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Salon & Spa Performance Reviews: Addressing the tough stuff


You're getting ready to do a performance evaluation with a key service provider. There have been behavior and performance issues that you had hoped would just fade away.


As they often do, the issues continued and now they are beginning to impact other members of your team.

You know this employee is highly sensitive to constructive feedback. Almost always, it spins off all kinds of drama, emotions and funk. Because of this, getting into the "tough stuff" with this employee always produces a knot in your stomach.

So, the performance review begins. You navigate through the process until you reach that point where all that remains to be said is the tough stuff. You feel like you’ve cornered a wild beast and you’re just trying to find the best moment to capture it without getting mauled.

And then it happens... ask the employee if she has any questions, and you end the performance review.

  • You hesitated.
  • You left essential things unsaid.
  • You wimped out.
  • You compromised.

This scenario gets played out in salons and spas every day. You see behavior and performance issues that you must address … and you fail to engage.

This usually occurs with certain individuals when your preconceived mental picture of the process and the immediate fallout cranks up your anxiety levels high enough to hit the compromise button.

To make matters worse, you beat yourself up for missing the opportunity to address a growing problem that will only continue to escalate.

Here are four No-Compromise Leadership strategies to ensure that you leave nothing unsaid:

  1. Just get it over with: When it comes to confronting reality and dealing with the tough stuff, if you hesitate, you instantly enable the performance and behavior you don't want. That’s compromise that your entire company and culture pays a price for. Address it. Clarify your expectations. Move on. FACT: Lingering performance and behavior issues degrade your salon/spa's performance, customer loyalty, and brand image. More importantly, allowing issues to linger means you’re allowing contamination to infect your culture.
  2. Focus on the desired outcome: It’s easy to get stuck in the emotions and stress of addressing highly sensitive and seemingly explosive issues with a highly sensitive and explosive employee. When emotions surface, help yourself, and the employee, by keeping the conversation focused on the desired outcome. Doing so gives purpose to the process and by addressing the tough stuff today you’re both creating a better tomorrow.
  3. Avoiding the tough stuff only makes it worse: Here’s the real kicker; if you’ve observed, or even acknowledged, that a behavior and performance problem exists … and did nothing, you compromised your leadership role. FACT: Had you engaged when the problem surfaced, the probability of it going critical would have been greatly minimized. I'm not suggesting that you micromanage employees. I am recommending that when you identify the wrong patterns of performance and behavior … it's time for a one-on-one conversation. Waiting for the employee's next performance review is avoiding your leadership responsibilities.
  4. The worst is usually not that bad: OK, the employee might get so upset that he or she quits. Is that a bad thing? Typically, when behaviors and performance head south, the ripple effect can degrade performance throughout your salon/spa. If your respectful efforts to help an employee grow and prosper are met with a resignation, consider it a favor. Accept the resignation, open the windows and allow the fresh air in.

Here's my challenge to you: One of the most challenging aspects of being a No-Compromise Leader is the ability to engage in open and constructive dialog with employees on behavior and performance issues — and do so expeditiously.

Hesitate today and you’ll just have a bigger problem tomorrow.

So, if there is a tough stuff conversation waiting for you … put on your No-Compromise Leadership hat and engage.



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