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I have found that the most difficult and frustrating part of opening or expanding a business is the interviewing/hiring/training aspect. It continues to drive me bananas. Anyone who has ever interviewed staff for a particular amount of time will probably tell you that the way people are during interviews and the way they are during training is usually NOT the way they are as employees. Sometimes they are better, because the training makes them nervous and jittery, but often they are not.

Over the past 3 years, my training style has evolved, and my tolerance for mediocrity has disappeared. I firmly believe that everyone, whether you are a bagger at Safeway or the CEO of Apple, should take pride in what they are doing, be present, and most importantly, show up on time. I feel like people in the US have become so entitled when it comes to having a job. Kids graduate high school or college and refuse to work because they think that jobs are “beneath them.” People go on unemployment because it is available and it seems to be, alarmingly, the norm. I mean, don’t people love to work? Don’t people feel a little thrill when they open their first paycheck? Maybe not. Maybe it’s weird, but ever since I deposited my first puny payckeck into my first empty bank account at 15 I have been hooked. As I stated earlier, the ability to make money for yourself is freedom. To know that no matter where you are, you will be able to get some sort of a job and be okay…that’s such a gift.

Anyway, I digress. So, I’m probably not the most easy gal to work for. I am blunt. Period. If something goes wrong, the staff knows about it. I fixate on things that need to be improved. I address complaints immediately and swiftly. I am not a super cuddly, easy going, go with the flow kind of boss. In fact, there is nothing go with the flow about me. As I said in the monthly meeting last week, Urban Waxx isn’t the kind of work place where you can keep making the same mistakes and stick around. I have worked in spas in the past where there was no fear of being fired, and it completely ruins team morale. Employees think: “So why I am I cleaning/here early/selling/etc. when so and so is not doing anything? Well, if we are all treated the same, then I’m not doing anything either!” One bad employee can demoralize a weak team in days. But when there is a happy team, a strong team, the weak employee will either up their game or weed themselves out. That’s what has happened at Urban Waxx over the past few years. The staff that we have is comprised of strong, dynamic women, and they all are on board with the Urban Waxx “mission statement.” When a new employee joins, they usually drink the Kool-Aid and everything falls into place fairly seamlessly. As I said before, I am blunt, but everyone always knows where they stand with me. If they are doing great, they know it. If they aren’t, well they know that, too.

So the issue that I have found with opening a 2nd location is that we aren’t just hiring 1 or 2 new gals. We are hiring 8 or 9. So with all of that growth, there is some growing pains. I tell everyone that I interview that they will be hired, but they are not officially employees until they hit the 3 month mark. The first 90 days is a crucial time for us to see if they are a good fit for us, and if we are a good fit for them. Sometimes is only takes a few days to come to that conclusion. Sometimes it’s as if they were meant to be on the team, and they are so lovely and amazing that we can’t believe they haven’t always been at UW. I always say that the people that stay with Urban Waxx fall in love with it, and the ones that move on, well, it just wasn’t a good fit.

So, that’s that. Turnover. Not something that I love, but definitely something that occurs. We have been fortunate to have employees for years, and that is something I am very happy with. I have incredibly high expectations, our team has high expectations, and most of all, our clients have VERY high expectations. Trust me, if we don’t have the right kind of tea or if the room is 2 degrees colder than it should be, or if the flowers are wilting, I hear about it. I guess you can’t have a motto like “It’s the best wax you’ll ever have. Seriously.” and not set yourself up for that kind of feedback! And honestly, I love it! The good feedback is lovely but the bad feedback helps us to do better all of the time.

Do you have feedback for me? About the staff, the salons, the wax…the teas? Let me know! shannon@urbanwaxx.com