BLOG: Team management is a constant drip feed, says salon manager Gavin Hoare

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In his second blog for The Salon Magazine, Gavin Hoare, salon manager at Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa, explains why team management is a constant drip feed. 

Team management can be a rocky road. Managing people in the right way is a skill that requires instinct, an ability to think on your feet, knowing when to stand back and listen, or when to dive in to head someone off at the pass.

This wonderful industry of individuals is one I adore; my team are expressive, quick-witted, fashionable, intellectual, club kids, mothers, fathers, gay, straight, or generally a combination of all of above. Every day is different with everyone centred on their own ups and downs, and my role by definition means listening to their stories, sorting out their problems, reprimanding them, steering them, and nurturing them. My lifework is akin to running a kindergarten for grownups. Clients are easy in comparison; ask any manager, it’s your team that command your ongoing, never ending attention.

Hellen Ward – a very wise lady – once told me that the secret to managing a good team is always ongoing. It is dependent on the constant drip-feeding of information, a cycle of reiteration, of always being approachable, and in never ignoring bad behaviours, and as usual, she was right.

There are days when I simply want a new name. By nature, our hairdressing teams can be a selfish bunch and the morning barrage from the front of house, technicians, stylists and juniors can almost make me turn on my heel and get the hell out. Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on what is thrown at me, it’s just challenging first thing in the morning before I’ve even had time to take off my coat and when they all aim and fire at once. With time you realise that this all comes with the territory of people management, getting the best from your team always comes back to good old fashioned communication and in simply being the one they turn to. As managers we consistently need to acknowledge, listen, translate, and decide the right course of action for any situation that can be thrown at you.

75 per cent of our team have worked their way up through the ranks, growing up immersed in the company ethos, making my life a little easier. This said, my days are still spent on the salon floor, in team meetings, individual one-on-ones, listening, watching and, when necessary, stepping in to ensure our eclectic mix are all still on the same page and living up to the Richard Ward company ideal of exceeding the client expectation.