Being a hair or beauty salon manager is a difficult job. Being a good salon manager is even more difficult.

Salon manager’s mission is demanding because there are many different tasks and responsibilities that must be managed. You must always be alert, be able to foresee obstacles and future demands. You also need to be very organized, multifunctional and extremely communicative, not only with your customers but also with your team.


What is intrinsic motivation?

Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, motivation that engages in behavior because it is naturally satisfying. It occurs when we enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn and actualize our potentials. This contrasts with extrinsic motivation, which involves engaging in a behavior to earn external rewards or to avoid penalties.


How can the salon manager ignite the employees’ intrinsic motivators?

Intrinsic motivation leads to persistence since the activity itself is appealing and satisfying. For that reason, it is especially important to know how to “ignite” your teams’ intrinsic motivators.

Research has shown that most people, have five basic needs, that need to be satisfied in their work.

  • Relatedness: Our sense of belonging and feelings of connectedness to others
  • Autonomy: Our desire to feel free, when making decisions
  • Status: Our desire to be accepted and acknowledged
  • Fairness: Our desire to be treated equally
  • Safety: Our desire to be able to predict the future and develop


5 Essential tips for salon managers

With that said, we propose five ways of “igniting” your teams’ intrinsic motivators.


Be fair

Treat everyone, as you would like to be treated. Everyone’s job must be appreciated. This way your employees will have strong self-confidence and they will feel respected, cared for and develop trust in you. Their sense of relatedness will be enhanced, and they will exhibit bigger commitment and better performance.


Plan frequent “check-ins” with your team members

Recognition and attention are the reward all employees value most. A well-intended and nicely worded informal discussion by the salon manager does not cost anything but can have a significant impact on employee motivation. Genuine questioning and conversation should be included in your weekly motivational strategy. Find out, what each one of them wants. How they will feel better in the workplace and what their goals are. Especially their career goals. Discuss possible paths they can take to move up for example, or inquire about their progress, if they are attending a seminar to improve their skills.


Celebrate success

Group activities can help build relationships between colleagues and promote a sense of belonging. Group identity is enhanced, and in-group relatedness is increased. Members of the team get to know and accept each other more. Appreciation is a fundamental human need. Employees respond to positive recognition of their work because it validates what they do. When employees and their work are valued by the salon manager, their satisfaction and productivity rise, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work.


Allow them to take responsibility for their own work


Make them feel free. Make sure that they understand the goals, the deadlines, and the quality of the work they need to produce, but let them decide on the methods they will use to accomplish them.

If you want your employees to take ownership in their job and work for you the way they would work for themselves, you must allow them autonomy and freedom of action.


Give them the opportunity to prove themselves by challenging them

If they succeed, praise them. If they fail, ask them what they would do differently next time, so that they identify and realize their own mistakes.

Do not criticize or lecture, but coach and inspire!!!

You need to encourage them to transform the fear of failure into an enthusiasm to engage with new challenges and learn from them.


No matter what the circumstances are, we are most energized and committed, when we are internally motivated by our own values, sense of enjoyment and growth. Internal motivation inspires us to be our best selves!

By meeting the five psychological needs (Relatedness, Autonomy, Status, Fairness and Security) leaders and salon managers help employees feel engaged and productive.

For more information on the five basic work needs as well as enhancing intrinsic motivation at your salon or institute, contact us at