Building Culture at Work
Part of my job ( possibly the most important part ) is creating and maintaining culture at Lulu Posh Hair. When new stylists start with Lulu Posh I start introducing them to the culture immediately. In fact, I start earlier. It starts the moment we meet. But “culture” is a tricky thing to “teach”.
Did you know that in India some people avoid using their left hand? I’ll let you find out on your own why that is. Many people in India have the cognitive understanding as well as the emotional connection to this norm. It’s gone beyond something that they’ve learned and is something that they identify with. On the other hand, if I were to travel to India, I’d probably learn to avoid using my left hand where it mattered. But, I wouldn’t feel repulsed by seeing others do it. I wouldn’t say that avoiding it was a part of who I am. I’d just be making habit of a behavior that I learned was common in India. It’s part of what’s different about being in India and being Indian.
This makes me think about salon culture. As owners and managers we want to see a strong culture on our teams. When we train our staff about our culture. It usually involves a mission statement. It probably involves: training on greeting and consulting with guests; how to answer the phone; how to say thank you and goodbye; how to smile. We do all of this to ensure our guests have a great experience. But ultimately it comes back to the culture that we want our guests to experience when they visit us.
I suppose what I’m really getting at is that I want culture. Real culture that people identify with and care about. I don’t want Lulu Posh drones acting like I’ve programmed them ( Which I don’t. My team is a dream ). I want actual culture. I want my team to share values, understanding, perspective, and experiences. I want to bend my teams view of each other and I want to have my view bent in return. This takes time and understanding. Understanding by my staff of what my values are as well as my understanding of what my staff values as individuals. We need continued conversations that ferment with each other and eventual evolve into true culture. It’s basically the same principals of a guest consultation. Applied to your team relationships. Rinse. Repeat.
Oh, and since we’re on the subject of India AND salons, here’s a cool image. How different things can be.
Hope to see you in the salon soon. Or, if you’re far away, visit us at luluposhhair.com.