Helping Your Staff to Perform Well

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Communication is so important in all of our relationships.  Whether it be with our spouse, with our kids, or with our employees – it’s crucial to communicate in order to let our expectations be known. Most of us haven’t been blessed with the gift of mind reading.  Therefore, in order to keep your staff happy, as well as to make sure that your needs are being met, you must communicate your wishes often.

You must express appreciation to those deserving of it, as well as offer constructive criticism to those that need a little direction. Have you ever had the experience of working for a supervisor that didn’t communicate their needs or expectations to you? 

You may have gone along in your work thinking that you were doing a satisfactory job and then surprised when, at your evaluation, you were informed that your performance was lacking in various areas. You probably felt frustrated and hurt.  If you were doing poorly, why didn’t they tell you earlier so you that could have fixed the problem?

New Employee Orientation

When you hire an employee, you’ll want to get your relationship started off on the right foot by communicating your specific expectations.  Are you a stickler for punctuality?  Then, make it be known in advance. 

Do you expect them to be heavily involved in the marketing and sales portion of your business?  If you have a quota that needs to be met, make sure they know what it is up front. Thoroughly explain your grooming standards.  Do you mind if they come in wearing a nose ring? Yes?  Better explain your policy on body piercing before they show up with one.

Basically, you’ll want to review the areas that you’ll be evaluating them on so that they’ll know what’s expected of them. Finally, make sure that you are readily available to them in case they have any questions or concerns about their performance or what is expected of them.

Hold Weekly Staff Meetings 
A regular weekly staff meeting is crucial to keeping you and your staff on top of what’s going on in your school.   

You’ll want to begin every meeting with a review of the previous week’s progress and activities.

Now is the time to address any shortcomings that may have occurred in reaching the previous week’s goals, as well as ways to overcome them.

Then, you’ll want to discuss the goals, and the strategies for reaching those goals, for the upcoming week. It’s also a good time to make any changes to policy, or to address any general problems that you see happening with the overall performance of your staff i.e. talking about personal matters while on the job, lack of courtesy to the customers, unprofessional conduct, etc.

Performance Evaluation 
If you let your employee know what was expected of him or her when you hired them, and conducted weekly staff meetings to keep them abreast of any changes, this next step should be a piece of cake.

As a general rule, when a new employee is hired, they are given a 90-day probation period.  This is a test drive for you as well as your employee to see if there’s a suitable match.  At the end of the probation period, you will meet with your new employee and review their performance. 

Some studio owners like to give the employee an opportunity to evaluate their own performance – a self-evaluation.  Then, discuss the evaluation and any differences of opinion between the employee and the studio owner. Or, you might just want to fill out the evaluation sheet on the employee, review each area, and discuss your opinions with them. 

Make sure to include an area where the employee has excelled, as well as a place to explain the areas of his performance that need to be improved.  Your employee will walk out of your office feeling good about his accomplishments, as well as knowing what he needs to work on to get a better review the next time around.

Finally, make sure he signs his evaluation form, so there’s no confusion in the future about the contents of the review. You can choose to conduct your reviews either quarterly or bi-annually, and your review should cover the following areas…

Appearance: Always sharp; Usually neat; Needs improvement.

Punctuality: Never tardy; Occasionally tardy; or Frequently tardy.

Sales Skills: Excellent; Good; or Needs improvement.

Attitude: Excellent; Good; or Needs improvement. 

Motivation: Always enthusiastic; Usually enthusiastic; or Occasionally enthusiastic. 

Follow-Up: Excellent; Good; Needs improvement. 

Overall Performance: Excellent employee; Good employee; Average employee; or