Performance grading for salon employee reviews

Salon Employee Performance Reviews. Your 10 Step Guide.

Salon employee performance reviews may seem like a time consuming and daunting task but the benefits to your business are massive.  If you want to encourage employee engagement, improve productivity, plus, increase the growth and development of your salon business, read this 10 step guide.

What is a Salon Employee Performance Review?

Salon employee performance reviews are a form of assessment where a salon manager evaluates all aspects of an employees workplace performance.

These reviews identify strengths and weaknesses, offers constructive feedback and discusses goals to improve future employee performance.

Reviews can be conducted as a formal meeting with graded forms and formal feedback correspondence, or as a casual type of meeting.

Why are Salon Employee Performance Reviews Important?

Salon employee performance reviews are of benefit to both you, your salon team and your business. Why? Because when conducted positively and professionally, performance reviews encourage employees to see where they are excelling, where they need improvement, how they can improve. 

Performing salon employee performance reviews enable you to identify;

  • Your most valuable employees.
  • Underperforming employees.
  • Problem areas.
  • Teamwork inadequacies.
  • Poor Sales.
  • Poor attendance.
  • Salon culture issues.

By understanding these areas, you can encourage growth and development while fostering positive employee engagement. Plus, your employees with feel more informed and an integral part of your business.

What Areas Should Be Evaluated?

Here are a few key areas to evaluate with each employee;

  • Professionalism.
  • Leadership.
  • Teamwork.
  • Skill base.
  • Customer service.
  • Sales performance.
  • Financial performance.
  • Client retention.
  • Attendance.
  • Time management.
  • Conflict resolution.

How Often Should You Perform a Performance Review?

In the past, salon employee performance reviews were generally conducted annually. The frequency is really up to what suits your business. However, new research shows, regular feedback is preferable to employees and results in an improvement in performance. In fact, quarterly set performance goals generate a 30 times greater return in employee engagement.

A quarterly time frame allows sufficient time to see improvements in employee performance and to reach goals. Furthermore, this time frame gives you the ability to see if specific areas are not improving in-line with set targets.

How To Conduct Salon Employee Performance Reviews.

1. Set Time, Date and Place.

By setting a specific time and date for reviews, staff are prepared for their evaluation in advance and are more likely to strive to reach their potential. Thus, creating a culture in your salon that promotes performance improvement and helps to build a reliable and more capable team. To read more on how to build a motivated salon team, click here.

2. Employee Feedback.

Approach your team and give them time to prepare for their evaluation by asking for feedback. You may ask your employees to write down things they want to improve in the salon or air any grievances they have.

Providing a grading form is a great way to acquire feedback. There are plenty of free employee performance review templates available on the internet. Simply choose one that suits your salon. Use one for grading your staff and give one to your employee to gain their feedback.

3. Positive and Fair Approach

Start each one-on-one session by acknowledging the strengths and contributions of each employee. Treat each employee with respect and fairness; after all, you should be leading by example. If you need to brush up on your leadership skills, click here to read.

Start by addressing the positive aspects of performance, as this leads to a more receptive acceptance of constructive feedback. Staff may be feeling nervous, so it is essential to put them at ease. These sessions are not for discipline and should entail a collaborative discussion on the improvement of staff performance and the workplace overall.  

4. Listen to Employee Feedback.

Asking for employee opinions on job satisfaction, salon culture, goals and improvements needed, encourages your employees to have a voice and feel acknowledged. Staff feel more appreciated, recognised, valued and understood.  

Feedback by employees can also include how they perceive the performance of colleagues. Are some employees feeling burdened by picking up the slack of other staff members? Are there any workplace conflicts? Getting a feel from the employees perspective can help to improve their workplace experience and keep staff turnover low.

Just as you are providing a performance review on your staff, their feedback about your salon business should include your performance as a leader. There is always room for improvement, and this is the aim of these reviews.

5. Discuss Staff Performance.

Staff performance must include praise. Showing recognition of good work and providing acknowledgement improves employee engagement and productivity. Studies show employees are a whopping 30 times more likely to be more engaged at work when recognised for their strengths and contribution to the salon.

Your salon business will benefit from this, as more engagement means more productivity which leads to an increase in profits. Win-win!

6. Address Problem Areas.

Now is the time to address problem areas. Avoid being confrontational, remain calm and speak in a relaxed and respectful tone. If things get heated, don’t be afraid to shut the meeting down and resume once emotions have calmed down. Return to the meeting with a focus on the solutions rather than the issue.  

You can use your Neko database to pull up reports and numbers on specific performance areas, such as retail sales, client retention etc. Compare these numbers each quarter to track improvement or decline in performance. To learn more about Neko’s reporting features, click here.

Providing statistical facts on performance will give your employees a clear guide of how they are performing and also gives you the ability to set benchmarks for the coming quarter.

By focussing on the observed behaviour of your employee over the past quarter, you can start to discuss an area that needs improvement. Some observed behaviour is difficult to track statistically, such as soft skills like customer service, time management and teamwork.  

However, keep in mind, although tracking these by areas are difficult, poor performance is reflected by declining client retention numbers and loss of profit.  

During this session, you can ask your employees why they think they are falling short in certain areas. Are they feeling overwhelmed with specific tasks? Do they lack the knowledge to upsell effectively? Maybe your employee doesn’t even realise they lack a particular skill. 

So you can see why providing constructive feedback and providing evidence to back up performance is vital to the growth and development of your team and salon. Nothing grows in a stagnant environment.  

7. Provide Practical Solutions.

Discussing and uncovering problem areas is excellent, but pointless if you don’t provide practical solutions to address shortfalls. 

For example, telling an employee, they are not performing well in client retention is not as effective as showing them their retention is down by 5% this quarter and then looking at ways to improve this number.

Providing practical solutions may include:

  • Brushing up on skills and techniques via education.
  • Mentoring your staff on specific techniques such as up-selling, using salon software effectively or client consultations.
  • Providing online course material on workplace safety or hygiene requirements.
  • Inviting reps to educate staff on the products you stock.
  • Conducting meetings for collaboration on marketing or social media campaigns.
  • Encouraging team building activities.
  • Drawing up specific goals, targets or KPI’s.
  • Providing visual prompts in the form of posters in the staff room.
  • Helping staff with time management.
  • Giving your staff reading material such as our Neko Blogs to improve specific soft skills like customer service, time management and customer complaints.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. 

8. Collaborate to Set Goals and Targets.

Set clear individual goals or targets to aim for in the next quarter. By giving a set of targets to your employees, they will know what is expected of them. Allow individuals to help find solutions with you, as setting one’s own goals will help to increase engagement.

As you have already discussed why and how they will go about improving, your employees are all set to leave the meeting feeling empowered and ready to contribute to the team.

You may find there are areas that the whole team are performing at a low level. If this is the case, look at providing a way to make reaching this goal exciting for the team, which brings us to the next step.

9. Rewards and Incentives.

Providing rewards and incentives are a great way to increase engagement and productivity. Here are a few ways to improve drive;

  • Commissions.
  • Bonuses.
  • Competitions and Prizes.
  • Gamification apps.
  • Mystery gifts, movie tickets or gift vouchers.
  • Free service or product from your salon.
  • Team outings and team building activities.
  • Recognise birthdays with a small celebration or gift.
  • Chose an employee of the month.

“What gets rewarded, gets repeated.”

Keep this mantra in mind when rewarding your staff for their achievements. 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized.

Furthermore, when staff work hard due to recognition, your salon business will be rewarded with growth and improved revenue.

10. Document, Document, Document.

Get into the habit of documenting all your interactions from these meeting. Don’t rely on your memory or your employee’s memory. Set your findings, solutions and goals in stone so you can always refer back to them at any time. 

Document any grievances or areas where there are problems, plus how you have dealt with them.

Giving each staff member an individual print out of their goals, skills training requirements or sales targets gives them the responsibility to follow up. Furthermore, you can refer back to these recommendations and their effort to achieve these goals at your next quarterly meeting.


In conclusion, Salon Employee Performance Reviews are a great way to improve employee engagement, increase productivity and ensure the growth and development of your business.

Performing quarterly reviews allows you to keep your finger on the pulse and keep track of any areas that need improvement. Furthermore, this time frame gives your staff the time to strive to meet these goals.

Collaborating with your employees by getting feedback and involving them in goal setting is a great way to build a healthy team environment. Furthermore, rewards, incentives and acknowledgement of staff contributions to your business ensures staff feel empowered and important.

By using the great reporting features of Neko Salon Software, you can make sure you know who is performing and who is not. These reports make tracking progression quick and easy.

If your Salon isn’t already using Neko Salon Software, its time to get on board so you can manage every aspect of your employee’s performance.

Why not try it for yourself. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial.

We provide free email support as part of every subscription so getting started is super easy. 

Already using another software system? No worries, we will migrate all your data into our system so you are ready to go. 

Neko Salon Software is the simple and affordable key to making your business brilliant.

No hidden fees! No contracts! Only pay for what you need!

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