"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." - Henry Ford
In January we spend time closing the books on the previous year and setting our sights on the year ahead. Budgets and forecasts are put in place, but what happens next? You can’t just cross your fingers and hope your salon goals are met, you have to get the buy-in of the people who make it happen. Which brings us to Performance Reviews.
I know, the term “Performance Review” sounds so corporate. You can call it whatever you want, but it is really a name for the process and conversation around discussing, with a staff member, their overall performance and goals moving forward. This should be a time for honest sharing and feedback between you and your employees. It can be counterproductive using this time as a platform to blame or point fingers. If your staff does not reach their goals for the previous year, month, or quarter they are not always to blame. Without appropriate management and guidance, very few of your salon employees will be able to make their goals on their own.
The first step is deciding what you will call this process in your salon. Perhaps a more relaxed title like “goal meeting” will suffice. But what are the goals? Obvious candidates are retail and service sales, number of clients serviced, average ticket, or retention rates. There are numerous other metrics for you and your staff to measure success. Choose a few to keep your staff focused throughout the year. You don’t want to confuse them with too many goals; three to four numbers is plenty. Just make sure you choose goals that will have the greatest positive impact on the business; issues such as tardiness, appearance, or break room habits are certainly important in the long term, but don’t necessarily have an immediate impact on revenues the way that retail sales per client does.
The next step is a frank and factual appraisal of the performance of the staff member against whatever metrics have been agreed upon. Your software program will allow you to print reports for the desired date range, and you can look at the figures together. Be sure to ask them how they think they did, rather than just launching into your commentary. Your observations should be confined to behaviors that you’ve actually witnessed, and the facts as obtained from the software, not hearsay or third party information.
Most importantly, goals should be agreed upon for the upcoming time period. These goals should be realistic and attainable; don’t ask a stylist who has been posting an average ticket of $45.40 for the last year to bring their number up to $75; $52 is a good place to start. Setting unattainable goals for your team can be detrimental to your business.
Conversations around performance goal-setting are most effective when they happen often, typically once per quarter. Especially in the salon industry, where things can go south in a hurry, both you and your technician want to spot undesirable trends and correct them before too much time has gone by. The more often you conduct these meetings, the less anxious your staff will feel, and something great starts to happen. They start meeting their own goals! Especially in situations where compensation is tied to performance metrics, goals that are met are a positive move forward for everyone involved.
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