4 Steps to Improve Salon Productivity with Staff Evaluations

Creative people like hairdressers and nail technicians work with their emotions. This is to be expected in the beauty industry. But since they base a lot of their opinions on “how they feel at the moment,” salon expectations can get a bit hazy. Prior to conducting any staff evaluations, performance standards must be made clear so your salon can create a climate that embraces both creativity and productivity. What can you do, as a salon manager, to strike this balance?

Follow this four-step process to set the stage for effective employee performance evaluations:

1. Set standards

In a creative atmosphere like a salon, styling that is deemed “a good job” can be a grey area. There are two ways to make it more black and white: 1) communication between the client and stylist in order to understand expectations, and 2) standards set by salon managers for upselling services and products, among other measurable goals like attracting a certain number of new clients.

To enforce this, managers can encourage staff to consult with clients and provide frequent follow-ups to keep their stylists on track. By setting up a system based on standards and achievements, your stylists will have something tangible to work toward. Instead of having to speculate whether or not their work is satisfactory, they can be sure of it when they communicate with clients and accomplish specific goals in a specific period of time.

Some salons can experience benefits from implementing management software. For example, Milano offers goal setting and productivity monitoring functions to increase employee productivity. Salon reporting modules can provide valuable visibility into your daily operations, so you adjust your methods accordingly.

2. Provide education

As a manager, you cannot expect your stylists to meet your expectations if you haven’t given them the tools necessary to do so. Providing your team with adequate education is a powerful investment. When they are confident in their ability to carry out salon processes, they will be able to perform at higher levels of productivity and generate a greater return on your labor costs.

Not to mention, refraining from providing your stylists with proper training could have several consequences. They could feel ignored, unmotivated, unsure of their abilities or confused about how to complete their work. In giving your stylists what they need to succeed, you are also showing them that you care. You can keep the line of communication open so they feel comfortable coming to you with their questions or concerns – which also contributes to improved productivity.

3. Evaluate performance

For the best results, salon employees should be evaluated frequently and for a number of factors. In addition to annual reviews, you should evaluate your stylists’ performances as often as your schedule allows – whether it be daily, weekly or monthly. The more frequent your follow-ups, the better.

To give the most thorough reviews, base them on their efficiency, productivity and of course client satisfaction. The two rules of thumb for reviews are to always give constructive feedback for areas that require attention and always give positive feedback for areas where goals were met or exceeded. Also, an effective review is two-way: show your stylists that you value their opinion by soliciting their feedback, too.

To make the review process less time-consuming, salon managers can leverage tools that will assist them in making observations about staff productivity and sales objectives. Milano, for example, offers a Profit Center that performs these functions in real time.

It is important for salon owners to have sensitivity toward their stylists’ creativity. Setting forth standards, rules and guidelines for your employees will make it easier to explain why or how they have missed the mark. If you can use metrics to make your case, employees will be less likely to have hard feelings, feel like their creativity is being thwarted or feel like they have fallen victim to favoritism.

4. Give rewards

A great way to encourage your employees to continue to meet your expectations is to reinforce your appreciation of their hard work with a reward. It could be as simple as telling them that you really loved the cut or color they gave their last client. Also, establishing achievable goals can work wonders – like choosing a stylist of the month or giving a restaurant gift card to the stylist who performed best.

This will also help you to foster trust and loyalty in your staff. One of the most important aspects of any artist’s career is satisfaction with their own work. Your salon’s employees can easily become jaded or unmotivated if they feel like their hard work is going unnoticed, and therefore will not perform as well as they normally would. When you show your appreciation, your stylists are more likely to keep their creative juices flowing and create a happy client base.

Setting specific standards for your stylists to achieve allows you to base their evaluations on concrete factors. By highlighting your stylists’ strengths and working with them on their weaknesses, you can improve your salon’s productivity – without compromising creativity.

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Milano develops software for Booking and Reservation systems as well as Retail stores (Point of Sale software).

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