The Training Process
After hiring, break the employee in slowly. Pushing too hard may cause a person with excellent work potential to become frustrated and discouraged.
First, give employees a package of literature from the manufacturer or manufacturers of your tanning units. They also should be given copies of your ads, fliers, customer cards, daily record sheets and any other forms they will be expected to fill out. Have them read chapters of this book and copies of the trade journals and explain that it is imperative that they read all the information carefully. Review each form step by step and have them spend the day studying them, preferably in the salon so they can ask you questions at any time.
Allow them to listen, on an extension, to inquiries you handle on the phone, and explain why you said what you did immediately afterward. Remember, there is no better teacher than hands-on experience. Don’t expect them to get the hang of it the first few times—you probably didn’t even do that. Allow them to go through the phone procedure with you for the first few days as practice makes perfect and builds confidence.
Supply the new employee with a list of the questions most commonly asked by customers, and give them the answers, along with a detailed explanation of why they are answered that way. You may want to give them a quiz at the end of their training period, just to be sure they are capable of being left on their own in the salon.
Cleaning duties can be a touchy subject, so be sure to specify your expectations in the very beginning. Don’t wait until after you’ve hired the person to explain that some cleaning duties are required. It’s possible they wouldn’t have been as interested in the job if they had known this and, if that’s the case, concealing the fact won’t make them any more receptive to it.
Employees always should clean equipment thoroughly after each use. The cleaning may sound simple, but you must emphasize that it needs to be done carefully and properly. Explain why it is necessary and what the possible consequences are if it is done improperly. Go through the procedure a few times for the tanning units, then have them do it while you’re watching. Don’t be afraid to criticize; it is important that this procedure be done right.
Let your employees know that you expect them to keep the reception desk as tidy as possible since this usually is the first impression clients get when they enter the salon. If it is messy or dirty, the client automatically will jump to the conclusion that the rest of the salon is the same way.
Be sure to stress to your employees the importance of enforcing the salon’s rules. Tell them they are never to extend tanning times or to allow clients to tan without protective eyewear. Make sure they understand why, and are able to explain the dangers of such practices to your clients.
The dress code for the salon is up to the individual salon owner. If you are trying to portray an image of individuality in your salon, your employees should do the same. You may want to set certain guidelines, like khaki shorts and pastel-colored shirts, just to keep the general image the same, but it’s not usually necessary. Clothing can be fun, but should never be risqué. Also, keep in mind that it should be loose and comfortable enough to allow ease of movement when cleaning equipment.