In my role as a business consultant to spa and salon owners, my clients frequently tell me about the many issues they experience in dealing effectively with their staff’s performance. There are countless different and specific situations I help business owners and operators deal with but, in general, I guide the leaders in establishing a system for staff evaluations. This is critical for setting standards, managing them consistently, helping to prevent future problems, and rewarding success.
Here are some guidelines you can use to start managing your staff more effectively.
As a spa or salon owner, your team is critical to your success. Whether you have a team of one or of dozens, their performance is a key factor in the overall performance of the business. Evaluations are vital to that performance.
There are many categories of team members – from service providers to reception staff and cleaners. Each position has unique demands and therefor unique performance expectations. Most employees are genuinely motivated to do a good job. But what does that mean exactly? When the definition and expectations of a role are clearly defined, each person can more easily chart their own course to success.
Guiding Your Team to Success
A great way to help your team stay motivated and be successful is by conducting evaluations. They are most effective when done in a formal setting: a sitting down, one-one-one discussion. It’s a useful way to give constructive feedback on how to improve, and also an opportunity to let them know what they are doing well. Evaluations help to keep the staff in line by making them aware that you are looking at their performance. This keeps them ‘on their toes’. Often, employees cut corners if they feel no one is watching, or if they think they can get away with it. Evaluations are a great way to do checks and balances on the staff and also a great way to coach them and help them improve. It also shows that you care about them and their performance. Formal evaluations result in decision making based on facts and data – not emotion.
Why Evaluations are Good for Your Spa and Your Team Members
Evaluations are a critical process in your business practice. They assist both the operation and the spa or salon team members in following a path to success.
Why evaluations are good for the spa and salon
They keep lines of communication open.
They recognize excellence.
They document areas that need improvement.
They offer a consistent method of setting and measuring goals.
They can be used as a measurement tool for compensation.
Why evaluations are good for team members
They keep lines of communication open.
They provide a different, permanent means of communication rather than just talking.
They demonstrate to the team member that the company is interested in their growth and success.
They celebrates areas of success.
They provide goals.
They give team members an opportunity to give feedback.
They give guidelines and structure on current and future performance expectations.
How to Not Make a Mess of it All
The information in an evaluation should NEVER come as surprise to the team member. If you are effectively communicating with that person on an ongoing basis, they should – at the very least – have a good idea what you will be talking about regarding their performance. This process should never be used as an opportunity to ‘beat up’ on a team member.
Enable the Success of
In order for your staff to succeed, they must have the right support and training. Make sure the standards and expectations of the evaluations have clear definitions. Your staff will have difficulty achieving a goal they don’t understand. Incentives are also important to give your staff motivation to do well on their evaluations.
Be available to your team. If you are available and in communication with them, everyone will have the opportunity to discuss and clarify standards, and to share advice on how to achieve success.
Have a formalized procedure for evaluations. Scheduling should be consistent. You might determine that evaluations for different categories of team members need to occur with different frequency. For example: a new employees would be evaluated after a 1 month of a 3 month probation period, and then either every 3 or 6 months thereafter.
Tips for conducting
Schedule the evaluation in advance so the team member knows it is coming. Do not schedule it more than two weeks ahead otherwise they could stress about it.
Avoid cancelling or changing the day or time of the schedule evaluation whenever possible. This adds more unnecessary stress into the process.
Provide the team member with a blank copy of the evaluation in advance of the meeting. Ask them to fill it out. This will provide you with an opportunity to compare how you think they are performing with how they see themselves performing. This is very worthwhile as it can help to uncover discrepancies in expectations.
Reward the Right
A great way to make use of the employee evaluation data is by having the evaluations tie into compensation. Evaluations should be an important part of the daily rewards, compensation, and overall recognition strategies. It is important to make sure that the rewards are in line with actual performance and that the performance that is evaluated ties into the core company principles. For example: If pay is entirely based on individual sales performance, then there is less motivation for teamwork. Create ways to tie together results in financial and operational performance with incentives or bonuses in both cash and non-cash rewards systems.
Genuine & Sincere Praise
Some leaders employ encouragement as a manipulative device. They say what their staff want to hear in order to get them to perform as desired. Eventually, inauthentic encouragement rings hollow, as people recognize that it’s a management tactic rather than heartfelt affirmation. Over time, people learn to differentiate feel-good platitudes from actual praise.
When standards of evaluation are well-defined and known, recognition and praise can be offered in a completely genuine and sincere way.
One way to encourage teamwork is by instituting a policy of recognizing the entire team together for overall positive performance evaluations This will motivate the staff to encourage and support each other. For example, the team might need to achieve a minimum average ‘grade’ on evaluations, or all team members team members may be required to achieve a minimum standard in order for there to be a team reward.
Praise and recognition should be given proportionately, with more lavish compliments, rewards, and recognition reserved for outstanding performance. It should also be given in a timely manner so that people know immediately the value of their contribution.
Your team is your most valuable asset in your spa or salon business. Make sure you value and recognize their important contributions.
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