Good employees are hard to find, and they’re even harder to keep. Most salons are constantly on the lookout for good nail professionals and are hoping to retain those they do employ. Sometimes the difference between a good fit and a poor match is communication and appreciation.

Here are five small but effective employee appreciation ideas for keeping your employees motivated and loyal to your salon.

1. Share the Love

A thoughtful gesture often means more to an employee than simply saying, “Good job.” Luckily, showing gratitude with actions doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Try placing a short hand-written note on your employee’s desk or complimenting them in front of a client on something they’ve done well. When it comes to affirmation, a little can go a long way.

2. Respect Expertise

Many full-service salon owners are licensed in only one modality, such as massage or cosmetology, so they require other professionals to fill in the gaps of their business. Other owners are not licensed at all, running the salon strictly as a business venture without servicing clients themselves. Respecting the expertise of your hard-working professionals concerning product use, service timing and other license-specific matters will encourage fierce loyalty. If a nail professional requests a specific type of foot file, for example, listen to their reasoning and respect their product and service knowledge. Research the requests and offer to have a conversation about implementing suggestions. Every nail salon employee benefits from respect.

3. Show Your Support

The client is always right — unless the client is very wrong. In a litigious society connected through social media, it’s imperative to gather all the facts before acting on a client request or complaint. If a client asks for their cuticles to be cut, but the professional explains the difference between the cuticle and the eponychium, support the professional by assisting with their explanation. This will show the professional you respect their expertise and will avoid a potential conflict.

4. Contribute to Education

Professionals who continue to pursue education throughout their careers are less likely to burn out. Along with fueling passion for nail art, education also keeps employees on the forefront of techniques and trends that evolve continually as fashion ebbs and flows. Salon owners can demonstrate gratitude while also investing in their businesses by offering to match employee education investments or contribute to continuing education. You can set goals that employees need to meet to earn the education aid, such as goals for client retention percentages or service requirements. These will be an added boon to your employees and to the business.

5. Put Money Where Your Mouth Is

According to CoinNews, the annual cost of living increases each year, so service prices should ideally increase annually to compensate for higher product costs and personal expenses. By keeping an annual or biannual schedule of service price increases, you can show appreciation for employees with cost-of-living raises. Employees are more likely to be loyal to a salon that helps them meet their financial needs. Alleviating financial stress can improve employee morale, which will manifest in everything they do.

All of these employee appreciation ideas boil down to showing respect. Follow through on your promises, listen to your employees and solicit more information when you don’t understand something. These practices go a long way toward cultivating a respectful workplace atmosphere. When respect and appreciation flow both ways, it makes for a harmonious work environment that the clients will enjoy!