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Tackling Generational Employment Challenges
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Helping salon owners convert their culture story into a recruiting magnet ✨

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in the Beauty Changes Lives Leadership Roundtable.

This gathering brought together 60 leaders from the professional beauty industry, all sharing a common goal: understanding the future landscape of our field. If you’re not acquainted with Beauty Changes Lives, I highly recommend exploring it; it’s an organization dedicated to championing the potential of beauty careers, aiming to attract more individuals to our vibrant industry. In this week’s newsletter, I’m excited to share some insights gleaned from the event and invite your reflections as well.

The issue at hand is not a recent one. 

I began delving into workforce dynamics back in 2010, a time when what we now refer to as “older millennials” were known as Generation Y. My interest was sparked by conversations I had with hairstylists in the salons where I conducted training sessions. There was a stark contrast between what these hairstylists shared with me and the perspectives expressed by salon owners during our post-session dinners. It became evident to me that there was a significant gap between them, one that was bound to widen over time. These conversations were among the catalysts that drove me to start examining the workforce more closely. I aimed to understand their backgrounds better so that we could anticipate and prepare for the changes ahead.

We don’t “see” each other

A considerable number of barriers persist between what the workshop identified as the Icons and the Trailblazers. From my perspective, these barriers stem from a mental hurdle regarding genuine understanding and empathy towards one another’s perspectives. As long as we view each other through a lens of “them vs. us,” succeeding as salon leaders will remain a challenge.

During the roundtable, a speaker, an expert in facilitating succession in multi-generational businesses, shared insights that resonated with me regarding the challenges faced by salon leaders, especially those without family members in the business but who employ individuals of various ages. One key point I strongly agreed with was the necessity of fostering connection to promote understanding among team members, with empathy serving as the crucial foundation for such connection.

It’s less about generations and more about roles

From my observations, the frustrations experienced by salon leaders extend beyond generational differences and are more rooted in the roles we inhabit. I’ve encountered many salon leaders who belong to the same generational cohort as their team members and still grapple with similar frustrations regarding workforce needs and desires. I speculate that this frustration may stem from a misconception about the role of being the boss, often equating it with control or authority. However, leading today’s workforce isn’t about exerting control but rather about wielding influence, which circles back to the essential traits of connection and empathy.

Over the past few months, I’ve collaborated closely with my mentor and friend, Virginia Meyer, a salon owner and leadership coach, to develop a tailored leadership program. Scheduled for launch in June, this program is designed specifically for salon leaders within the salon environment—not just owners, but also those entrusted with mentoring, coaching, and driving team performance. What excites me most about this program is its modular format, with each session digestible in 15 minutes or less, focusing sharply on developing the skills necessary to become influential leaders, including empathy and connection-building. 

We’re currently seeking 5 salons interested in enrolling groups of their leaders in the program at a discounted rate of only $249 per person. To be eligible you have to be enrolling 3 leaders in more from your salon into the program and be willing to join us on a leadership mastermind call To discuss the learnings. 5 salons max.. do you want to be one of them? Reply to this email and let’s get you enrolled for a June start. Imagine a summer focused on developing your leaders and a fall filled with higher performance! 

PS: it’s not to late to get your ticket to the Salon Leadership Retreat happening in Columbus Ohio June 8-10th. This is an amazing opportunity for you to invest in the leadership team members you employ. Events for stylists are everywhere, don’t let your leaders feel left out! 

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