Top left, Eric Chester
Bottom left, Peter Mahoney 
Bottom right, Phil Horvath
Top left, Eric Chester Bottom left, Peter Mahoney Bottom right, Phil Horvath

THE EVENT:  The second day of the The International SalonSpa Business Network (ISBN) annual conference at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida, May 3-May 5, 2015, further explored the way millennials are reshaping the workplace and offered strategies for how to inspire, manage and, sometimes, be managed by them.

THE SPEAKERS: The keynote for Tuesday's conference was Eric Chester, the author of several books including "Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader's Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Workplace" and the upcoming "On Fire at Work: How to Ignite Passion in  Your Employees to Perform Better and Stay Longer"  and an expert on motivating the emerging workforce and giving the millennial a voice in charting their career. Through a multi-media presentation, he shared that the face of the workplace and the psychology of the workers has changed. Employees today aren't planning to stay in the same place for 30 years because they are more interested in experience and exploration.  A recent interview with Chester on SALON TODAY goes into more detail on how he recommends creating a culture that both attracts and retains employees.

Next up, Peter Mahoney, the president of Summit Salon Business Center and owner of 22 full service salons, spas and schools, is father to four millennials and he shared his enthusiasm for this generation.

"Boomers ask, 'where are we?' and Millennials ask, 'where are we going?'" said Mahoney. "‘If we don’t learn how to embrace these kids we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.  We have to adapt our leadership style to that generation. Give them a voice in your organization and in how things are done.  They have brilliant ideas.  By involving them, we can grow their self esteem at the same time we affect their behavior."

Other Boomer/Millennials differences in approach include:

Boomer: Does one thing at a time, wants an annual review, is growing into technology, lives to work

Millennials: Superior multi-taskers, want ongoing feedback, grew up with technology, works to live

KEYS TO SUCCESS:  Several new ISBN members addressed the audience and two long-standing members and leaders, as well.  Marty Flaherty, General Manager USA at Revlon Professional Brands,  presented a new American Crew turn-key barbering center that the brand is launching, soon. Vice President and General Manager of ULTA, Phil Horvath talked about the 'Path of Abundance' program that the brand outlines for its employee's careers.  He also shared the set of values that ULTA instills in their team, including:

  • Give  'wow'  experiences
  • Win together
  • Improve always
  • Do what’s right
  • Love what you do, own what you do

CHANGE YOURSELF, FIRST:  The conference focused on the need for boomer members to understand the millennial mind and to embrace their passion, purpose and principles.  This means new thinking and new behavior, as illustrated by  Rhoda Olsen, president of ISBN, who told a story about how she handled the persistent 'sneaking out' of two of her teen-age sons. "When they would misbehave, my normal reaction was to yell and scream but they figured it was worth it." And nothing changed. "But one night, I thought, 'I'm going to do something different' and because I really needed my sleep, I decided to crawl in their beds. That way, I'll know what time they get in, what condition they're in, and when they crawled in at about 6:00am, I jumped out bed and said 'where the hell have you been?!'   I'm not going to tell you they never snuck out at night, again, but my change of behavior got their attention. Think about the things you can do differently to get people to work differently."

A cardboard Gordon Logan ( past ISBN president who wasn't able to attend the conference) with Olsen.


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