When I ask, “how is work?” to friends, acquaintances etc. I often hear “work is work” or “it’s as good as it can be, I guess”. When asked in return I usually say, “it’s fantastic!” and my reply is met with additional questions like “why?” or “really??”.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cara and I am the Director of Operations for Brows by G. I was hired in May of 2016 when Brows by G was a one-location operation with G, four Brow Specialists and well, me! Since then, we’ve expanded, blossomed and grown into a two-location, twenty-five staff member brow empire with a nation-wide training division, global online store, and a whole lotta culture!
As our team has expanded and the business has grown, we have taken a hard look at who we are, who we want to be and how we treat our staff. I come from a customer service background with a lot of experience being treated either extremely well or improperly by management. I found it important and necessary to explore what aspects I admired from my previous workplaces and what systems I disliked, found ineffective or just plain wrong. Reflecting on what I liked or disliked in previous work situations has created a strong foundation for how I manage our team.
Being a small business allows us the freedom to create a culture from scratch for our staff and customers that benefits everyone involved. At Brows by G, we focus our culture around positivity, support, genuineness, kindness, and growth (and excellent brows). We have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind, harassment, violence, intimidation, threats and general disruptive behaviour. We are an all-inclusive business, providing services for all races, gender expressions, sexes, sexual preferences, religions, and abilities. Even though our policy is all-encompassing, we have taken it a step further with internal unspoken rules such as a zero-tolerance policy for gossip, body-shaming, bullying etc. When you hire the right people, these unspoken rules do not have to be managed, enforced or monitored, they just exist.
I truly feel that the key to having a successful team is hiring people that already possess the culture and qualities that the business stands for. A candidate that has all of the skills required but the wrong attitude is not the right person for the job. A business’s culture is a fragile ecosystem that is easily disrupted and must be handled with care every single day. Setting an example as the Director has given me the opportunity to lead by example and show the level of respect that our management team has for each and every one of our staff members.
Our positive culture is easily visible to clients when they arrive for their appointment at Brows by G. Each member of our team is genuinely excited and happy to welcome clients into our beautiful locations and provide them with a fantastic experience from the time the arrive to the time the leave. The key word here is ‘genuine’. Finding people that are genuinely excited to come into work each day, genuinely happy to get to know their clients, genuinely passionate about brows, and genuinely interested in self-growth is the most important part of hiring (in my humble opinion). We have made it clear to our staff that if they are unhappy, uneasy, unwell or just having an off day, that it is ok to come speak to management, vent, express themselves and be in a space where they feel heard, cared for and unjudged. We all know that life isn’t easy, and I don’t think it is realistic to expect staff to “leave their problems at the door”.
Let me be clear, there is a difference between “leaving your problems at the door” (an old workplace saying) and bringing your problems into work by telling every client your issue of the day. Finding a space between the two extremes is where we choose to be at Brows by G. Our staff feel empowered and allowed to express themselves internally before the day begins to allow for a transition from personal to professional without feeling like personal problems are not relevant and must be stuffed down during work hours.
You know the saying “treat others the way you want to be treated”? Creating an effective and positive culture can be summarized by this one quote. Treat your staff the way you want them to treat you, with respect, kindness, openness and love and they will treat you the same way. It’s really that simple! We are so proud of the culture we have created at Brows by G and we can’t wait for you to come into one of our studios and experience it for yourself.
See you soon!