15 Oct Dream team
Andy from Ziggy’s Barber Salon is more than just a young hot-shot business owner with a talent for barbering. As Fleur Murphy discovers, he is also an intuitive leader who understands the fine art of building a tight-knit, high-performing team.
If there’s one word that can be used to describe the Ziggy’s team, it’s eclectic. Punk rockers rubbing shoulders with divas spending their days with macho boys could be an impossibly volatile combination, but if the maxed-out appointment book is anything to go by it’s definitely working in their favour.
Each team member brings their own edge to the in-salon vibe, which is has been crafted in homage to its eccentric namesake, Ziggy Stardust. The walls are spattered with film noir posters, the tail end of a 1960s Kingswood serves as seating, and the instantly-recognisable Ziggy’s neon sign glowers over waiting guests.
A DJ booth provides a backdrop of steady beats, varying from indie folk to triphop to electro depending on the time of day and who has claimed the space behind the decks. Come evening, the place will absolutely pumping, more like a bar than an ordinary hair salon.
“One of the first things I say to people on their first day at Ziggy’s is that it isn’t for everyone – but if it is for you, you’ll absolutely love it here,” Andy said. “We come to work not just to cut hair, but to hang out with likeminded people. It’s social, it’s fun, and it’s an incredible environment to spend twelve hours a day.
“It sometimes feels like we’re running a little social experiment in the salon – but in such a creative industry you need all kinds, otherwise people get bored. To me, hiring new people is a chance to bring in new energy – and I’m always gratified to see everyone watching and learning from the newer team members.”
As important as it is to fill the gaps in terms of skillsets, Andy said that building a team is about so much more than simply finding people with the right abilities.
“As well as standout personalities, each team member brings their own skillset to the table,” Andy said. “Whether it’s multi-coloured hair, classic curls, the crazy Newtown style we’re becoming known for, or even a more corporate look – everyone has their own thing going on, and it just works.
“Where the magic really starts to happen is when you find people who know what they are doing, but don’t let their egos get in the way. People who are too intense or who can’t take constructive criticism will end up bringing the rest of the team down.
“I’ve hand-picked everyone that works here at Ziggy’s and I’m so proud of our team. Individually they’re all incredible stylists, and when they’re together as a team they create something really amazing.”
Although Andy describes his leadership style as laid back, he sets the bar high for his team, something he says is essential to compete against other salons and barbers in the area.
“The expectations at Ziggy’s are definitely high,” he said. “Being in an extremely trendy area of Darlingurst and Surry Hills, you know, you have to be on top or your game. Drop the ball and you’ll see rebookings plummet faster than you can say ‘you can do better’.
“I turn the team’s KPIs into a bit of a game to bring out people’s competitive streaks and help boost morale. It’s good to be number one. Hitting you own personal targets is always a great feeling – and an incentive just sweetens the deal!
“We use Shortcuts to keep track of things like which team member has the most rebookings or the most product sales for the week. Once a week I have a sit down with them one-on-one to see how they’re doing and whether we can push them even further.
“At the end of the day, your team should make your life easier, not harder. But it’s your job as a leader to build that team of likeminded individuals who can support you every day.”
Check out more of Andy’s story at www.shortcuts.com.au/ziggys
This article was published in Instyle Magazine in November 2017.