How to Schedule Millennials Behind the Chair


A lot of salon owners struggle to book millennials behind the chair.  Are you in a salon with a similar challenge?

I’m technically the oldest age of a millennial. And being that I’m at the cut-off in regard to age, sometimes it can be difficult to relate to millennials because we simply have different ideas about “work”. But, every single one of our team members at my salon is a millennial so it has been imperative for me to learn how to effectively schedule them behind the chair. Sometimes as leaders we expect others to follow in our footsteps because we did it this way and we know it works. Well, that’s a mindset that may become a challenge for you. If you are the type that has worked the typical forty hours a week or more and you want to hit the grind all day everyday, your mindset and work ethic may not be the same as this newer generation. It is important to understand what your millennial employees need in order to have successful internal retention rates. The ultimate goal is to create a win win for everyone!

Setting Boundaries

I believe millennials appreciate boundaries; deep down they don’t want a free for all. In fact, my staff meets every single Monday for a team meeting. That level of commitment shocks a lot of salon owners. What I believe that they are looking for is flexibility.

Our approach to booking our stylists behind the chair is laying out the needs of the salon. For example, I let them know we really need coverage during specific time frames and we need them to fulfill 30-35 hours a week behind the chair. The reason we book them less than 40 hours is we understand they need time to prepare for the start of their day and often times they’ll stay late. Who can relate? Keep in mind my stylists are commissioned employees, not independent contractors. I want to create a plan where everyone wins. And of course I want to retain them, so it’s important for us to communicate regularly about their schedule and workload.

Creating a Win-Win Situation Through Compromise

To create a win-win situation, we bring their options to the table and they have the ability to choose within set boundaries what works best for them. The key to success: compromise. The best leaders are the ones willing to sit down and meet in the middle with employees to create a win-win for both parties. Keep in mind that we don’t expect you to roll over and do whatever everyone wants. Boundaries are healthy and necessary. At the end of the day you are running a business.

It is important to know your employees’ lifestyle, family, and leisurely commitments outside of work. We have to understand that the millennial generation has so many things that they like to be a part of and maybe they just want that extra time to decompress. It may be different than your lifestyle, but different is okay. We find that when they are at work they take 100% ownership in their careers. So, sitting down and saying this is the playground we get to play inside of and asking where they see themselves within these boundaries, that is where the conversation begins.

Creating Positive Change for your Business

I want to encourage you that if losing younger staff members is a reoccurring theme for your business then it is time for you to look at what can be done differently. Let’s say that you have fresh talent come in and they are with you for a couple of years and then they tend to go off on their own and become independent contractors. It is important to think about what you could have done differently to gain their loyalty. It starts with simply having an open conversation with them. They want to be treated with the same respect as master stylists. Not only do they want to be treated with as high of a regard, they also want your acknowledgment, and your time. We have this attitude that they need to earn their keep, and they definitely do! This is why there are probably additional perks that only lead or master stylists have. But, when it comes to communication they want as much of your attention, leadership, and time as everyone else.

Empowering your Millennial Stylists

While you may need to be willing to create an open dialogue with millennial stylists, there is always a silver lining. You have the ability to use your leadership to inspire young stylists to get to those upper levels. And let’s just put it out there, when they charge more because they’re at a higher level, you earn more and so do they. Another win win.

This generation wants something now; instant gratification is what they’ve grown up with. Waiting or working towards more is somewhat challenging for this generation. So keep encouraging and keep the lines of communication open.

Is it time to begin the dialogue with the stylists at your salon? We do this on a regular basis. Change is constant at my salon, and everybody is used to that. Is that the same at your salon? Maybe it is time for a change. But all for the better, wouldn’t you agree?

This effort is to make things better for everyone so there is longevity, loyalty, fun and an environment where everyone can thrive financially. Instead of wanting your stylists to feel that they have a great job, make them feel like they have a great life. After all, this is our career, not a hobby. This is how we make a living, and we want that living to be extraordinary for everyone.

If you have ideas that you’d like to bounce off of other salon owners throughout the US, you may be eligible to join our Beyond The Technique mastermind group!

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