How to run a staff appraisal

Salon HR is important for staff retention. Our guide will give you the top tips from salon HR experts.

How to run a staff appraisal

Running a staff appraisal with an employee can seem like a scary task. It shouldn’t be!

Think of it as an opportunity for both employer and employee to give clear, honest feedback that will help you work better as a team.

It's important for that meeting to be organised and useful for the employee as well as you.

Therefore, as a manager or employer, it is down to you to ensure that the that you are conducting are as effective, and valuable, as possible.

Here are six tips on how to conduct an effective performance appraisal.

1. Be prepared

We hate to state the obvious, but it’s clear that during a performance appraisal, you will appraise an employee’s performance. However, just knowing this fact is not enough preparation. Your lack of preparation time doesn’t go unnoticed either as research found that one in ten employees feel that their manager isn’t well prepared for their performance appraisal.

To do this you should review the appraisal forms from the employee’s last few appraisals. Are there any issues with performance that you need to discuss? Do you need them to step up and are considering a promotion?

You need a clear message for the appraisal.

2. Share and prep forms

Appraisal forms will be available in the HR section of your Slick account: one for you and one for your employee

The purpose of the forms  will be to guide the direction of the discussion and act as an aid to ensure that you cover everything that you intended to.

After you’ve collated yours, send  the employee their form  and invite them to complete it and add any points they would like to discuss. A performance review is not a one-way conversation, and it may well be that an employee will go into the appraisal with their own purpose, asking for a pay rise for example, so it’s important to allow them to have the time to fulfil theirs.

This will allow you to further prepare for the discussion. For instance, knowing that your employee wants to discuss their pay prior to the appraisal gives you the opportunity to look back at when they last received a pay review, rather than be blindsided by the question when it comes up.

3. Discuss the successes and areas of improvement

You want to start with the successes! Discuss what worked well and see how this can be mirrored across other aspects of the employee’s work.  Ask them why they thing they have done well?

It’s important they self-reflect so they can apply this behaviour elsewhere. E.g. “You hit X objective which you’re clearly really pleased with. What do you think you did well that helped you achieve it?”

You will inevitably have highlighted areas that the employee can improve upon to reach their objectives, and improve results, during your preparation phase. However, before you talk about these these it’s important to ask the employee for their thoughts first. They may have come to the same conclusion and already have some ideas for how, or what they require from you, to improve.

Its crucial to ensure that when discussing the employee's’ performance that you do so in relation to any objectives or targets that they have been set. Use your Slick dashboard to set and communicate clear targets that employees can measure regularly so they know where they stand.

Understandably, if you evaluate an employee’s performance against a standard that they were unaware of they will, quite rightly, be shocked.

4. Discuss ideas for development and action

The majority of the performance appraisal should be focused on future development and action. Whilst it’s good to reflect on what has and hasn’t worked well, those elements are in the past and the appraisal should mostly focus on what the employee can do moving forward to achieve their objectives and contribute towards the company’s goals - that’s what motivates many people to work.

During this part of the performance appraisal you should find out the plans that the employee has for their career, skills they feel they want to learn to enable them to do their job better and if these align with the goals of the company.

5. Agree actions that need to be taken

With the employee’s future development in mind, both the employee and the manager should come away from the performance review with an action plan.

This needs to be an achievable plan with actions for both of you, including deadlines, to be able to facilitate the growth and development of the employee.

For instance if you have agreed they are working to a promotion to say a Senior Stylist then you need to agree what the timings are for this promotion and what actions they need  

6. Summarise the meeting and express support

Conclude the appraisal by summarising what has been discussed and who is responsible for actions moving forward. It would also be a good idea to plan when you will meet again for the next performance appraisal. This gives the employee clarity and allows you to start to develop a regular feedback habit. You can take this opportunity to ask the employee to give you feedback.

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