What makes elements the best hair, beauty & lifestyle salon in Surrey? 

Using a unique method of communication and collaboration, colleagues at elements hair, beauty & lifestyle salon in Oxted are pushing the boundaries when it comes to working as an effective and highly successful team.

They have made a positive impact on the local community, their clients and each other by embracing a special way of working, developed by salon owner Barbara MacNaughton.

Barbara knows how to get the best out of herself and her team by using her own visually engaging on-line tool, called elaro, combined with fun in-salon practises and a wide variety of stimulating team events held throughout the year.

What is elaro?

Each staff member is helped to identify their key characteristic (or element) which helps them to develop, improve and work more effectively with colleagues.

Clients are also invited to discover their elements. By understanding what makes a client ‘tick and click’, our stylists can give that client a tailored and unique consultation. 

The result is a harmonious working environment where colleagues support one another and go the extra mile to keep the clients happy.  

Customer Helen Libert is a convert to the elements way of working.  She benefited after discovering her dominant element is Earth. 

She says: “I tend to be very practical – that earth element thing!  My stylist knows just how far to push the changes each time so that gradually I get a new look!  I love it – I’d never just jump in for a big change.  Until I went to elements I never changed my look at all!  The atmosphere between the team is really special too. I’ve never been anywhere like it before!”

The team – apprentices, stylists and managers – enjoy coming to work and being part of a successful business and an important part of the community. 

If you haven’t already been introduced to the elaro way of life, why not have a chat with your stylist? 

Our Team Strengths

Our main strength is that, by understanding each other, we can work in harmony as a team – offering support to one another, sharing knowledge and experiences, and delivering an exceptional service.

Everything we do is under-pinned by our shared set of Values and our Mission Statement.

Our Values:

  • We SHARE

Our Mission Statement (which shows what team means to us in our business

  1. We’re committed to our vision, our values and to achieving extraordinary goals.
  2. We share accountability for results.
  3. We communicate with transparency.
  4. We resolve conflict constructively; we’re solution focused.
  5. We know what makes us ‘tick and click with each other’ so we have mutual respect for each other.
  6. We’ve got each other’s backs.

We bring out the hero in each team member – that unique element that, once ignited, means each person has the confidence to bring his or her best and be instantly valued by us all.

We all share in the belief that together everyone achieves more and can continue to grow. 

Individuals are encouraged to support one another by sharing skills and knowledge.  Our aim is to try and do better than we did the day before.

We also like to have fun in our salon which is why we work on theatre principles.  When we’re in the salon, we’re on stage! 

On busy days there can be 20+ staff working over three floors so we also set ourselves up in smaller ‘companies’ which are led by ‘producers’.  The producers act as mentors, making sure everyone is supported and that achievements are celebrated.  The end result is that we all have the feeling we’re in a small team, while being part of something big and special.

Consultant Director at elements, Kym, says: “I have seen the greatest changes since we started learning about our elements.  I feel we really work as a team now, knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  The results from this have been immeasurable but the atmosphere in the salon is certainly at an all-time high!

Our Team – Who We Are & How We Make A Difference

There are 26 members of the elements team.  To understand who we are and how we each make a difference, we first need to explain a little about the ‘elaro way of working’.

Each team member begins at elements by answering some questions about their needs and values.  The answers show you your primary element.  We each have all four elements within us in varying strengths.  The elements are Fire, Earth, Air & Water and they have both positive and negative characteristics associated with each.

Once you understand your element, it’s much easier to learn to see the best in ourselves and in each other.  It’s easier to understand what drives individuals which helps to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to conflict.  It also helps us to grow and develop new skills.

Salon Manager Jo Hardardt has worked at elements for more than 14 years.  She says: “Since learning about the elements, everything has fallen into place!  I now understand how I work and how I may be perceived by others. Understanding this has helped me grow as a manager and a team player.  Understanding my team mates’ elements has been invaluable and is something I always refer to before making any decisions or plans.”

Together we have helped elements grow into a hugely successful business.  We have seen year on year growth of 9% and our annual turnover in 2015 was in excess of £800,000. 

As individuals, we have all had moments where we have shone.  Toni and Lauryn are always on hand with help and support, Sam and Lisa offer exceptional client care, often working late nights, Kym always makes the salon seem more fun, while Sophie continually works hard to make life better for all at work.

Who’s Who – all 26 of us Position Time with our team in years Hero element Celebrated for BEING
Kym Producer & 33 FIRE MOTIVATING
Joanne Producer & Artistic Director 7 FIRE ENTHUSIASTIC
Maryse Artistic Director 28 FIRE CREATIVE
Allison Style Director 1 WATER CURIOUS
Toni Master Stylist 7 FIRE CREATIVE
Abi Technician 4 WATER  FUN
Lauryn Level 3 Apprentice 3 WATER CALM & COLLECTED
Leyla Level 3 Apprentice 3 EARTH ORGANISATIONAL
Hannah Level 2 Apprentice 2 AIR  DETAIL DRIVEN
EJ Level 2 Apprentice 1 FIRE   CRAZY CREATIVELY
Lisa Producer & Artistic Director 11 FIRE PURPOSEFUL
Sam Producer & Creative Director 10 FIRE PASSIONATE
Julie Ann Artistic Director 22 AIR CONSISTANT
Nikki Creative Director 32 AIR Awesome- semi retired but just loves it here J
Natali Creative Director 1 WATER ENERGETIC
Sophie Style Director 7 FIRE INSPIRING
Charlotte Master Stylist 6 EARTH DETERMINED
Emily Level 3 Apprentice 3 WATER COMPASSIONATE
Aretha Level 3 Apprentice 3 FIRE DRIVEN
Charliegh Level 2 Apprentice 1 AIR PRECISE
Chloe Future Apprentice 1 FIRE AMBITIOUS
Lara Future Apprentice 1 WATER ORGANISED
Sharon Operations Manager 7 AIR DRIVEN
Lulu Commercial Manager 8 WATER CARING
Barbara Founder & Director 33 FIRE VISIONARY 

Team Building Activities

A wide range of team building activities are held throughout the year. These events have numerous aims including to encourage leadership, build team spirit, boost confidence or help with organisational skills.

We continue to share ideas and ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to organising our team activities.  One of our most successful activities was a training event held over two days in February 2016. 

Team members were encouraged to work together in groups to produce inspiring videos, complete styling challenges.  We organised a mystery tour in London which took the team to places that would inspire, stretch, challenge and educate them.  

Our ‘Producers’ came up with various challenges where teams could earn points.  Working as small teams, each ‘company’ filmed themselves in a video challenge, apprentices and stylists completed a styling challenge, we launched our new couture colour consultation, inspired stylists to enter the Trendvision Award, introduced the team to the Wella Professionals trends, and embarked on a treasure hunt through hidden parts of London

As a direct result of our inspirational training days, we went on to have our most successful month ever in April 2016. 


More Of Our Team-Building Initiatives:

HAIR FOR ST MARY’S DANCE SHOW:  Our apprentices are encouraged to take complete control when creating the hairstyles for this annual dance show.  This empowers our apprentices, giving them a great experience of what it takes to organise, manage, lead and work as a team. 

FIREWALK FOR MOORHOUSE SCHOOL:  Two colleagues with very different elements (characteristics) decided to work together, supporting one another in coping with their nerves and fears in this fund-raising walk over burning embers!  These colleagues demonstrated a willingness to put themselves way out of their comfort zones, which served as an inspiration to the rest of the team.  As a group, we helped raise awareness of Moorhouse School and we raised funds for this school for children with speech and language difficulties.

GROUP SINGING LESSONS:  Eight members of the team held weekly singing lessons from September to December.  These fun sessions helped the group gel as a team while also building confidence, especially amongst the new apprentices whose new-found confidence to perform has helped them communicate more confidently with clients. 

ELEGANCE EXPERIENCE & ACTING LESSONS:   It can be daunting for young stylists to know what to say or how to act around clients who are more mature and who may come from more affluent backgrounds.  We decided to do something about this ‘disconnect’ and came up with the idea of acting lessons followed by an elegant Afternoon Tea in a fancy location.  We timed this event to coincide with the launch of our Autumn promotions so the team could deliver awesome customer service in an elegant manner.  Using our elaro concept as inspiration, our acting coach encouraged each team member to act in the manner of a different element.  This helped them gain a new perspective and become more confident in talking in another ‘voice’.  These new skills were then put into practise at Afternoon Tea.