This past year I was contacted by Margaret MacDonald, the global education design manager for Wella Professionals Color. She was interested in rethinking how Wella Professionals should conduct education and training of salon stylists. I met with the education team in Geneva, and as they described how they led training, I realized that they were ripe for flipping learning.
Before discovering flipped learning, Wella provided salon stylists one-day training seminars in the studios, which were carried out in a traditional manner with instructors presenting information to all participants. The opportunity for improvement was best summarized by Global Education Academy Dean, Stephen Moody, who told me he that wanted the stylists to be “in the hair.”
Moody felt that sending stylists off to work with only one real practice session did not mean the they had understood the complex nature of coloring hair, perfecting cut, ensuring correct hair care, or creating textures and movement with styling. Instead, stylists needed MORE practice time to reapply these techniques once back in their salon.
Enter flipped learning
Flipped learning places emphasis on maximizing face-to-face learning time. By merging the creativity required in hairdressing education and the time-efficiency of flipped learning an industry game-changer is born.
Wella is about to launch its flipped learning Education program in early 2015. When stylists attend Wella Education, they will be coached to CREATE, not taught to DO.
Following a flipped methodology, stylists will be contacted two weeks prior to the seminar date, with links to wella.com for pre-instruction materials that will be as varied as there are hues of color. Some examples of pre-instruction materials include product knowledge documents, self-assessment questionnaires, technical guides, social media links, how-to videos, mood videos, and so forth.
Covering this sort of information pre-instruction allows for maximum face-to-face creative time and coaching during the actual seminar. The objective is to remove any information that the stylist can learn themselves from such limited one-on-one learning with expert stylists—ultimately, building confidence and preparing new stylists for in-salon reapplication. In addition, by providing product knowledge and prep videos, it is more likely that stylists will start with the same foundation and build on it throughout the training.
Post instruction is offered to learners two weeks following the one-day seminar. Stylists are reminded of key takeaways and prompted to take action in their salon, whether it be via role-playing exercises, recap videos, or sharing of mood boards. Training participants are encouraged to use seminar hashtags to relive the experience with their peers.
Wella also is refining its targeting of each seminar, to ensure the learners reap the highest rewards from attending. For example, some training seminars are focused on products or techniques—teaching individual stylists to develop their craft.
Other times, a seminar will target an entire salon—because building a strong reputation and salon equity requires collective participation. For these seminars, training is recommended to take place with all staff, so they can grow together and make the transition to teamwork.
After all, higher mastery as a stylist also means going beyond hair to become a true beauty coach.
Let us know your thoughts. Do you agree that a creative education can fundamentally be flipped? How could the experience at Wella be reapplied in your corporate training program or industry? We’d love to hear what you have to say!