Any visit to Dubai salon favourite Browz will confirm it’s a calm, cocooning, comforting space to spend time on self-care. However, Founder Michele Barclay is determined that this idea of a safe space should extend to her employees as well as her customers. Here she tells Grazia how she achieved it.
How can employees navigate a toxic workplace?
The best way I would combat a toxic workplace is to create a positive environment. If the environment is positive, it just won’t be toxic. It is really important to boost employee engagement and get them to contribute to the business beyond just doing their jobs. Their wellbeing is super important, if their mental and physical health is at an optimal level then it is unlikely that the work environment is going to be toxic. I think leadership is key: you have to lead by example. If you set the tone you want the team to follow, it is more likely that they will; rather than if you contradict yourself on how you want them to behave. Making them feel valued, supported and respected brings all of this together.
How do you create a positive work environment?
As a company, it is very important to have a set of shared values with the girls. We encourage goal setting towards creating a vision for Browz as well as accountability amongst the team and mutual respect on a regular basis. Whatever the vision I have expressed to the team, they buy into it and everybody feels part of something greater than they would be alone. We schedule regular daily and weekly meetings to create a healthy environment where we encourage everyone to share, we provide feedback and keep it professional. With 30 years of experience in the beauty industry, I am able to skim through what is real and what is not. I can focus on conversations and ways to improve as a team. It is a constant environment of improving; how can we be better than yesterday. What can we learn from? How can we really focus on being the best version of ourselves?