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Performance Management


Firstly, let me pass on my best wishes for 2014. All of the signs are that the economy is starting to move so here is hoping for a successful year. Might it be the time to review how efficiently you are managing your team and their performance? Maximising turnover is largely achieved through motivated, skilled and committed staff so it’s well worth the effort to tackle poorer staff and reward the good ones! This is dependent on you really understanding and managing their work i.e Performance management.

Performance Management – What is it?

Performance management concerns developing individuals and teams to maximise their performance. One route is appraisal which is fairly commonly used in salons, but how effective is your scheme? A good appraisal scheme can be mutually beneficial, allowing you to improve performance and to set up Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) or objectives. Objectives should be SMART:

  • Specific - Be precise about what they are going to achieve.
  • Measurable - Quantify the objectives eg you will sell £xxx of this product. You will become competent to deliver the following treatment xxx.
  • Achievable – This is why objectives are normally agreed with the employee.
  • Realistic - Do you have the resources to make the objective happen (staff, money, machines, time, training time).
  • Timed - State when you they achieve the objective eg within 6 months you will have established this service.

But performance management is much wider then periodic appraisal. It should ensure staff are clear about your expectations and it is also about developing their capacity to achieve their targets.

Similarly, it allows staff to discuss their issues whether they relate to their development, training, or even their working hours.

There are several objective criteria you can use to assess performance and compare the performance of staff. Here are just a few:

  • Column income
  • Retail sales
  • Client retention
  • Attendance
  • Skills acquisition

We should also remember that staff have their own objectives. These might relate to their career development. They might also relate to their non work desires ie their work life balance. Remember staff retention is vital in respect of high performing staff.

The points above are not all mutually exclusive. For example, in a busy salon a high column income might cloak a low client retention or poor retails skills. Similarly more experienced or senior staff may have a higher hourly rate and some salons work out the column income as a ratio of the stylist’s wage.

KPI’s, income targets and performance assessment is equally invaluable if you have concerns regarding a stylist’s performance. It is considerably easier to utilise your disciplinary procedure if you have objective measures of acceptable performance and you compare the performance of staff.

Probationary Periods

You should use performance criteria and targets to determine if you are going to retain the employee at the end of their probationary period. The targets and your expectations are actually helpful for new appointees, as they are in no doubt of the performance they have to achieve and can assess their own progress in their probationary period. Probationary period reviews allow for open discussion and support for the employee if they are having difficulty achieving the performance targets. My contracts have a probationary period of 9 months since 2012.

Rewarding Performance

This year some clients have looked at non salary rewards. In some cases they have met with staff and discussed a range of options and left the decision to them. The feedback had been that this has been very successful. Listed below are some of the areas you can consider:

  • Additional holidays.
  • Additional holidays for 100% attendance.
  • Training to meet development needs.
  • A product or treatment allowance.
  • If you have some regular quiet times a reduction in the working week without loss of pay may have only minimal impact.

Of course all of the above come with a price tag but it is reported that, particularly where staff have child care or non work commitments, additional holidays have been very highly valued. Why not be radical ask team members the reward they would like for achieving their objectives, they may surprise you.

David Wright Personnel

Phone - 01302 563 691

Mobile - 07930 358 067