My team isn’t consistent with their daily duties.

July 1, 2019

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checklist, list manager, to do list

Really? No way! I’m shocked! All kidding aside, I don’t know any salon who hasn’t struggled with this one. It’s a constant battle that leadership has to manage. If they don’t, team members who are pulling their weight start to resent those that aren’t. The next thing you know your culture is quickly turning toxic. Suddenly, A players start complaining about C players and the cycle goes on and on.

Friend, this is where checklists are your allies. As the saying goes, “Create a system. Manage the system and let the system manage the team.” Checklists can be utilized in many ways. For example, you might have a monthly checklist, a daily checklist, a shift checklist, and even an hourly checklist to make sure you are on top of things.

Checklists, while they aren’t the sexiest things to talk about, can be a beautiful thing when utilized properly. They create consistency and provide clear communication. They make the task of training new team members easier. More important, they establish clear expectations for the team and provide management with a tangible tool for managing the day to day operations.

“Good checklists, on the other hand are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything–a checklist cannot fly a plane. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps–the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.” 
― Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

If you aren’t currently using checklists, the easiest place to start is to begin by thinking about all of the repetitive things that happen every day. From there, you can easily grow into repetitive things that happen weekly, then monthly, then quarterly and so on. Start with the daily checklists first and then work your way up. Don’t be afraid to take it down to the most basic level and parse your checklists into several checklists based on function. For example, maybe you want to create a systems checklist around the procedure for opening the salon? What’s the first thing that happens when you arrive to open the salon? What happens next, and the next and so on?

It might look something like this:

  • Brew coffee and check beverage bar.
  • Check bank deposit from the previous night.
  • Count cash drawers.
  • Check voicemail messages.
  • etc. etc. etc.

Another great read is  The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. It still sits on my bookshelf and ranks among the top 20 business books on my list!

Below, I’ve added a few of the checklists that we use in our salons to get you thinking about potential checklists that you can use in your salon(s). Give it a go and see the difference it will make for you and your team. I hope you find them useful!

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Located in Austin, Texas.

Chris Murphy