, we start every morning with a five- to 10-minute meeting. It gives us a moment to go around, asking how everyone is that day and getting out anything that’s pending from the day before. Just having that simple check-in meeting perks everyone up and unites the team. I also keep the energy going with in-salon contests, regular staff promotions and group words—just pick a word and have the whole team call it out at the count of three. And, to empower the team, we do biweekly training sessions customized to the needs of salon members.


Nikki Friedhoffer

Scruples Ambassador, Colorboxx Salon (colorboxx.com)

Through the Scruples rewards program, I’m able to send staff members to Scruples Academy events for continuing education. These events really help staff members get a boost in energy, think more creatively and become even more passionate about their craft. We also feature everyone’s work on social media, because showcasing each individual’s talents is crucial for confidence. Everyone deserves a little time to shine. 


Natalie Wood

UNITE Salon Ambassador, Clique Salon (cliquesalon.com)

Motivating our team starts with making sure we operate as a team and not a hierarchy. It’s not unusual to see a Senior Director doing a shampoo for a new stylist. And, at any given time, you’ll see multiple team members working together on a balayage, or one team member doing a blow out for another team member’s guest. We also encourage constant communication—and a bit of fun—through the app GroupMe and our own “Clique Girls” group on Snap. It’s rare that we don’t have some type of crazy conversation going on through one of those apps, even on our days off.


Niky VanHatten

Sexy Hair Educator, eNVy Salon (@envysalon256)

The biggest tip I have for keeping staff motivated and energized is to never expect them to do anything you’re not willing to do yourself. Every year, I have a meeting with each stylist, asking what their goals are and what they want to achieve that year. Then I help them build a plan to achieve it. And, if there’s any major salon decision or change, I ask for input, which lets my team know they are valued and instrumental to the business.