Developing Your Salon Team for Business Growth
November 7, 2016
Having regular one-on-one, career-focused conversations with employees is critical to your salon or spa’s success. If they are performing at their full potential, clients will be satisfied with the service they receive and rebooking rates will increase. On the other hand, your business may be missing out on revenue or failing to retain clients if they are struggling in certain areas. To grow your business and help employees to develop professionally, evaluating employee performance on a regular basis is crucial.
Employees should first have an opportunity to reflect on their performance and to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, each employee will complete an evaluation form which will then provide some structure for the discussion. A copy of this evaluation should also be kept in the employee’s file in case you need to reference it in the future.
While there may be a couple customers who complain about small or irrelevant details, client comments and suggestions provide valuable insight on how they and other customers perceive your salon, the employee, and the service.
As you review feedback, organize them according to the relevant employee if possible and use these to provide concrete examples during the employee review. Reinforce positive behaviors as much as possible. And help employees discover how to improve in areas with negative feedback.
As a manager, you don’t have enough time to watch over each employee’s shoulder. Fortunately, you can run performance reports to identify trends, strengths, and weaknesses. For example, if you notice that one stylist has a retention rate below average, you can then investigate the reason and work with them to improve in that area. A few areas to watch for include:
- Client Retention Rates
- Retail Sales
- Average Sales Price per Client Visit
With the 360 performance review, you are gathering feedback from everyone they deal with: other stylists, the salon coordinator or receptionist, and managers. This may provide some insight on how they interact with others and if there are any conflicts that need to be addressed. To get honest feedback, the person providing the comments should stay anonymous to the employee under review.
Rather than telling the stylist what needs to be improved, first give them a chance to discuss their areas for improvement (they can refer to the self-evaluation form they filled out). Ask questions to help them discover solutions for themselves. They will have more of an open mind and will be more likely to buy in to it when they suggest it than if they feel that they are getting a list of demands.
When you share your feedback, start with the positive and end with the positive. Prevent employees from feeling like they are being personally attacked and keep them from getting overly defensive where they try to justify every action or behavior. Be sensitive and allow employees the chance to respond. While they should be accountable for their actions, there may be reasons that they are exhibiting certain behaviors. Simply telling them to change may lead to lower morale with zero growth, but taking the time to help an employee address the root cause is worthwhile.
As a manager, you need to help your team to be successful. Be willing to get feedback from them as well. What ideas do they have for making the salon a better place to work? How can you, as the salon manager, contribute to their growth?
Of course, it is essential to not only bring up problems but to find a way to resolve them as well. Together, you and the employee can create a plan to improve on these weak areas and to also set a time at which you will re-evaluate and have a follow-up discussion. Depending on the significance of the issue, you may need to also outline possible disciplinary actions if the employee does not show improvement during the re-evaluation period.
Not all employees will have problems that need to be addressed. Instead, the goal may be to help them develop new skills or to challenge them in new ways. When setting goals, try to make them measurable so you can determine if they are achieved or not. For example:
- send a stylist to attend two courses or seminars every year to further develop or learn new skills
- task an employee with posting on your social media networks daily or writing one blog post for your website each month
- challenge an employee to raise their average sales ticket by $5