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Last Update: Thursday September 23, 2021

Key Idea: Inspire Employees To Learn

Gadabout sets high expectations but helps employees achieve them through expert training and state-of-the-art facilities.

Key Question:


Set tough goals and measure everyone against those goals.

Q: How does Pam inspire people to rise to her expectations?

A: Training. Even though she hires only people who have been licensed by the state, Pam knows that what they learn to pass the state exams is not enough for them perform at a truly professional level.

By putting the 18-month internship program in place, Pam basically, without saying it out loud says, "You're not ready for prime time until we've had you for 18 months." The arrogant or the lazy will not even be attracted to this situation.

Success breeds success. To have a great business, you have to have great people and to have great people you have to have a great business. Over time, Pam made the strategic decisions which brought her to the point we find her today. It doesn't happen overnight when you're doing this with retained earnings, but, inch by inch Pam has done it.

Think about it

Do you set tough goals for yourself and your employees?  If not, why not?  When should you start measuring yourself and the others on your payroll? Do people on your payroll know if they are meeting your expectations?

Clip from: Gadabout Salon & Spa

Tucson, Arizona: Left with two young mouths to feed and never having worked outside the home, Pamela McNair-Wingate has created a new reality in the workplace where love and generosity abide. Today, from six locations around Tucson,  she and her team of over 200 professionals deliver the newest treatments from their spas and the freshest looks from their salons. 

The company, Gadabout SalonSpas, is recognized as a leader in the day spa movement both in customer care and in business practices.

In the typical spas customers check in for a week to be pampered, to eat low-fat diets, and to participate in endless exercise classes. Day spas are different! Here you'll find only the pampering part.  Pam has been a leader in this revolution from its beginning and she is helping to transform the salon business by setting an example for all. In recognition of her extraordinary leadership skills, Pam was named Salon Entrepreneur of the Year for the US at the Global Salon Business Awards presented in London in 2004.

Gadabout SalonSpas, Inc.

Pamela McNair, Chairman

3501 E. Kleindale Road
Tucson, AZ 85726

Visit our web site:

Office: 5203229434

Business Classification:
Personal Products, human services, beauty

Year Founded: 1976

Inspire Employees To Learn

PAM: We have a culture here, and you can't just walk into it and be hired and be part of that culture. You have to grow into it. So everyone who comes to work for us knows up front what our expectations are. What this allows them to do is, over the long run of their profession, is it allows them to be in the profession longer. It also allows them to make more money so that they're better prepared, not just--technically, anyone can learn how to cut hair. But it's the people skills that aren't necessarily there when you get out of school because you haven't had the experience. So there's a number of things we have to learn.

We have training in our skin care and nail care departments as well now. So it allows people to be the best that they can be. In school, they teach them what they need to know to pass the state board. Unfortunately, the state board regulations are not necessarily consistent with what the needs of a client are, as they come in and out of the facility.

GLORIA: I'm going to start out doing a muscle-toning treatment. You can feel the muscles twitching. You can actually see them moving, and that is the muscle being stimulated and tightened. We believe in the theory of walking your talk. If you're telling your client to do it, you have to be doing it.

PAM: I read constantly. I'm a member of three or four national organizations, from spa to hairdressers, with other business owners so that it's my job not to be behind. It's my job to stay on the forefront. That's why the people work with me, because they want to work in a salon-spa situation where we are at the forefront of the industry.


ALAN: What you're laying in is our soft-pack system. So what this does is helps to hydrate the skin and to calm the skin down.

HATTIE: Do most spas have this machine? I've never seen it.

ALAN: No. Gadabout actually was first in the country to have this piece of equipment.

HATTIE: Talk about a cocoon.

ALAN: Isn't it amazing?

HATTIE: Oh, my gosh, I feel like I'm in a cloud.

Team member: Spas really helps one to collect their energy. Energetically, it pulls people back into their core.

PAM: (Voiceover) We have 14 trainers that work within our company. They work behind the chair during the day. And then they train the assistants. We have advanced trainers in hair, in skin and in nails so that we're constantly educating ourselves, bringing people in from across the country, sometimes from Europe to do classes.

Team member: Long, sweeping motions, circles and crisscrosses around her heels. This is where, in most women, we retain water.

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