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The Importance of Performance Reviews in your Salon or Spa

When was the last time you had a performance review? Last month? Last quarter? Last year? (If you say “I’ve never had a performance review,” you are exactly where you need to be right now: reading this post.)

Performance reviews are pretty standard fare in the corporate world. From a high level, it’s a meeting between a manager and an employee to discuss, well, performance. Exactly what “performance” means will vary from industry to industry, and, of course, from workplace to workplace.

The most important thing to know about a performance review is that it is a conversation. You work in the salon/spa industry, where you talk to clients (and each other) all day. So this should be easy, right?

Many owners/managers have a surprisingly hard time with it. Yes, chatting behind the chair about so-and-so up the street comes easy, but sitting down face-to-face to talk numbers, goals, motivation – that can be difficult for some. Which is why so many salons and spas skip performance reviews altogether.

Why do a performance review?

Let’s come back to that “c” word: conversation. Think of it as a chance for a frank, honest, one-on-one conversation with an employee about all things job related. And maybe even life-related, since we know the two can cross over. Drilling down, here are some topics typically covered in a performance review:

  • Evaluating work performance
  • Setting goals
  • Setting expectations
  • Evaluating strengths & weakness
  • Offering feedback (both ways!)

That’s just a short list. Looking at it, one can (should) quickly see the benefit of a review. As an owner/manager, think of yourself as a captain of a ship, with a crew responsible for a wide range of daily & weekly activities that all help keep the ship afloat, on course, and on schedule. If you’re never checking in on the crew’s performance, how will you know if they’re carrying out their roles, understand their responsibilities, are motivated and excited everyday, feel aligned with the ship’s (your) goals, etc.? Without that regular check in the functions of the ship can easily break down. So too with your salon or spa.

SalonTarget’s Stylist Tracking Report provides meaningful data on your employees’ performance.

What is “work performance” for a salon or spa employee?

So glad you asked. First, I’m going to assume you have access to data about your employees, like the kind you get with SalonTarget. Using a salon management software, you should have easy access to numbers in these important categories, which you can evaluate in a review:

Client Retention – Since a salon will make 80% of its revenue off of 20% of its clients, retention is critical! Are your employee’s clients sticking around? If so, praise them! If not, talk about why that might be, or how to improve it.

Client Value – How does an employee’s client value compare to the salon average? If you as the owner/manager notice a low client value trend across all employees, maybe there’s an opportunity to do some training around up-selling.

Product Sales – Not every stylist is a natural salesperson, but you – and they – might not know it until you review their performance in this area. Again, it’s an opportunity to praise where they may be succeeding or discuss ways to improve if they’re falling behind.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a management software that puts this information at your fingertips. We created the Stylist Tracking Report within SalonTarget to give you all of the above information and more – think Average Ticket Amount, Service Sales vs Retail Sales, Overall Productivity. We even provide data on the number of times an employee is requested, and how many first time clients an employee brings in.

All of this can be presented in a performance review.

How often should I hold performance reviews?

That’s entirely up to you. Many companies are ditching the annual performance review and opting for more frequent, less formal meetings. If you haven’t done any, start with annual and see how they go. If your ship is in dire need of some shaping up, you might go monthly.

Remember that this is a conversation. Did I mention that already? Feedback can flow both ways, and it should. An employee should feel invested in the goals of the company, and that happens when they feel they get a say, too. Or at least an opportunity to express their opinion and provide their own feedback.

It’s equally important to find ways to praise your employees in these reviews. In fact, the positive should outweigh the criticism. What have they done well? What are they the best at in the salon? Sprinkle these in throughout the review whenever you can. If you can’t find anything to praise, well, maybe that’s a sign…

Want to learn more about how SalonTarget can help with your performance review process? Get in touch today!

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