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How to manage staff performance effectively

By Scratch Staff | 05 September 2019 | Expert Advice, Feature

Nhf Staff Performance

Hilary Hall, chief executive of the National Hairdressers’ Federation & National Beauty Federation, serves up support and advice for beauty business owners wishing to effectively manage their staff members…

Performance management is a vital skill for business owners, particularly in the highly competitive world of nail salons and spas. Supporting your staff’s career development will help you gain a loyal and committed team who want the best for your nail business.

Start from day one

When you take on a new member of staff, it’s important to be absolutely clear about what you expect from your employee, how their performance will be managed and what will happen if they don’t meet required standards.

A watertight and clearly worded contract, together with a comprehensive staff handbook that includes policies and procedures for performance management, improvement and ultimately dismissal if it becomes unavoidable, will cover this. NBF members can benefit from free contracts and staff handbooks to make life a little easier.

Set achievable targets

Targets are a fantastic way to motivate and focus your team. Set ‘smart goals’’ goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and timed.

Salon software is an invaluable tool when setting targets and giving feedback on areas to improve. More importantly, it will provide objective evidence if you eventually need to dismiss a member of staff.

Use your salon software to track, for example, average profit per team member, rebooking rates, retail sales, and retention rates. You can then use this information to set realistic targets for employees who don’t yet match the performance of your best staff. Members of NBF can find out more in a free expert guide on performance management on the NHF website.

Hold regular appraisal meetings

Ensure these are in a quiet and private place in which you won’t be disturbed. Start the meeting on a positive note by praising the staff members’ achievements and highlighting any instances when they went that extra mile.

Give your employee the chance to have their say before responding with your own thoughts and ideas for their future professional development and agreeing on a mutually beneficial plan of action. We share how to reward your staff for long-term success on our website.

When things go wrong

From time to time, you will need to deal with an under-performing employee. Remember that they may be trying to cope with a personal or workplace difficulty that is affecting their performance, so always be sensitive and caring when discussing solutions with them.

You will also need to ask yourself if you have provided clear goals and enough support and training to enable them to do their job well.

If under-performance persists despite your best efforts to sort things out informally, you will need to start formal disciplinary proceedings as set out in your staff handbook. But to avoid potential employment tribunals, always get legal advice before taking action. NBF members benefit from a free 24/7-hour helpline, so help is always on the other end of the line.