Management with Style Developing a Talented and Satisfied Team

Often times employees are promoted into management roles as a reward for their excellent work and contributions to the business. Unfortunately, while that person deserves to be rewarded, they may not be management material. An esthetician might have more repeat business than any person on your staff, she might have a magical touch and give the most exquisite facial, but she may not have the right touch when it comes to managing a business and managing people.

The role of “manager” continues to expand in all businesses, regardless of industry and there is a real lack of management training in esthetics and beauty schools. A manger does more than manage the books, order product, and lock the door each night. He or she must be constantly recruiting talented staff, fill employee compensation needs, set rules for the team, and get the team to follow those rules. They must create equal opportunities for growth and provide a safe and healthy work environment. They must discipline the team, control turnover, and manage organizational change. They must motivate employees, defining expectations and goals while evaluating the team’s success. And this is only a partial list!


I suggest meeting with your team individually once each year to communicate your expectations and to define developmental goals together with your employee.

A good way to get started is to have your employee complete a self-assessment of their performance and to write down a few goals. In return, her direct manager should offer their evaluation and provide “coaching points.”

This assessment/goal setting meeting is a great opportunity to open the lines of communication between manager and employee. You might discover an employee has an interest in Public Relations and you can then help her develop those skills by assigning her the task of managing the launch of a new treatment or your spa’s participation in a charity fashion event.

You will not only be developing a more well-rounded employee but you will be increasing an employee’s job satisfaction.

By going through this process, you will also be able to discover who on your team has an interest in management. Your star esthetician may have no interest in coming out from the behind the chair. Maybe a mentorship role to new estheticians better matches her skill set and interests. You may also learn that your receptionist has the skills for being an excellent manager as well as the desire even though she has never attended beauty school.

I urge spa owners and managers to get your staff involved whenever you can. A good manager is not an egomaniac dictator that hoards information or power. An effective manager is someone who delegates, matching the right tasks with employees with the right skill set. By doing so, you develop your staff, you begin offering careers rather than jobs, and you free up time so that you can concentrate on opening that second location, implementing a new process, or whatever it may be that you just can’t find the time to do!

In the spa, there are many tasks that you can delegate- PR & Marketing, Purchasing & Inventory, Accounting & Payroll, IT, and Staff Education are a few. The key to delegating these tasks is to set a budget and define a process by which you would like the employee to manage the task. As he or she gets comfortable, you can work with the employee to improve the process and incorporate new ideas. Meet on a weekly basis with each Task Lead to be briefed on the activities. It is also wise to have each Task Lead to document their process so that if he is sick or leaves the business, you can seamlessly transition the role to someone else on the team.

By employing these simple safeguards, delegating tasks does not need to be scary. In fact, it can be a welcome respite for the manager as well as an opportunity for the manager to further develop her own skills or expand the business.

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