One of our employees nominated us for Columbus CEO Top Workplaces. They sent surveys out to our staff and based on those surveys we were voted TOP MIDSIZE EMPLOYER!
Below is the article written by TC brown that can be found in the May issue of Columbus CEO magazine.
Some parents might struggle with a child’s decision to grow up and become a cosmetologist.
The career often calls for long hours, low pay and few benefits. But, exceptions exist, and in this case Kenneth’s Hair Salons & Day Spas in Columbus falls under that caption.
Company founder Kenneth Anders understands the rap beauty salons take, which is one reason he went in a different direction. His employees earn generous vacation, health and retirement benefits, including stock ownership. They also get ample discounts for the company’s products and services
“When you tell people you want to go to beauty school, they want to take you in the woods and shoot you,” Anders jokingly says. “But we teach people to create beyond what they can imagine.”
That insight has paid dividends. Kenneth’s is rated in the top 1 percent of hair salons in the world, Anders says. Among other accolades, Elle magazine rated it “the best place in Ohio for a makeover,” Vogue said it has the “best colorists” and Columbus Alive has called it the best hair salon in Columbus.
Quality control is Kenneth’s top-of-the pyramid goal, and that is achieved by some serious training, like “going through Marine boot camp,” Anders says.
“We all speak the same common language, and everybody goes through the same thing,” he says. “If Vidal Sassoon walked in here, he would have to go through the same program.”
With about 380 employees, Kenneth’s operates salons in 11 Columbus neighborhoods. Of those, three are day spas, in Mill Run, New Albany and Polaris. Anders didn’t initially plan for this growth when he opened his first salon with four employees in 1977 at Bethel and Reed roads, which is now the corporate headquarters.
“My goal was to be good, not big, but we got big in spite of it,” he says. Anders opened the first salon in an office building, which he now says was probably “not the world’s greatest decision.” A better and current theory is for salons to open close to where women shop. Nonetheless, the gamble worked for other reasons.
“People came to us because of reputation and word of mouth,” Anders says. “To be first class you have to spend millions and work hard, and I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with people who believed in what I believed in.”
And those people form a solid bond that creates a foundation for the company, says Jody Achatz, vice president of Kenneth’s.
“We view employees as family members; this is their company,” Achatz says. “They have a voice, and we care what they have to say. If they don’t like something, we change it quickly. They are owners.”
Employees do own 100 percent of the company’s stock, says Tonya McDade, the company’s operation manager.