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What to do when a stylist resigns | 11 practical steps

It happens. For whatever reason. And here’s a checklist of what you need to do as soon as it does:

Part 1. Financial Control & Information Security

  1. Block their user access to your reservation system (eg Phorest) and your business email if they have one.
  2. Inform them that all client information is owned by the salon and not them; and that taking client data with them is illegal under GDPR amongst other things; and that they cannot contact any client by any means.
  3. Remind them of any radial clause in their contract.
  4. Remind them that photos taken in the salon are owned by the salon and cannot be used for promoting themselves in their new venture.
  5. Consider letting them go immediately rather than working their notice period – especially if you think they’ll spend their notice period informing/contacting clients, bad mouthing you and your business or generally bringing staff morale down.
  6. Let your accountant/payroll provider know immediately so they can finalise pay. Also, check how many holidays they have taken and whether they still owe any staff advance, or have had training paid for, which they will need to pay back.
  7. Ask your accountant to calculate the net cash loss to the salon (this being the sales income they generate excluding VAT less their payroll cost (including ad ons like NI and pension). From this you can quickly foresee any likely cash flow issues and plan accordingly.

Part 2. Look after your clients and staff:

8. Make sure you contact the stylist’s clients asap

Have a positive story ready, keeping it up beat, and letting them know who will be taking over (giving a short paragraph about them); and that you’re really looking forward to seeing them at their next appointment.

9. Ensure your staff are on board

Give all your staff a clear sentence or two to say if anyone asks about the stylist who has left. Again, make it a positive message and be clear to your staff that there should be no gossiping with their Clients!

10. Monitor the stylist’s Clients

Some of their clients may well go with the stylist but you still have their contact details, so keep them on any marketing emails. They may well return!

11. Find out why the stylist is leaving

The more information you can glimmer when someone leaves, the better. Ask them 2 things:

i. why they are leaving (but probe, as it’s not always the first thing they say which is the real reason!)

ii. what do they think the salon could be doing better (don’t be defensive – just reflect later on what they say as they may well have a point and maybe discuss it with your more trusted stylists)

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