Two Of Your Salon Employees Are Dating: Now What?

Taking A Step Back

Before saying anything further, I don’t want to come across as a love killer. Personally, I actually never minded much if staff dated. I always felt that with a team, no procedures will ever stop feelings to develop. It’s human nature. To me, it very much depends on the situation. For example, is the relationship based on a Casanova playing up with all the new team members, or is it a true love story?

One thing is for sure, creating a procedure for such a situation is not part of my recommendations. Sometimes, procedures don’t stop things from happening, especially when it comes to human emotions.

The potential issue with staff employees dating is the fact that the team dynamics changes. That, to me, is the most important aspect of the situation: how is it affecting the salon/spa/clinic/barbershop?

Salon Employees Dating: The “L.O.V.E” Principals

Personally, I have always applied the following L.O.V.E principals.

(L) Let It Go

It always comes back to you as a manager: you need to know, or realise that something is up. For a while, I’d personally let it be, observe how the team dynamics change, how the team behaves, and how it’s affecting the other salon employees and customers.

(O) Open The Conversation

Once that’s done, I would have an informal chat about the situation, even if it’s not affecting the team or customers. Again, personally, I simply want my staff to be aware that I know and that I’m ok with it, as long as it doesn’t affect my business.

For this reason, this chat should be a one to one meeting as you’re not there to be a babysitter of love. You’re there to be clear about your business intentions. Call it a warning, a friendly chat or whatever it is, but ultimately, it’s important that this conversation takes place. It not only allows you to judge how serious or potentially damaging the situation can become, but it also sets the tone of your views on the whole matter.

(V) Vent If Needed

This, I’ll repeat again and again: communication and clear business intentions are key to ensure smooth operation. It’s important that your team members know they can vent to you if they need. It allows them to stop bottling up what bothers them. My recommendation to you: stay very aware of the people dating, and as soon as you hear someone is unhappy, let them vent and diffuse the situation.

(E) Establish Disciplinary

If a situation comes out of hand, or if there are any sign of troubles, you can create a disciplinary procedure with a first verbal warning. For this to happen, you need to ensure you have notes on conversations that have taken place, but also facts on situations.

In the case that you’re not prepared to create a procedure, your message needs to be clear to everyone. For instance, “I am happy with staff members dating as long as it’s not affecting my business. The minute it does, I will deal with the situation straight away with disciplinary procedures.”

Related | The Ins And Outs Of Writing A Salon/Spa Procedure Manual

Now What?

In all, it very much depends on the situation at hand.

I’ve dealt with a situation where I had to give the salon employees 2 weeks off and put them on different shifts when they stopped dating as they were really upset. I’ve had to use disciplinary measures when 2 staff members were really awful to one another and created a difficult atmosphere. Both of them were on disciplinary very quickly, and one was let go. I also attended a couple of weddings, which in the end makes it all worthwhile…!

It’s important to listen and understand each point of view. It’s also equally important for your team to know that you will not tolerate any erratic behaviour, in which case you will be ruthless with disciplinary when needed.

Going Ahead With Procedures

Some companies have procedures in place and are strict on the matter. No dating allowed. Procedures can help the disciplinary process, as you can reinforce everything quickly. However, it can also create an underlying atmosphere. As soon as something is not allowed, it happens: isn’t that human nature too?

Perhaps I’m more of a romantic than I am led to believe, but as long as it doesn’t affect the business, I am happy to let love blossom around me… What about you?


Valerie Delforge - Founder and CEO of Delforge + Co

Judge, Key Note Speaker, Commercial Trainer & Coach for the Spa & Beauty Industry

Become Commercially aware




5 tips on diary policies

1: 50% deposit for any treatment over £50

This is a good way to not lose out on expensive treatments and an effective way to see who is serious about their appointments.

2: Strict policy on complementary appointments

As a way of networking you may find you give out free appointments to friends, models or family. However if you aren't careful you can end up with a whole day of non profit generating customers. Even on your quiet days you must ensure there are no more than 2 complimentary customers. You can restrict complimentary appointments to quiet times to ensure your diary is not compromised on busy days.

3: A strict “no more than twice rule” for new clients

If new clients don't show up for an appointment more than twice you then charge them in advance for their next appointment. If you're clear about this policy you set expectations. It then won't be a surprise to your client when they're told to pay in advance. You can warn them: “As you know our policy is very strict, if you cannot make it do let us know 24 hours in advance”

4: A strict “3 times rule” for your regular clients

It's difficult to implement the 'no more than twice rule' with your regular clients.  But you cannot have one policy for one client and another one for someone else and if you don't tackle the problem they will carry on getting away with it.   

So if someone keeps misbehaving ask yourself if they're worth the trouble they're causing.  Make a list of customers who are not supporting the policy and manage that list by talking to them.

5: Make exception to the rule difficult to get

There are exceptions of course.  However do make it difficult for them to get away with bad behaviour.  Everything needs to be written on their notes so you can assess the pattern, if any, of this client. Discuss and talk to your clients.  Be understanding and tell them: “On this occasion we will overlook your no show, however do be aware that the next time..." Or “I understand the situation and as a gesture of goodwill I will overlook the policy”


Valerie Delforge - Founder and CEO of Delforge + Co

Judge, Key Note Speaker, Commercial Trainer & Coach for the Beauty Industry

Become Commercially aware



How to deal with late hairdressers

hji Article       (

(This article is valid for every industry)


Running a business obviously involves having to deal with staff issues and perhaps one of the most frustrating for any salon owner is the late hairdresser.

This scenario can leave you as the manager having to deal with unimpressed customers who are naturally expecting their appointment at the allotted time.  It is important to identify whether this lateness is an issue within your salon and whether there is a pattern in this particular staff member's behaviour.

These are the questions to answer:

  • Is he/she talking to your client or other staff too much?

  • Is it operational and not the fault of the hairdresser? It could possibly be  the customer’s journey within your salon causes them to arrive late in the chair.  If so you need to find out why.

  • Is it training that is needed? In which case what kind of training?

  • Do they give their clients too much attention?

There are solutions to implement within your salon which will help this type of behavior and here they are in 10 steps:

  1. Give 15 minutes extra for 6 weeks to every appointment so your hairdresser has more time. This will show that you are keen to support them in improving their services.

  2. Calculate how this will affect their takings.

  3. Calculate how this then affects their commission if that is the case.

  4. For the first 6 weeks, monitor how he/she improves or not as the case may be.

  5. Bring models in between for them to practice on their timing. Ensure that each model is given a feedback form to give you a clear idea of the experience they received. This form should include the timing of the service.

  6. After 6 weeks: have a meeting regarding his/her progression

  7. Look at his/her takings and target them accordingly

  8. Take the 15 minutes away unless they need to keep it for another 6 weeks. Do bear in mind that when you give someone 1 hour to do a haircut, they are most likely to take 1 hour. Make them understand the aim is to ensure they do the haircut within the recommended 45 minutes.

  9. Bring in more models. Again ensure they have a form to fill in.

  10. If you have chosen to take another 6 weeks, after that decide whether you want to put them on performance management or whether they have successfully achieved everything you wanted them to.

Implementing this procedure for such behaviour will ensure this member of staff will either improve or feel too much pressure to carry on.

Your attitude towards such issues will make it clear to your team the importance of finishing or starting on time. 

If you choose to take the performance management route, ensure that everything you do is written down.  This way you have proof of all the support you have given if you need to dismiss someone.

It's inevitable you will have days when everything runs late but when it becomes a problem, it's easy to take control with these steps!


Valerie Delforge - Founder and CEO of Delforge + Co

Consulting agency and Business Academy specializing in the Hair and Beauty industry