HR Salon Management: What are the most basic needs of your employees and how can you meet them? What do you need to understand to lead your team to success?

People are the key to the success of any kind of business. Employee performance can be either a fatal ingredient or an important asset for a hair or beauty salon. For what will happen and how it will unfold, the proper HR management salon will play an important role.


HR Salon management: The basic organizational structure of our brain


Two themes are emerging from social neuroscience. Firstly, that much of our motivation driving social behavior is governed by an overarching organizing principle of minimizing threat and maximizing reward (Gordon, 2000). Secondly, that several domains of social experience draw upon the same brain networks to maximize reward and minimize threat as the brain networks used for primary survival needs (Lieberman and Eisenberger, 2008). In other words, social needs are treated in much the same way in the brain as the need for food and water.


HR Salon management: What are the most essential needs of employees?

Five needs have been proven to influence our productivity and behavior at work. Those needs are status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness. If one of those domains are not fulfilled in our working environment, then we go into “threat mode” and our work efficiency is compromised.

Status is about relative importance to others. Certainty concerns being able to predict the future. Autonomy provides a sense of control over events. Relatedness is a sense group identity. And fairness is a perception of fair exchanges between people.

If you want for the HR salon management to be successful, you must understand that these five domains activate either the “primary reward” or “primary threat” circuitry of the brain. For example, a perceived threat to one’s status activates similar brain networks to a threat to one’s life. In the same way, a perceived increase in fairness activates the same reward circuitry as receiving a monetary reward.


HR Salon management: The five needs of employees

1. Status

Status is about relative importance. Two key aspects of our brain’s perception of status are: how easily a threat response can be triggered by such conventional workplace practices as performance reviews and feedback conversations, as well as the fact that threat and reward responses related to changes in status can be triggered even when the stakes are meaningless.

These dynamics imply not only that extreme care must be taken to conduct reviews and provide feedback in ways designed to boost, rather than threaten, the recipient’s status, but also that attention must be paid to the small, commonplace ways in which interpersonal status is heightened and diminished.

2. Certainty

The importance of certainty can be seen because of the brain’s effort to conserve energy. When we are acting with sufficient certainty, our brain senses patterns, successfully predicts next steps, and operates much more efficiently. But when we lack certainty and cannot predict what will happen next, the brain must use dramatically more resources.

That said, it is useful for HR salon management to distinguish mild uncertainty from excessive uncertainty. The former triggers a mild threat response, generating just enough adrenalin and dopamine “to spark curiosity” and energize people to solve problems, but when perceived uncertainty gets out of hand, people panic and make bad decisions.


3. Autonomy

Our perception of our ability to exert control over our environment has a substantial effect on our response to stress factors in our life. When we feel more autonomous, we are much more resistant to stress, and when we feel less autonomous, we can perceive the same set of circumstances as much more stressful.

Two aspects of autonomy worth notice for proper HR salon management: First, autonomy and certainty are intertwined -more autonomy yields a greater sense of certainty about the future. Also, with status, even a subtle perception of autonomy can help increase the sense of importance one feels.

4. Relatedness

Once people begin to make a stronger social connection, their brains begin to secrete a hormone called oxytocin in one another’s presence. This chemical, which has been linked with affection, maternal behavior, and generosity, disarms the threat response and further activates the neural networks that permit us to perceive someone as “just like us”.

So, in an interpersonal setting it’s important to interact in ways that will surface points of similarity, strengthen social connections and increase a sense of relatedness. From a neuroscientific perspective, this process generates oxytocin, allows our brains to classify the other person as “friend” rather than “foe,” and contributes to feelings of trust and empathy. Differences are more effectively addressed in a team after a sense of relatedness has been established.


5. Fairness

The perception that an event has been unfair, generates a strong response in the brain, stirring hostility and undermining trust. In organizations, the perception of unfairness creates an environment in which trust and collaboration cannot flourish. Unfair exchanges generate a strong threat response which sometimes includes activation of the insular, a part of the brain involved in intense emotions such as disgust!

And as with status, perceptions of fairness are relative.


Productivity development through fulfillment of work needs

Although a job is often regarded as a purely economic transaction, in which people exchange their labor for financial compensation, the brain experiences the workplace first and foremost as a social system.

Leaders who understand this dynamic and aim at an efficient HR salon management, can more effectively engage their employees’ best talents, support collaborative teams, and create an environment that fosters productive change. Indeed, the ability to intentionally address the social brain in the service of optimal performance will be a distinguishing leadership capability in the years ahead.

The impact of this neural dynamic is often visible in organizations. For example, when leaders trigger a threat response, employees’ brains become much less efficient. But when leaders make people feel good about themselves, clearly communicate their expectations, give employees latitude to make decisions, support people’s efforts to build good relationships, and treat the whole organization fairly, it prompts a reward response. Others in the organization become more effective, more open to ideas and more creative. They notice the kind of information that passes them by when fear or resentment makes it difficult to focus their attention. They feel intrinsically rewarded.


At Salon Proactive, specializing in the beauty services industry, we help companies grow through best practices and tips for HR hair salon management that works. For more information on the basic work needs and productivity development of the team through their fulfillment, contact us at or book a free consultation.