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Caught In the Act—When Management Falls Short

By: Regina M. Tucker
Posted: September 3, 2013, from the September 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Attention all spa owners, managers and leaders: You have been caught in the act. You may have been gossiping, e-mailing on company time, texting on the sales floor or committing other offenses that are prohibited within your skin care facility, and guess who caught you? One of the team members you are supposed to be leading. Anyone else on the team would receive disciplinary action, so why are you exempt?

The pressure is on when you are in a leadership position. Your team expects the best from you and, although perfection is not realistic, don’t let small daily transgressions create a wedge of resentment between you and your team that could destroy the internal morale of your skin care facility. Here’s a look at common offenses, as well as solutions and tips for creating a cohesive work environment.

Common offenses

Gossiping. Successful leadership involves garnering the trust of your team. If there’s one thing that will surely break that trust, it’s gossip. Gossip creates an uneasy work environment by making individuals feel isolated and uncomfortable.

If you have been caught gossiping, address the individual or group that observed your behavior immediately. Don’t make any excuses for your behavior—your team is probably not very interested in why you were gossiping. They do, however, want to be assured it won’t occur again. You might say the following: “It is my responsibility to maintain a professional environment and gossiping is not the way to do it. I commit to leading a gossip-free skin care facility.”

Cell phone and Internet use. Policy clearly states there are no cell phones allowed and that the Internet should only be used to conduct spa business, but you have been observed texting on the sales floor and doing some personal Internet shopping in between client appointments.

Review your existing cell phone and Internet policies. If even you can’t follow the rules regarding cell phone and Internet usage, it may be time to update the policy to one that works for every team member.

Running late. You have no patience for your team members who continually miss the time mark, but you have been repeatedly arriving late and you’re running behind with clients.

Create an environment in which you show understanding for the occasional days when traffic gets in the way or keys are lost, and your team will likely show you the same courtesy.

A cohesive work environment

As a leader, recognize that there are going to be instances where you fall short. Although you can strive to be an extraordinary leader, no one is perfect. How you handle and conduct yourself among your team after an incident can either make or break team morale. Level the playing field among your team by diminishing the gap between management and team members.

When management assumes that, because they are in charge, the rules don’t apply to them, it implies that they are more important than the rest of the team. Make it clear that everyone has to follow the rules—you included.

The bottom line

Remember, your team is going to follow your lead. In every mistake you make, there lies an opportunity to start fresh or re-evaluate your policies for the entire team. This will ultimately strengthen your skin care facility, as well as your own personal growth as a leader.

Regina+M.+TuckerRegina M. Tucker is a licensed esthetician, professional beauty writer and business owner. She holds a master’s degree in human resources development, and enjoys researching, speaking and providing professional commentaries on pertinent topics impacting today’s skin care professionals. She can be reached at beautifullyyoursmetro@gmail.com.