Two-times International Men’s Hairdresser of the Year, Jim Shaw, is passionate about support his staff in any way he can. Their mental health and wellbeing is no exception. Here is talks about maintaining wellbeing in the salon.
“As I’m focused on wellbeing in the salon, I recently took part in a Mental Health First Aid course. I am now a qualified Mental Health First Aider,” explains Jim Shaw. This was important for me, particularly with having a lot of male clients in the salon and male team members. Men can often struggle to open up about their mental health. I wanted to have the tools in place to help support both my clients and my team. With my clients and team being aware of my qualification in regards to mental health and my new profound skills in the area, I feel this gives them the confidence to open up more freely and know that they have someone there who will listen and that cares and wants to help.
“Of course taking part in mental health training is so important to be able to help you deal with these sensitive conversations. However, there are also other things we can do as Salon/Barbershop Owner’s to look after the wellbeing of our clients and team.
“When it comes to promoting the wellbeing of your team, ensuring you have good communication with your team is essential. Have regular meetings and one-to-one’s to ensure they are happy and motivated at work; discuss with them their working hours and ensure they’re happy with them. Do they fit around their personal life (if they have kids or other commitments). If you can help make their life easier and be more flexible, this will increase their morale in the salon. You should also get your team involved with business decisions. Allow them to feel involved and valued within the decision making process and that their opinion matters.
Training is so important when it comes to wellbeing. Many of your team members will want to grow and improve. They can do this with the help of good quality training. Discuss in your one-to-one’s with team members what their ambitions and goals are. Ask if they wish to work their way up the career ladder within the salon, help them achieve this. I regularly shoot men’s hairdressing collections to enter into industry awards, and I love getting the team involved in this too, allowing them to see what different avenues are available to them within the industry. Lastly, small extra touches within your salon space can help improve mental wellbeing. This includes bringing in fresh fruit and healthy snacks for the team to give them energy throughout the day.
“As hairdressers, our job is to provide our clients with a fantastic experience and promote wellbeing of our clients during their time in the salon and allow them to really relax and enjoy their appointment.
“Aside from offering an exceptional services, there are some other small things you can do within the salon to help encourage wellbeing. Offering your clients a selection of refreshments to choose from, playing calming and relaxing or feel good music and having nice aromas around the salon are just a few of these. It’s also beneficial to think about the services and treatments you can provide and how you can improve on these. For example, for our gents, we always offer full 45 minute appointments and full consultations to ensure we have enough time to talk to them about any concerns they may have with their hair and also to allow us time to recommend and show our clients hair products that would work well with their hair type.
We also offer our male clients our own signature wet shave treatment, signature smell on all gowns and facials alongside their beard grooming services. Men also get a complimentary full head massage during their appointment. Upon leaving he salon, can spritz themselves with a lovely scent from our aftershave station. Our client’s love that they can come to the salon and have a full pampering experience. They they can leave feeling relaxed and refreshed and not rushed out the door. By adding to your service menu and having extra touches available for clients, it can heighten their experience in the salon and provide a more memorable experience, which in turn, has the client coming back time and time again and also recommending the salon to their friends and family and spreading word of mouth.
A happy, motivated team
“Overall, wellbeing is so important to the running of your salon/barbershop. Without the right tools in place to promote healthy wellbeing amongst your team and clients, it would result in an unsuccessful business. The wellbeing of the team in particular is of upmost importance, as without a happy, motivated team to provide excellent customer service, there would be no clients. Always take the time to look after your team and have an open door policy whereby should the team have any concerns, they know you’re always available to talk through them and help achieve a solution.”
What a great attitude, if all bosses/owners thought and behaved like Jim, there would be a lot of happier work places with happier staff. Having worked for a large local government agency, who cut back on so many staff members with the onus then put on existing staff, without any thought or consequence to the mental health of these people, I think what Jim has done is extremely important and should set a presidence for other businesses, I was only one of the staff members who went off sick with a mental break down due to the stress put upon me by that company, this added to my already fragile mental health has seen me rarely able to work again since I was 53, that was 9 years ago.