As a small business owner, it can be difficult to keep on top of all of your duties and responsibilities. You have so much on your plate. But in order to maintain harmony in your salon or spa, it's important to make sure your employees feel appreciated, connected, and invested in the business as well. Here are some of our tips for bringing everyone together and fostering a sense of community in your space.

Encourage work friendships.

While gossip and chatter can get to an unruly level, as long as it is kept to reasonable amounts, you should not discourage stylists from developing their own friendships organically. When people are comfortable enough to form their own connections, it can enhance the work environment for everyone involved. Don't interfere in these relationships unless necessary.

Organize company gatherings.

Of course you don't have the same resources as a larger business might, so trips to amusement parks or elsewhere are not necessarily an option. But if it's at all feasible, try to do an annual or semi-annual get together of some sort. Get your staff away from their styling stations and into a different environment. This could be a picnic at your home or a local park, and you can even make it a potluck so you don't have to shoulder the whole burden of catering. Allow staff to bring their families if you can swing it, so that everyone can truly relax and get to know each other.

Create an atmosphere in which staff feel involved.

If your employees feel like they have a say in decision making, they're more likely to be relaxed at work, loyal, and invested in your business. Regularly ask for feedback or ideas that your stylists might have for improving processes, routines, or new salon equipment possibilities.

Treat everyone fairly and equally.

Playing favorites is the quickest way to create division within your salon. Employees will pick up on this right away. Make sure that everyone has the same benefits and expectations, and your staff will respect you and each other a lot more.

These are just a few suggestions on how to make things go smoothly at your salon. What other practices have you put in place that have made a difference toward a feeling of community within your business?