BLOG: How to get maximum benefits from your appraisal system, part two, by Abby and Karly Whittaker

Karly & Abby Whittaker_600
Abby and Karly Whittaker from the Sarah Hodge Salon Group run 10 salons and two academies with a total of 150 staff members and 400 students.

Following on from last week’s blog on staff appraisals, Abby and Karly Whittaker from the Sarah Hodge Salon Group explain how appraisals will benefit your business and offer their top tips for running an appraisal system that offers maximum value to both salon and individual.

How we feel the appraisals help our business grow and develop?
Use your appraisals to keep up to date with your staff in terms of their development as well as their ambitions; it can really help you to identify areas of the business that your key staff would be best suited in. For example, are they great teachers, or do they thrive on stock control or perhaps they get excited about presenting? We look at individual’s strengths and use them to strengthen our business. Many people just focus on weaknesses, and yes we do look to improve areas that need improving, but we certainly don’t ignore their strengths!

How do you know that your appraisal system works?
The proof that our system works is our excellent staff retention rate, which is currently eight and a half years with a growing number of staff being with us for over 10 years. We reward this loyalty with a Tiffany bracelet at seven years and an engraved Gucci watch at 10 years!

Do you do anything else as part of your annual appraisals?
In addition to our performance appraisals we run regular, fun incentives for the staff and every two months organise a staff event out of salon hours for motivation and team building – we have done Murder Mystery evenings, pole dancing, trips to West End shows, shopping and concerts. Our year always culminates in our Sarah Hodge Summer Party and Awards where we reward our staff for their hard work. We get them to invite friends and family to watch them receive their awards and enjoy being part of our Sarah Hodge Family.

Our Top 10 Tips for successful appraisals

  1. Do be prepared: Don’t be afraid to get advice as to what you should include in your appraisals and create any forms etc. up front
  2. Do explain the appraisal system to all staff
  3. Do plan dates well in advance and stick to them, giving out any pre-materials in good time
  4. Do listen and encourage the individual to assess themselves
  5. Do tackle any issues in a positive way – always look for a positive outcome
  6. Do give actions a date to be completed by
  7. Do follow up on the actions that you said you would, so you are ready for next time
  8. Don’t make them a negative experience – reviews and appraisals are a time to check back, and then move forward!
  9. Do remember that individuals have different strengths, desires and ambitions and if you harness them, they will stay with you forever!
  10. Finally, make appraisals part of your mind set, they soon become just part of what you do and then they become less of a chore.

Good luck!

– Abby and Karly