Columbus CEO’s Best Workplaces: Kenneth Barber Shops


Some companies attract talent with perks like free beer and ping-pong tables. At Kenneth Hair Salons & Day Spas, it’s all about training.

For the eighth consecutive year, Kenneth was ranked among CEO of Columbus‘s Top Workplaces Awards, which also won a special award this year for its strong investment in its employees.

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“Our training is our biggest recruiting tool and it’s what sets us apart,” says President Jody Achatz.

Founded by Kenneth Anders in 1977, the show now has 10 locations, including a training academy, in central Ohio. Kenneth’s training includes several phases and can last from seven months to a year, according to Achatz.

Understanding the rhythm of a trade show and developing the skills to work with a wide range of personalities and expectations takes time. “A lot of times in this industry, when you’re training, you work alongside another hairstylist, and they teach you as you go,” Achatz says. “We don’t do that.”

At Kenneth’s, new recruits spend seven weeks working full-time at Kenneth’s Academy on Reed Road, northwest of Columbus. There, stylists learn how to apply color, drape clients, and hone other fundamental skills.

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In the second phase, trainees help senior stylists understand the rhythm of the salon environment. “Timing is important here,” says Marie Flanagan, who has worked at Kenneth since August 2021.[We learn] how to juggle customers and make sure we stay on time and how to please the customer. »

After that, employees return to the academy full-time for advanced training in cutting and coloring techniques, among other things, this time with live models. At the final tier, the stylists spent about two months working with real clients at the academy’s budget salon.

“A lot of times when you’re training, you bring your mom, your sister, your best friend…” says Achatz. “At the platinum level, you don’t know who’s coming. Your consultation has to be fantastic and you have to educate throughout the appointment.”

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“There are certain KPIs that need to happen before you are then promoted to one of the slots,” Achatz adds.

And that’s just for the hair. The process is similar for Kenneth’s nail technicians, estheticians and others, according to Achatz. They also offer training in financial wellness, marketing, social media and more.

Even more remarkable than the considerable time that Kenneth’s devotes to preparing its staff: the training is paid for.

After graduating from the Aveda Institute Columbus in April 2021, Flanagan applied to work at Kenneth due to his reputation.

“Hairdressing school really prepares you for the bare minimum,” says Flanagan. “They give you enough to get started, but there’s so much to learn in the industry.”

At Kenneth, Flanagan says she’s found a support network of people she can go to with any questions. “They prepare you for any situation you may encounter and for a prosperous future.”

Virginia Brown is a freelance writer.

Kenneth Hair Salons & Day Spas

10 locations in the Columbus area

Business: Hair salon and day spa offering hair styling, nail services, massages and more

President: Jody Achatz

Employees: 375

Revenue: Would not disclose.


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