Tracey Hughes knows a thing or two about education. A global educator and speaker, she has won both the Excellence in Education and Educator of the Year awards four times as well as Hairdresser of the Year, Colourist of the Year and hassled her team to win Salon of the Year amazing 10 times!
A highly sought after educator and keynote speaker, Tracey has presented education events extensively worldwide. Her own education company provides business coaching, customised tuition, workshops, DVD’s, online education, and inspiration at seminars globally so when Tracey has something to say. the industry listens.
After starting the year with the AHC/ExpertEducation road show, Tracey noticed that many salons were not making the most of the education opportunities are available to them, nor utilising or advancing their relationships with their RTOs.Being a passionate advocate for education and its importance in building a thriving, sustainable salon business, we asked for her perspective on this issue and for her thoughts on how salons could better utilise their opportunities.
We would a agree that education keeps stylists ’68 Hair Biz Yer 9 Issue 4inspired, growing and more focused on their but what other benefits do you see for investing more heavily in education?
Education is an ongoing journey of self-discovery.Therefore the benefits are a stronger skill set,increased motivation, more knowledge and more confidence. This helps every individual to grow and of course supports business development and productivity. It’s important not to create too many habits as that’s when complacency sets in, so through constant learning our mind and creativity flourishes more.Education is not just about keeping stylists inspired, I believe the greatest benefit is the feeling of self worth and pride to become the best version of yourself you can be. As the saying goes “the best investment you can make is into knowledge”.
There seems to be so much education on offering our industry yet you’ve stated that “many salons aren’t making the most of the education opportunities that are available to them”. Tell us why you feel this is the case and what are the opportunities you see being missed?
There are many options available for education in our industry however it is about finding the most suitable. Learning from many different sources stimulates the greatest creativity. However the negative can be it creates lack of consistency due to learning too many methods that can sometimes be conflicting and therefore confusing.The opportunity being missed the most is that many salons are not building their own education system.
What should salons be doing differently to better take advantage of these opportunities?
By developing an education system internally your training delivery wi[ be way more effective.Producing or sourcing great content with effective delivery with support your uniqueness and develop more consistency in all team members. Having a strong education culture will enhance motivation and retention. If your culture is powerful then team members will seize every opportunity presented to them. Opportunities are only missed when the drive to succeed is not embedded into the physiology and the brand ethos.
What do you think stops many salons from using educational opportunities effectively in their business?
Most of the time it is lack of knowledge on how to maximise opportunities and where to begin to build their own system. Plus sometimes it can simply be lack of time management – there isn’t enough time to invest into organisation. Lastly is the monetary aspect because if a business isn’t profitable then usually it is the education budget that can suffer.I personally believe salon owners should invest into their team’s training rather than them funding it themselves. Yes every team member needs to take accountability for their own development however investing into your people is more beneficial to the business.
Many individual salon owners feel so stretched for time in juggling the many demands of their business, that staff education could often be overlooked. What advice would you give to these business owners to overcome this?
Look at what tools you can use to help you with better time management. No one ever said running a business is easy so it does involve tremendous amounts of time, energy and money to do so. Prioritise wisely and don’t be distracted by other people’s agendas. At to cate time to spend on the business not just in the business. Never over look education or marketing, as they are the key factors to business growth.
How should salon owners be ‘utilising or advancing their relationships with their RTOs’?
There is a still a gap between industry and institutions, and only understanding each other’s rotes and responsibilities can bridge this gap. This can only be achieved through solid communication.
Both parties need to schedule time on a regular basis to communicate and monitor the performance and results. The salon owners employ the apprentice so it is their responsibility for that. apprentice’s training. The RTO is there to deliver -the training as required by the Training Package.However the salons can train the apprentice so much more since the RTO only has the apprentice for a certain amount of limited time. Advancing the relationship between both parties is crucial so it needs to begin with learning each other’s roles,language and expectations.
What should they look for specifically when choosing the RTO for their staff?
Firstly look for the standard of work being taught.Each RTO has to follow the Training Package however some develop their trainer’s skills further than others. All follow the same guidelines and principles however some strive further than others. The relationship is the biggest factor to look for.
How well will you both communicate for the good of the staff? Also look at what resources they use. ls it modern and industry relevant? Are the teachers investing into their skills to stay current? To excel the training of your staff , be willing to invest time into checking out all the RTO’,s in your region to see which is the best fit for you.
Tell us about your Teacher Training program.
I developed my Teacher Training program to support the future training in our industry.This program coaches the participants on their presentations skills, communication skills,engagement, structure and organisation. My objective is to assist training other educators to be confident in their delivery.
l’ve taught and presented in every education environment and now l’m sharing this experience with many others. This will have a ripple effect on the whole industry by having more confident trainers and is my way of contributing to the sustainability of our industry.
How do you see this benefitting both small and larger salon owners?
The benefits are huge to any size business. By having team members that can facilitate skills this will support training your team internally. The Teacher Training program focuses on “context” of how to deliver the training. However I instill into all participants the importance of knowing their”content” first. Most trainers teach what they know or how they do something themselves.
By possessing outstanding knowledge and skills that are technically correct rather than just a personal approach ye develop consistency. That’s why l wrote my Training Manual because I realised after coaching many through Teacher Training that their content wasn’t strong enough. So if salons need support in this area they now have theTraining Manual. Everyone needs quality education with an effective training system, whether in a small or large salon.
What have been some of the demonstrated or measurable results achieved by some of your attendees?
The feedback from the program is the greatest testament to the results. I have individuals tell me it has been life-changing. I have witnessed young emerging artists present on stage for the first time and swelled with pride. I have watched people’s careers flourish as they become platform artists due to their increased confidence. I have seen very accomplished trainers break their habits and push themselves so far beyond their own expectations.The most measurable results have been salon owners and managers learning to teach so they can support their staff. Everyone who has ever attended Teacher Training has stayed connected with me so I get to see the results for myself and it really is a privilege to be part of someone else’s journey and it makes me feel extremely proud when I see their successes.
How do you see education within the hairdressing industry evolving over the next 3-5years?
Do you see any emerging trends changing the education landscape?Digital education is already part of our lives. Due to the scope of the Internet, inspiration and free education can easily be found through many sources. I believe we will see a shift towards more live streaming and on-line tutorials during the next few years, as it is a great income stream for many educators and it makes education more accessible to many.
However we need to stay mindful that this ultimately can drop the quality standards of work,as the engagement is lost so the memory retention of the knowledge won’t be as strong. No matter what education you choose it needs to be real and relevant to every salon environment. Quick fixes of inspiration don’t provide results and super creative looks that are non-wearable don’t translate into a commercial viability. Nothing wiI ever replace real education no matter what new trends emerge.
Article has been taken from HairBiz Year 9 Issue 4