“Quiet Quitting” has overtaken “The Great Resignation” as the most current problem employers face in the workplace today including at salons across the country. Where The Great Resignation has workers quitting their current jobs to pursue a passion project or a new career entirely (leaving employers searching for new hires ASAP), Quiet Quitting is a different problem altogether. 

A writer for Forbes describes Quiet Quitting as workers “just refus[ing] to do anything above and beyond in their day-to-day work.” When a worker Quietly Quits, they follow their job description to the letter and nothing more, they respond to work-related matters only during work hours, they skip voluntary meetings and optional work initiatives, and divorce themselves from work completely once the quitting bell rings. This leaves many employers shorthanded despite staff numbers that were adequate a month ago, and it can put more work on the plate of small business owners, especially those in the salon and spa business. 

So, what can we do about the current trend of Quiet Quitting? We’ve got four tips to help you fix the problem before it gets out of hand. 

Time for a Review

Quiet Quitting means it’s time for a review in your business, but not an employee performance review. Instead, you need to review the job description for each position within your spa or salon. 

What’s a job description? It’s a clear description of the duties, tasks, responsibilities, and expectations for a specific job or category of jobs. 

In a well-written job description, you should:

  • Lay out the basic expectations (in terms of education, training, or skill) required or desired for the position
  • Clearly explain tasks, duties, and expectations
  • Say why, how, where, and how often those tasks or duties are to be performed
  • Identify areas of accountability and responsibility
  • Identify the workplace hierarchy in terms of direct reports and direct supervision

A job description should also outline:

  • Your responsibilities (as the employer/owner)
  • Performance review schedules
  • Pay structure and performance bonuses

Conduct your review of the job descriptions within your business privately or with your management team. As you go over each job description, ask yourself if they cover all the duties, expectations, and tasks your employees perform. Remember, in Quiet Quitting, workers are following their job descriptions to the letter and aren’t “going the extra mile” to perform. 

Poll the Employees

Your next step in combatting Quiet Quitting will be to gather employee input and feedback. Ask your employees to fill out a job description self-assessment form. During a job description self-assessment, your employees will track their tasks, noting what they do over the course of a few days to a week or more (whatever time frame fits your business’ particular flow and timetable). As they note the tasks, duties, and job-related functions they perform, they will place each into an “in the job description” or “not in the job description” category. When the assessment is finished and you have the chance to review it, you’ll have a clear picture of the jobs and job-related tasks your workers perform. 

As employees complete their self-assessments, take the time to speak with them about the process and what they found. You’ll gain additional insight into what they do day-to-day and how they feel about their work and workplace, and this information is key for the next step. 

Create Job Descriptions that Work

Now that you have the information provided by the employee self-assessment and your own assessment of the jobs in your business, you can step back and begin to revise or even rewrite your current job descriptions, or, if you didn’t have a job description before, you can write your first. 

As you work on updating or creating new job descriptions, you have an opportunity to shape the roles and jobs in your salon or spa. You’ll see where stated job duties fall short of the actual tasks a position performs and be able to adjust them. And you’ll have the chance to evaluate your business for overstaffing or understaffing. Often business owners will find they have overlapping areas of responsibility (three employees are responsible for end-of-day closing procedures when you only need one) or areas where a duty needs to be done but no one is responsible for it (everyone cleans their own station or area, but who cleans the waiting area? If you haven’t defined it in a job description, the answer is nobody). You may find yourself creating new roles – a retail specialist in charge of inventory tracking, ordering, and stocking – or shifting the roles employees currently hold – identify your social media star who can (and, based on their talents, should) assume more duties in that part of the business while giving up some of their previous duties – and improving your business operations along the way. There’s a chance you even find the opportunity for growth (suddenly you see the need for a community relations position, an expansion of your front desk, the need for an additional technician or two…) in your business.

Restore the Work-Life Balance

While some see the act of Quiet Quitting as a way to restore the work-life balance, other see it differently, as an act of rebellion or defiance. Neither side is wrong, but there are better ways to establish a healthy – and profitable (for everyone) – work-life balance. And it all starts with the job description. 

A clear, thoughtful, and well-defined job description will let everyone – employee, team leader, supervisor, owner – know the expectations and demands of a specific position. It will be measurable (important for self-assessment and for job performance reviews), achievable during the typical business day (or your specific business cycle), and will help establish a work-life balance for everyone involved thanks to those clearly delineated tasks, duties, and expectations.

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