Creating a team the easy way.
Working as a team is very important in any work setting, and in my opinion, it's one of the best ways to find happiness in the work place. However, why is it so hard to create or find that team spirirt? Perhaps it has to do with years of experience, laziness or maybe you just don't know how to become a team player? Creating a team atmosphere takes trial and error to find the right process for your grooming salon. We have to be able to accept that we are human and we are prone to making mistakes so don't be so hard on yourself if it doesn't come easy. No matter how many years of experience you have in the pet grooming field, we are never done learning. My Mom always said " we're never done learning", so why not use daily opportunities to make us a stronger person and a great teammate!
One way to build a stronger team is to make time to celebrate special days, and trust me there are plenty of days you can celebrate so pick the best ones and start celebrating. Everyone likes to be recognized so why not use a birthday as your easiest way to start celebrations. Grab a wall calendar and start posting dates birthdays, work anniversaries and holidays you want to celebrate. If money is tight make sure to assign foods or items to everyone to lessen the burden on your wallet. You can easily make it a potluck, but whatever you do, set the example with the first celebration so all celebrations have the same expectations. Work milestones also make a great way to celebrate. I know we are all here to work but sometimes you have to give the team something to look forward to for that added motivation and when you feel like you belong, you'll notice production and morale will improve.
Remember to divide and conquer! No-one enjoys doing all the work, especially when you've been working all day so come up with a plan to spread the daily duties and tasks so everyone is contributing equally. You never want animosity to start brewing because someone is not cleaning a tub, kennel or work areas so have a plan, be consistent and revise as you go along. You can easily print a daily duties list or check off system to keep everyone honest or you can try a rotation duties list, whatever works for your team go for it. However, make sure you ask for input from your grooming team because they know first hand what needs to be done. You can even have the team create the list and you can check it to see if it works for you and your salon. You may go through several drafts before it's correct but if it's fair and your team is consistent you'll save lots of tempers, time and money.
Finally, make sure your team has all the tools they need to succeed. In my salon I don't cover personal tools or equipment that they prefer to use, instead it's the tools and equipment that come with the salon. Every salon is going to have repairs so you need to make sure to stay current on all fixtures/repairs to keep the team moving forward. For example if a grooming table top breaks, repair it soon or replace it asap and you'll see that the team will feel valued because you're taking care of their necessities. You don't have to fill all their requests, just the ones that can hinder production. You'll find that helping team members feel valued and equipped, makes for a positive atmosphere.
I know the suggestions above may sound like a lot of work to some but ultimately you'll have a happier place, less turnover and a better connection with your team. Putting in the time is well worth it because it's hard to replace a talented groomer, especially if it's because of something as simple as not being happy. Remember to keep your communication options open at all times so you can let your teammates vent or make suggestions that you may not of thought of. I hope this blog helped you build a stronger team and remember you're only as strong as your weakest link. If you have team building techniques that work great, feel free to post them in the comments.