Dealing with negative staff members

By Katie Godfrey on January 12th, 2023

I imagine you’ve had this issue before, or maybe you’re going through it currently! Hopefully this blog will help you avoid negative staff problems in the future.

First of all, when you’re growing a team, you need to remember that a “team” is employed, not self-employed. On the other hand, if you have someone who rents a room or pays you a percentage, then unfortunately they are not a staff member; you should just basically be a landlord to that person. You can’t tell them what hours to work, what brands to use, give them a uniform or ask them to follow any rules when it comes to working for your salon.
So, if you have someone renting space from you and they have a negative attitude, it might be best to let them know when their contract comes to an end if it’s not working.

If you have an employed member of staff, there are ways to help avoid negativity. Let’s start with recruitment. When I’m recruiting, I am more likely to go with a candidate’s personality rather than experience. I can teach someone a treatment or send them on a course, but I can’t teach them to have a positive personality. I know that when recruitment is so hard, and then if you’re crazy busy on the shop floor, it can be really difficult to train someone. But trust me, if you can make the time to do it, it will be your best investment.

If you bring someone who is naturally negative onto the shop floor, then it will change the culture you have created within the business. If you have a good culture, that’s something you do not want to lose. Having someone negative in the salon is very likely to rub off on other staff, or will wear them down, which will result in an unhappy workplace. And no one wants that.

Going to a salon is all about a positive experience for clients. If a client isn’t going to get a good vibe from the staff or feels like their therapist doesn’t want to be there, no way will they book in again. That’s all your hard work trying to get clients through the door wasted.

If you have a current team member who’s started to show signs of being unhappy or negative, take them aside and have a frank conversation about how they’re feeling. Make it comfortable for your team to come to you about issues within work or outside of work so that you can support them. Sometimes it’s hard for staff to leave personal issues on the doorstep when they enter the workplace, but in this industry, they must. If you have an idea of what’s going on in your team’s life, then you can support your staff, which will make it easier for them in worktime.

You can also do dream/goal boards with your teams. This is a great way to find out what everyone is working for. What dreams do they have? What would they like to achieve this year? We can’t run a strong business without a team. It isn’t always about making money for the business and salon targets. We need to show an interest in our team members as individuals. If the business does well then you can help them achieve their goals too.

I would love to hear if you’re dealing with a negative team member now & if you need any help with dealing with this. Feel free to reach me in my DM’s.

Katie Godfrey


Katie Godfrey

Katie Godfrey is proud owner and director of KG Salon. KG is a multi award winning beauty salon based in Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire which has been established since 2009. Katie also owns KG Professional which is a beauty training academy across the UK and product range that specialise in eyelash extensions, lash lift and brow lamination. Katie opened her first business at just 18 years old and has since grown to become a Business Mentor and entrepreneur.

All articles by Katie Godfrey

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