BLOG: How to run an effective appraisal system, by Abby and Karly Whittaker

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

For any salon owner appraisals and reviews can seem a very time consuming activity.  Everyone knows that they should do them, but how often, and exactly how should they be carried out for maximum benefit to both salon and individual?

In part one of two blogs, Abby and Karly Whittaker from the Sarah Hodge Salon Group disclose how they run their appraisal system and how they monitor its success.

Staff Appraisals
On-going, regular assessment and appraisals are not only built into our annual cycle ensuring up to date, consistent and regular interaction of all kinds with every employee, but also into our mind set. They are so important to the success of your business, after all your business is only as good as the people who work in it so it is essential we notice and capture every vibration given off by a team member.  Having a team of people who feel fulfilled in their jobs, able to discuss any areas of concerns and confident that their employers care about them makes for a much happier and more successful business. Here’s how we do it!

How often do we do them?
Our staff assessments run all year and each month our staff members will sit down with their direct manager to discuss an aspect of appraisal, whether it is their skills performance, their sales performance, or their training needs. Doing it this way ensures that every aspect is covered and then annually there is a full appraisal with directors that takes into account everything through the year. In doing it this way, the annual appraisals are more of a review – to check that progress is being made. It also prevents the appraisals becoming an enormous ‘thing’ at the end of the year. There are never nasty surprises in our annual appraisals, because the monthly manager appraisals ensure that everything is dealt with as it happens.

What do we cover in our appraisals?
Our appraisals focus more on development and growth than always on sales and performance, although of course that is an element of them, and are designed to be positive and forward thinking. Of course they enable us to deal with any problems swiftly. We always try to do so with a positive frame of mind so that at the end of the review they still leave feeling motivated.

What happens after the appraisal with the manager / directors?
Both the individual and the manager will have actions to take for improvement or development and these are discussed with the directors in managers’ meetings. We try to have a rolling development programme so that all staff will be regularly booked on training throughout the year to either learn new skills or perhaps go back over things were we feel more help is needed.

In part two of this blog, Abby and Karly talk about how appraisals benefit your business and offer their top tips for successful appraisals.