Two woman fighting with a third woman looking on with fear.

Salon Drama. How to Manage Staff Conflict.

Are you experiencing ongoing dramas in your salon? Do you need to learn how to effectively manage salon staff conflict? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Unfortunately, every workplace in every industry is rife with bickering employees.

With a sprinkling of different personalities, ages, races, religion, there are sure to be some basic disagreements. Throw in a pinch of competition, a handful of stress, and a busy schedule, and you have a Petrie dish for growing drama and salon staff conflict.

Ain’t nobody got time for that… in the salon!

If you feel that your salon business is being negatively impacted by drama and conflict, you need to act fast. Here is a list of ways a drama filled salon can affect your business.

  • Low staff morale
  • High absenteeism
  • High staff turnover
  • Reduced productivity
  • Increased customer complaints
  • Increased stress levels
  • Decreased client retention
  • Decreased revenue

The above list is a recipe for disaster in your salon business. You don’t need it and you shouldn’t tolerate it.

How to Manage Salon Staff Conflict.

Two woman arguing with each other.

Act Immediately.

You are not an ostrich, so it’s time get your head out of the sand! These salon staff conflicts do not just go away if you ignore them. This is how they turn from a petty disagreement into a full-blown prime time drama.

Once you are aware of the conflict, take out your leadership skills and put them to the test.

Mediate as best you can by letting each staff member voice their grievances one at a time. Sometimes things can be cleared up very quickly this way.

Do not allow raised voices, profanity or disrespect. Encourage your staff to voice how they feel as in “I feel upset when Sally gossips about me” rather than “Sally tries to upset me by gossiping behind my back”.  This takes to blame out of the narrative and allows the other person to understand how they are emotionally affecting their co-worker.

What Are Your Salon Core Values?

An art pad with a colourful picture signifying salon core values.

Designing a set of core values for your salon can act like a set of behavioural guidelines to encourage better interactions.

A wonderful organisational value system, created by Salon Resource Group in Canada, is called P. R. I. D. E. Which is an acronym for Passion, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Enthusiasm.

This is an example of inspirational core values that you can implement in your own salon. Providing workplace values encourages staff to hold true to these expectations.

Set Clear Guidelines.

Consider drawing up a clear workplace behaviour policy. Making your expectations clear and provide a set of disciplinary actions that you will enforce, should the need arise. This removes any confusion about what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour in your salon.

In the case of hiring staff it is always good to ask them how they have dealt with conflict in previous positions. This can give you a good gauge on values and if they are a good fit for your salon culture.

Hold Regular Meetings.

Meetings are a great way to promote teamwork and keep your employees striving for new goals. A cohesive team needs direction and good leadership. Provide incentives to drive good behaviour and motivation. Ask for feedback and welcome suggestions to keep your team feeling more valued and team orientated.

To learn more about how to build a motivated salon team go to

Building your teams morale and fostering teamwork can go a long way to help avoid conflict and reduce dramas in your salon business.

Walk the talk.

As the salon owner or manager, you have to lead by example. It’s not enough to just spout the core values of your business but then start gossiping or being disrespectful to your staff. To achieve a good relationship with your employees you need an environment of mutual respect. Because you are also accountable for your actions in the workplace.

Strive to behave better. No matter who we are, we stumble and fall, so give yourself a quick pep-talk and dust yourself off. Remember to always lead with humility. Your staff will respect you for being real and trust that your intentions are always well-meaning.

Measure Productivity.

If you suspect salon staff conflict is decreasing productivity in your salon, it is imperative to monitor your staff’s performance. Neko salon software has great reporting tools that enable you to run any type of staff management report. You can track and measure your staff members sales, client retention and rebooking rates, etc. This allows you to stay on top of any decline in productivity in your salon due to conflict.

Make sure to document any salon drama. This is especially important if you are thinking of dismissing a staff member. Always cover yourself from any extreme reactions or legal actions that a disgruntled employee may take.

Cut Out the Rot!

Think of an apple with a small rotten section. Cut out the rot quick enough and the rest of the apple is perfect. Leave the rot to grow and fester, and the whole apple becomes tainted and useless. The same goes with your salon staff.

Negativity breeds contempt

Try to identify if there is a single instigator causing conflicts. The behaviour they may display includes;

  • Gossiping
  • Bullying
  • Intentionally sabotaging others work
  • Constant complaining or criticism
  • Humiliating or grandstanding coworkers
  • Passive aggressive comments
  • Excluding particular co-workers
  • Any poor behaviour displayed in front of clients

These types of behaviours can be very anxiety provoking for your employees and may leave them dreading the workplace.

 Unhappy employees = Unhappy clients

If your staff are constantly feeling emotionally drained, stressed or bullied. How can they possibly feel passionate and enthusiastic about their work and provide a wonderful client experience? 

The trickle-down effect can have dire consequences for your bottom dollar. Nobody likes to fire a staff member, but if you don’t cut out the rot, it will spread. Thus, having a negative effect on your staff members, yourself, and your clients but eventually your bottom dollar too.

Once you have banished the toxic staff member your business will experience

  • Better productivity
  • A pleasant atmosphere
  • Increased optimism
  • Better teamwork
  • Satisfied clients
  • Improved revenue

What makes a great salon team is a cohesiveness and an ability to work seamlessly together. Sometimes resolved conflict can pull a team closer together and build stronger relationships. It’s normal to have some minor conflict in the workplace. but how you deal with it is crucial to building a harmonious and productive salon culture.

I hope you have learnt some valuable salon staff conflict management skills to keep your salon drama to a minimum and provide the best customer service possible.

If your Salon isn’t already using Neko Salon Software, its time to get on board so you can track every aspect of your salons productivity.  

Why not try it for yourself. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial.

We provide free email support as part of every subscription so getting started is super easy. 

Already using another software system? No worries, we will migrate all your data into our system so you are ready to go. 

Neko Salon Software is the simple and affordable key to making your business brilliant.

No hidden fees! No contracts! Only pay for what you need!

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