I started my corporate career as a consultant, during the height of the Business Process Reengineering craze.
It was my job to map out processes for various clients…and recommend ways to cut time, money, and hassle from their workflows.
Capturing chaos and transforming the mess into something that made sense (and made people’s lives easier) was super fun. Selling the something that made people’s lives easier to top management? Way less fun. There were always reasons to NOT implement the new process recommendations – too much change, too much work, too much this, too much that.
Let’s just say I learned to hate the term “incremental improvement” (which is code for “nice idea – never gonna happen”).
Fast forward a while and now I give Brazilians for a living. But – funny thing – certain beauty industry standards drive the consultant side of me crazy. They just.don’t.make.sense.
Case in point: tips.
According to my calculations, you spend between forty-five seconds to one minute per visit handing me your card…and waiting while I swipe it, print you a receipt, grab you a pen, and hand it all to you.
(The reason I hand it all to you? So you can write in the tip, add up the total, and sign your name.)
Then, I watch for a long awkward moment while you silently wonder what the appropriate tip amount is, do some math in your head, mutter about how you aren’t awesome at math, and finally sribble your signature before shoving the paper back at me across the desk.
Total time spent on something that’s unfun for both of us? Up to three minutes per visit. (More if your card is declined or my computer freezes.)
And that doesn’t even include scheduling your next appointment.
Now. I could eliminate the printing and handing over of the paper slip…but that wouldn’t solve the awkwardness problem re: tip amounts. In fact, it will likely make things more awkward for both of us, because then you’d have to verbally tell me how much tip to add to the check. And you’ll still be wondering if it’s an appropriate amount.
Frankly, all this tipping awkwardness keeps me up at night. The time spent is annoying, yes. The bottleneck in the reception area is also less than ideal. But the awkwardness lingers.
My consultant self sees the mess this tipping/checkout process is creating, and recommends a simple solution: “Eliminate Tips and Go Paperless by emailing receipts!”
My top management self thinks about this proposal for about one second and emphatically replies, “Eliminate tips?? That’s crazy talk! It’s too much! We’ll have to change our pay structure and our checkout process!”
And then…just when my top management self begins to utter the dreaded phrase “incremental improvement”…my consultant self reminds my top management self that we’re one and the same person. I am top management. I have the power to make your life easier. All I have to do is change a couple policies and processes.
So. After lots of discussion with both my selfs, plus E and Jill and Kristin (and with their full support) there are new policies and processes in place.
TWH no longer accepts tips. And our transactions are paperless whenever possible.
Over the course of a year (assuming you visit every three weeks), this one change will save you about 51 minutes. That’s pretty much an hour of free time you didn’t have before.
Now. I can already hear your anxiety: Is Kristin being well taken care of? How will she pay her bills? What about Jill? How do they live if there aren’t any tips?
I really appreciate your concern. Let me assure you: your questions and your concern are the very reason we’re making this change. Through generous salaries, regular hours, and as many perks as we can fit into our budget, Eric and I are committed to elevating our employees to be financially and emotionally on par with any person who walks through our doors. We are firmly against commissions, leased chairs, and independent contractors…and are emphatically for paid vacations, profit sharing, and helping each other out.
Yes, there will likely be some hiccups as we all get used to this new process. (Thanks in advance for being understanding.)
And thank you again for your concern re: Kristin and Jill. I love that you love TWH as much as Eric and I do.