When you run own hair salon, beauty parlour or barbershop, you will probably know that things work best when your team is running as smoothly as possible.

However, keeping all of your stylists, beauticians and other staff happy can seem like a juggling act. While it’s important to keep a friendly atmosphere where everyone feels supported, you also need to take care of yourself – and your business.

Creating boundaries with your salon staff or team is sometimes a difficult line to draw. Can you be their boss and their friend? How do you make sure everyone is happy without burning out yourself?

In this article, we have put together some tips to help you the best balance between being a boss and a friend to your salon team…

How to create boundaries with your salon staff…

1. Should you share your personal phone number?

As many of us now have our phone permanently by our sides, it’s all too easy for us to contact each other – anywhere and anytime!

Sharing your personal phone number with your team is a tricky line. You want your team to know that you are there for them if they need you, but you don’t want to open yourself up to out-of-office complaints.

If you do give your number to your staff, try not to use it for personal use too much. Ask your staff to drop you an email about work matters, so you can pick it up when you think best to.

2. Deal with work problems in work

Related to the point above, try not to discuss personal work issues over text message or things like WhatsApp. Not only could this be problematic if messages are shared between employees, but it also means you don’t get time to properly switch off.

If one of your staff texts you a work issue when you are home for the evening, let them know that you will do your best to resolve it with them in work the next day.

Similarly, don’t let your personal problems affect your team. If you are having a bad day, it shouldn’t affect the mood of your salon – even if you are a close knit team.

Related: How Salon Culture Affects Your Business

3. What about social occasions?

Everyone enjoys a night out with their work colleagues once in a while – but you do need to make sure they are handled with care!

The best way to organise team nights out or other social activities is to centre them around a work event. Have you had a particularly productive week in the salon? Take your team out for lunch as a treat! Has your team been working really hard to fill all your appointment slots? Why not plan ahead, close-up an hour early and head out for a celebratory drink?

When you do organise a work social, make sure everyone is included and try and keep salon politics off the table!

4. Have a salon handbook

This may sound like a formal solution, but it doesn’t have to be!

A salon handbook is good for your team to refer to for things like how you want them to call in sick, what to do if they have a problem at home and how to take annual leave. This way, everyone knows what the rule is and everyone is treated equally – whether you are their friend or not.

Related: Why You Need a Handbook for Your Salon Employees

5. Hold weekly meetings or 1-on-1s

If your team doesn’t feel as though they have time to vent any concerns, they may turn to messaging you out of work hours. On the other hand, if your are too friendly with your staff, it might become hard to offer a little constructive criticism.

The best way to deal with this is to set up specific meeting times. Here, everyone can address any work matters that are bothering them in a professional way. If you need to raise a concern with a particular employee, set aside some work time to have a chat with them. This helps set apart work matters from your personal relationship.

6. Make sure everyone knows what you expect of them

Your team needs to know what you expect of them professionally. This could be as simple as putting together a few job descriptions so everyone knows their individual responsibilities, or just have a few salon rules posted up in the staff room. However, be aware that anything too formal could turn your staff off! Make sure you still allow you team to be themselves and enjoy their workplace.

You should also make sure you encourage respect in the workplace. Don’t join in with any gossip or personal remarks, and try to put a stop to it if you hear it from your team.

7. Appoint another manager or team leader

If you find you are tipping too much towards being a boss over being friendly, it could be that you have too much on your plate. If you are finding you don’t have time to listen to your team and relax with them, maybe you should appoint another manager or supervisor to help you out?

Take a look at our blog post on how to effectively hand over the reins of your salon business for some tips on how best to do this.

8. Listen to your team!

This is perhaps most important! Don’t become detached from your team if you are setting new boundaries in your salon.

If a member of your team is struggling, it is important that you do your best to support them. Nobody wants to feel like their manager is unapproachable, so make sure you don’t remove yourself from the salon too much.

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Looking for more salon management advice? You might like these posts from the Salons Direct blog…

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