Erin Burton is a testament that shows how an entire system benefits when a company commits to growing and developing its employees.
Starting as a Stylist in 2010, Burton soon became a Coach and today serves the Sport Clips Haircuts network as a member of both the Artistic Team and as Area Operations Director. A resident of the Rochester area, Erin is a big part of Sport Clips growth plans for the Northeast region where she helps build brand awareness among the stylist community, helps stores to recruit team members, and ensures they deliver the high quality customer experience Sport Clips is known for.
“Area Operations Director is a new position for the company and the creation of this position shows how Sport Clips is constantly looking for ways to best serve its people,” explains Burton. “There is so much opportunity for growth in this company for a Stylist; I am proof of that. Stylists are not seen as just a number here. The Sport Clips difference comes down to how it lives out its mission statement. Every company has one, but this is the first company I have seen actually live out everything it says.”
It’s a dynamic and exciting time for the Northeast region, and Burton says existing stores have done well blazing the trail for the brand. There is still plenty of room for growth in Upstate New York and in the greater New England area, and via this new role, additional support is available to ensure Team Leaders (franchisees) excel.
The support team has found innovative ways to create brand awareness and excitement throughout the industry, particularly via beauty schools in the Northeast and across the nation. They also represent some incredible opportunities for Stylists. The Artistic Team, composed of some of the best and most creative Sport Clips Stylists, has been creating a buzz with their onstage performances showcasing the team’s cutting edge technique and fashion forward styles at industry shows. Ambassador teams, also made up of Stylists, go into beauty schools to let new stylists know about the exciting opportunities Sport Clips has to offer.
Burton comments, “There is not a lot of education out there on men’s cuts. Some of the best stylists we have had never held clippers before coming to us, but through our education system, we can train anyone with potential.”
Burton recalls a stylist who showed a great deal of promise right out of school, but was lacking certain skills. “The Team Leader called me up and said ‘I believe in this person, but she needs some work.’ In a one-on-one session we went over technique until she felt more confident in certain skills. From there she excelled and went on to move into store management. It’s about investing in people first. That is something Sport Clips believes in very strongly.”
With her experience behind the chair and as a Coach, Burton is offering her unique expertise to support Team Leaders, Managers and Team Members in her new role. Monthly success checks and classes are part of how she offers support.
“An important element in a good store is that people want to be there,” states Burton. “When people feel valued, respected and encouraged, the entire store prospers.”
Creating great culture starts with setting personal and organizational goals. While a Team Leader may be motivated by numbers and metrics, Stylists are usually driven by more personal and individual goals. The store goals may not be enough to motivate Team Members. Burton says, “This can often create a disconnect within the team. But through effective management, there are ways for these diverging goals to propel the entire store forward. Creating that environment really starts with the basics.”
Burton remembers a particular case in which a Stylist needed some motivation. After some discussion, it was determined the Stylist wanted to attend the annual Sport Clips National Huddle. Together, the Team Leader and Stylists set an in-store goal, with the reward being a trip to the Huddle.
“The Stylist surpassed her goal,” explains Burton. “It just goes to show that if you key into what each person’s motivations are, you can get results beyond your expectations.”
Not all rewards have to be of that scale, however, they do have to be personal and related to their goal. According to Burton, motivation is a very personal thing and each person has something different they are working toward and when we help them move closer to that goal, they bring you their best.”
Below are tips from Burton that can help Team Leaders and Managers create great culture:
Put people first. Find out why your Team Members come to work. Ask questions such as, “How can I make your day better?” or “What can I do for you?” Then actually follow through with it. Team Members often see each other more than they see their families, so there should be genuine relationships and care for one another. Respect is a key element.
Know the ultimate goal of your team. Maybe they are saving up to buy a house or a car. Maybe they have a family. Knowing their “why” is crucial.
Recognition is very important. Use tools like “About Me” cards that have employees list their favorite candy, restaurants, music, color, etc. You can reference these when looking for ways to reward or show appreciation. The personal touch goes a long way.
Burton is a prime example of someone who is constantly working to provide the best support for her network, and she is proof that when a system is committed to growing its people, the results can be amazing. Burton concludes, “Lean into the system – it’s proven to work and the support is there. Take advantage of all the resources available to you.”
To learn more about the opportunities in the Northeast region, click here.
To learn more about franchising with Sport Clips, click here.