Reducing Staff turnover at your Spa or Salon

Every business has to deal with the headache of staff turnover from time to time and spa and salon businesses are no different. In fact, salon, and spa businesses in particular, have a notoriously high rate of turnover when compared with other industries. The overall figures vary but, generally place the average time which staff remain at the same salon or spa at around 18 months to three years. This is a very short period of time when you consider that new workers probably aren’t even properly acclimated and integrated into a new work environment until at least 6 months or so. The hypothesis as to why spa and salon businesses continuously have this same pitfall vary but some experts guess that it has to do with burnout, the fact that it is a physically demanding job and the fact that many spa employees are unwitting counselors and psychotherapists. What is meant by this is that, frequently, patrons of spas and salons volunteer to discuss all of the personal problems in their lives and, while the spa or salon employees are performing the task at hand, they are stuck having this conversation and trying to navigate the best way to give the client advice without overstepping their bounds as a beauty employee. Nonetheless, there are certain ways to ease the workload on your spa and salon employees in order to buck the trend and keep them around longer.


One thing which can, ultimately, end up being a vicious cycle is the problem of losing staff because they are overwhelmed due to the fact that they don’t have enough qualified co-workers around them. This problem can, logically, compound at times when business is booming. In other words, things seem to be going great and you are getting more hair, nail or facial clients than you can handle. However, because you don’t have a large enough staff, this entire workload gets put on you and 1 or two other staff because you are the only ones there and/or capable of handling these clients. Soon, you lose one staff member who feels overwhelmed and now you are down to working alone or with one other person. This can quickly turn into a nightmare. For this reason, one of the best ways to reduce staff turnover at your spa or salon business is to keep adequate staff in the first place. This keeps each individual staff from becoming overwhelmed and creates a backup plan in case you do end up losing someone.


In any industry, a lack of growth opportunity can lead to higher employee turnover so you need to make sure that your spa or salon has ample room for employee growth to reward high performers. This is, generally speaking, easier in larger businesses there are more positions overall and more cashflow to work with. However, with a little creativity, smaller spa and salon businesses can also ensure growth opportunities. These growth opportunities can be bonuses, the ability to keep a higher percentage of tips, more vacation and/or paid vacation days and greater flexibility in the employees schedule overall. In this case, if there isn’t really room to promote another “manager,” you can still provide advancement ability for a high performing employee.


It’s easy to fall into a habit of micromanaging spa or salon employees because, after all, everything they do affects your business which you worked so hard to create and  grow. However, micromanaging is understood as a driver of higher turnover in all industries; including the beauty business. Therefore, while it is certainly okay, and expected, to give employees direction, you should refrain from trying to control every tiny thing which they do. In addition to driving higher turnover, it actually reduces productivity as otherwise effective employees are second guessing every move they make. Therefore, a good rule to abide by is that, if the business is thriving, the customers are happy and the employees are working hard and generally performing as expected, don’t interfere too much with all of the intricacies of an already smooth work environment.


While it is impossible to prevent all turnover in any industry, following the advice laid out above can help reduce high turnover for spas and salons which, unquestionably, increases efficiency for the business. Spending all of your working hours, and money, training new people over and over again is not a loop you want to find yourself in. As was mentioned above, spa and salon businesses, like restaurants, have a notoriously high turnover rate which is all the more reason to carefully and deliberately do everything you can to reduce losing employees in this industry.