By: Regina Tucker

If there is more than one skin care professional working in a salon or spa then a well-developed policy outlining how employees are booked for services is needed. Having a well-written booking policy for skin care professionals helps to foster consistency in operational procedures and facilitates fostering a stable and professional workplace. A well drafted booking policy that has been effectively communicated helps to minimize misunderstandings among employees and helps manage day-to-day operations. When faithfully followed a comprehensive booking policy can help a company achieve business goals and objectives and set boundaries for employees.  Keep reading for the 7 Best Strategies for Fair and Balanced Booking:

  1. Make It Balanced.  Employee booking policies should consider a variety of variables and factors, relying on one factor alone such as seniority for example can negatively impact a business’s financial bottom line and morale among the team. Determining factors for a company’s booking policy could be retail sales, average service dollar, and guest retention. This provides a concrete framework that is actionable, measurable, and objective. It leverages employee engagement and optimizes overall organizational performance. It is important that spa leaders establish achievable goals for all employees that support the businesses bottom line. There should also be individual goals for spa professionals so no individual becomes stagnant. Providing opportunities for individuals that have difficulties meeting performance measures is also important because everyone deserves a chance to excel.  As you move forward with your policy you may also have to develop new incentives to keep employees motivated. The key is communicating expectations clearly, and finding the perfect balance between employee reward and company profit.
  2. Put It In Writing.  Having the policy written down suffices beyond spoken instructions. It helps to settle disputes and establishes ground rules in clear and simple terms. Employees have a right to know how guest are assigned. A standardized step-by step process for booking will help to ensure fair and appropriate treatment.  It also sets a high standard of behavior in the workplace by addressing inappropriate behavior such as unauthorized changes to the books that may adversely affect another employee. While booking policies are not relegated by law, they certainly set a high ethical standard of behavior in the workplace and can point out consequences if a breach is committed. The booking policy and procedure should be included in an employee manual and employees should read and sign off on it.
  3. Determine Access.  Not everyone should have access to change the books, It can actually be detrimental and adversely affect your clients if everyone has that privilege, things could easily spiral out of control and get confusing pretty fast if. A manager and at least one other person not working as a therapist are the ideal individuals to access the books and make changes and updates to it. By having this caveat in your booking policy potential rifts and disagreements among team members regarding unfair booking activity are minimized.
  4. Invest in Software.  Booking software has made it easier than ever to gain insights on performance, top sellers, client request rates and more. Most software has a variety of features to help companies and employees see how they are performing. Prioritized booking based on preselected variables allows individuals to see how they are performing and even identify areas where they need support. Most software is optimized for smart phones and can be easily accessed when an employee is not at work.  The important piece to understand about using software is that it saves times, is updated weekly and takes the guess work out of who moves to the front of the book.  While it does not let leaders completely off the hook it does handle the task of calculating and managing numbers.
  5. Monitor the Books. Even though technology has made booking easy, it is still important to monitor the books. Technology can fail from time to time so it is important to look at the books each week to make sure appointments are equitable and evenly distributed. Things like technician requests and specific guest accommodations that make transitions smooth for guest receiving multiple services should not be touched. But you do want to adjust the books if things are too lopsided and uneven.
  6. Teach Your Team the 2 R’s. The two R’s to remember when it comes to booking are Retention and Request.  Since most spas will rely on performance measures to assign clients it is important to provide the team with the tools they need to be successful.   Specific training on client retention and building request rates is essential for optimal success.
  7. Special Considerations. Even though most policies are developed to fix problems and minimize potential conflicts it is important to approach situations with fresh thinking especially if an employee expresses a legitimate concern about the booking policy.  It is important to recognize when exceptions arise and to apply common sense when dealing with the books. Employers should always apply their policies in a uniform manner but they should not be enforced rigidly.

Regina Tucker is a long time beauty writer for consumer and professional audiences. She is a Master licensed esthetician and the popular blogger behind the first lifestyle and motivational platform for skin care professionals. Regina has a Master’s of Science degree in Human Resources Development and provides her professional insights regularly on consumer and professional platforms.