Let's face it, there's no magic wand or quick fixes when it comes to improving your team's performance. You might as well stop looking for one. (Come on now, don't you think I know somewhere in the back of an owner/manager's mind there's a ray of hope that the next big thing is indeed "the silver bullet.")
However, there are some tried and true methods for improving employee performance on the job. Some may be so obvious that you may have overlooked them.
Acknowledge your employees' competence.
Create a "helium" culture where people feel good about themselves—they'll do better work. Acknowledge them in the open and in public. Recognize your people's contributions. Both the experience and prior skills they brought with them to your salon/spa and what they've acquired since they've been with you that make a difference.
Train your people for success.
When you train, make sure there's a clear link between the training and better results, which is training for success. Create clear objectives for all training. Get specific with the trainee, so both of you know when the training is successfully completed. Train for the real world. Only train in things the trainee can use and implement on the job immediately, not sometime in the future. Remember, training will solve performance problems in only 25% of the cases.
Set clear performance standards.
According to performance expert, Dr. Thomas Gilbert, there are only three reasons why people don't do better at work.
They are not clear on what's expected of them.
They don't get adequate feedback to let them know how they're doing.
Rewards and incentives don't reinforce the first two reasons.
How can you expect performance when your people aren't crystal clear about what you expect? The next time you try to motivate your team by using some fancy language to encourage greater productivity, think again.
Remove Barriers to Performance and Accomplishment.
Accomplishment in your salon/spa is both a matter of behavior, working environment, and culture. Your systems count. You can hire, train, and motivate, but if your salon/spa's organization inhibits putting all that good work into practice, you are putting a roadblock in the way of performance. Good systems can enhance the performance of an employee with modest skills. Poor systems can impede the performance of employees with superb skills.
Reward Superior Performance.
When you reward people in public with money, materials, and otherwise, what you are communicating to your people is this is what gets you the recognition in the form that you're after. Rewarding superior performance is a strong influencer on the people you want to succeed.
Don't forget to reward groups of people who made the contribution too. Always be careful about placing too much emphasis on individual recognition. Why? No one can truly succeed in your salon/spa without the help of others.
Even though these five methods are fundamental, you may not have all of them in place in your business. If you want improved performance, start by making a checklist and seeing exactly what you currently have in place. Then get to work on those elements that you haven't checked off.
Remember, these five methods work together. They're an integrated system for upgrading your salon/spa's performance.
By Andrew Finkelstein, The Beauty Resource www.thebeautyresource.com