Continuing Education: 3 Strategies to Keep Your Stylists Sharp for Years to Come

We work really hard to be our best and we like to think we are the best salon around.

So the main thing for us, when it comes to client edification, is to be what we say we are---to actually be the best. Be that by constantly educating our stylists.

Some of our salon competition are booth rental salons and salon suites where the stylist is an independent person with no help or accountability. Usually, they don’t have continuing education.

We want to go a different route, constantly bettering ourselves for the client’s delight.

We recognize that

  1. If you want to be the best, you have to hone your skills.

  2. Education gives you the edge on your competition.

Therefore, we have an education process. To keep our stylists sharp, we employ the following three strategies.

1) Identify who takes care of what

One of our master stylists who was with us in the beginnng is also our lead educator. She's not only a hairdressing expert, but a Tangerine Salon expert. She's a culture champion. She’s responsible for putting together a curriculum and keeping people accountable for ongoing education.

To help with the administration of the education, she partners with one of our management staff who puts together the calendar, scheduling, etc.

It’s very important for those two to be clear on their responsibilities. At the end of the day, a hairstylist doesn’t have the time (or equipping) to take care of the administration, so ours focuses on what the training looks like instead of when or where it takes place.

2) Bring in outside educators

We bring in outside educators to go hand-in-hand with our own.

Sometimes these are Aveda corporate educators. Sometimes they’re not.

Whomever we chose, we’re looking to stay current with today’s trends. Right now it’s all about pink/purple hair; tomorrow will be totally different.

 

But each of our stylists has to be prepared and well-versed in new techniques.

3) Outside classes

We require our stylists to take two outside classes every year, independent of what we do for them as a company.

We’ll coordinate with them once they find the classes and get them approved, but they have to find them on their own.

The Aveda network education calendar is off the charts; the content is frequent and so good. But we do allow them to go outside the network; it just has to be approved. It can’t be one of classes put on to sell a product.

We have a point system in our salon, and the stylists can use points to cover the cost of the classes. Or they can save points for other things.

The previous three strategies are for those who are well-established in our salon. For up-and-coming stylists, we run two other types of education:

  • An apprentice program: Newer stylists are required to go to weekly classes taught by an in-house facilitator.

  • New hires class: As the owner, I do a class for new hires once a quarter. I lay out the company’s history, direction, and expectations.

“To be what we say we are.”

The beautiful thing about education is that it’s a revenue driver as well. We encourage stylists to convey what they learn to clients.

We want them to say things like “I just learned about this new technique that would look great on you.” In that situation, education can lead to up selling a new service.

More revenue, better-equipped stylists, clients who trust you---education leads to all that.

To be what we say we are (the best salon around), continuing education is a must. Our whole company stays in step with the industry, and that gives us the edge to stand out.