I can’t tell you how many times I listen to business owners tell me how they can’t get their team members motivated to do anything. They often ask me, “How do you get your team members excited about writing blogs?” That question is usually followed by, “I can’t get my team to do anything!” Well, I have news for you that probably won’t be shocking. Guess what? At my salons, we’re no different than you when it comes to motivating staff. We face the same challenges daily but the solution is how you go about approaching your initiatives. Sorta like that old saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”
Many business owners immediately jump to conclusions when they find that their staff isn’t displaying the same passion and excitement that they have. They think their team is lazy or that they simply don’t care. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I really do believe that. Here’s the honest to goodness truth. They aren’t lazy and they do care. They just don’t understand. If you’ve done your job in hiring and surrounding yourself with the right team members, you have an incredible amount of power that’s just waiting to be released. As the leader, it’s your job to tap that power and let it flow throughout the organization. Whether you realize it or not, it’s up to you, the leader, to shine the light into the future. It’s up to you to show your team the possibilities, the opportunities, and the power of making a difference.
Below are some ways to wake up your team and help them (and you) get inspired:
1) Have a dedicated staff meeting (1.5 hours recommended) and ask everyone one question.
Gather your team and get their undivided attention by hosting a staff meeting. It’s important to dedicate the entire meeting to the topic of marketing. Establish enough time for team members to settle in, relax, and get into “creative mode”. To get them thinking of how they can to a better job connecting and serving customers, ask them one question: What are the top 10-20 questions that clients ask you every day? Give them time to think about what those questions are. Remember, everyone should be involved in this exercise. In my business, we included our guest care team. In our staff meeting, they were able to come up with a long list of specific questions that clients ask them such as, “Where do I park?”, “Why do I have to see two different stylists?”, or “Why are the haircutting prices different between stylists?” Allow anywhere from 20-30 minutes for the group to work on coming up with their questions. You will be amazed at how many questions your team will write down.
Once they have finished this exercise, you will now have what I call the starting point to an effective marketing plan. All you have to do now is answer the questions. If you and your team can do an incredible job answering those questions by writing blog articles crafted around each question, you’ll have enough valuable content that you can share on your website for at least a couple of years! And the amazing thing about blog content is that it doesn’t have a finite shelf life like a spread in a monthly magazine or and ad in a daily newspaper. Once you post an article on your blog, it’s there indefinitely.
2) Paint the picture, share your vision, state your “Why?”.
Times are changing. How a business markets today versus a couple of years ago is completely different. With the arrival of social media and online marketing, if you aren’t engaged in the online community, you are far behind. You have to help your team understand the power of the web. Research shows that 85% of consumers use the the internet to find local businesses. Since my salon teams are very visual, I normally like to do this by painting a picture for them. In this example, I asked my team which would they rather do: 1) Grab 200 business cards and go to the local mall and ambush strangers by introducing themselves and inviting them to come to the salon OR 2) Write an informative blog full of valuable and useful information on how to style curly hair that 200 people read online. The blog has an invitation to visit them at the salon with an incentive attached for first time visitors. Which do you think might have a greater impact? Clearly the second option is the better option because by sharing knowledge we create a connection with readers which builds trust. You start to get the picture right? You have to help your team see the “Why?” behind your intentions. Why are you asking your team do all this work? Why are you doing things differently? Spell it out. Tie everything back to how it will benefit them which in turn helps the business and more importantly helps your customers.
3) Share results, acknowledge and reward.
This is probably the most important, yet often forgotten step. To keep your teams engaged, you have to share the results of what your effort is producing? If your team is in the dark, then there’s no question that eventually their motivation and efforts will wane. The beautiful thing about online marketing and blogging is that there are built-in tools to help you measure traffic to your site and more specifically which pages and blog posts are getting more hits over others. The most popular tool (which happens to be free) is Google Analytics. Talk to your web master and ask to have this installed on your website so that you can access your analytics and measure results. In my business, we have contests and announce the reigning king (or queen) of whose blog post has the most traffic in the last 30 days. Or we’ll create a title of “The Reigning Record-Holder Of The Most Popular Blog Post Of All Time”. We share specifics like “Hooray! Jessica, your blog post titled, ‘Should I Wash My Hair Before I Come To The Salon?’ had 406 page views in the last 30 days!” If your team huddles before the beginning of every shift, that would be a great place to share results, acknowledge and show appreciation for team members who are contributing to the growth of the business. Get creative! The most important thing to remember is to share results.
Remember, as with anything, the secret to getting your team motivated is not to push or pull, but instead, inspire. When team members are inspired, they are then motivated to do something. Your focus, as the leader, is to inspire your team to be excellent, to go the extra mile. When you have a group of inspired team members, get out of the way and let them flourish. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
Now, go schedule that meeting and be sure to come back and tell the rest of us how it went!