Every salon owner will have to deal with it sooner or later – poor employee performance.

Whether it is around teamwork, customer service, selling, or some other important aspect of their job, poor performance is something that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

If you ignore performance issues, as many bosses do, you are giving silent permission for that person to continue to behave in an unacceptable manner. 

This is not good for your business, and certainly sets a terrible example for the rest of your team.

The question, of course, is ‘How to go about dealing with it without damaging the relationship you have with that employee’. 

After all, you don’t want to create bad feelings or lose their respect – neither of these things helps to foster better performance, but you do need to get them back on the right path as quickly as possible.

You have to be able to talk to your errant team member about the problem at hand but, before you jump in and do so, it’s important to be well prepared.

Take a few moments to sit down with pencil and paper and develop your action plan.

Once you’re clear about what you don’t want to see happen in the future, you need to get clear on what you do want to see happen in its place. 

Now you are ready to tackle the problem with your employee.

Here is a process you can use to clarify and rectify any problem you may be having with a team member in your salon.

Here are 5 things you must do.

1. Start by telling your employee exactly what she is doing wrong everyone needs honest and open feedback on their performance.

2. Ask her to tell you what impact she believes this behaviour is having on you, the salon, her fellow employees and herselflet her see how her performance is impacting on those around her.

3. Ask her what she believes would have been a better way to handle the situation insteadlet her come up with a solution to the problem; she will have one, so don’t let her get around this question.

4. Follow this with a clear and specific explanation about what your expectations are for the futuretell her clearly what your expectations are so that she is in no doubt as to what she must do.

5. Ask her how she will handle this situation in the future allow her to develop her own action plan so that she is more likely to follow through.

As an example: “Sally, I was disappointed to hear you tell Mrs Smith today that you couldn’t fit in a pedicure with her facial. How do you think that makes me feel when you do that? What impact do you think that action has on this salon and therefore on yourself and the other therapists? What do you believe you could have done instead that would have had a more positive result? When this happens again, I want you to check to see if any of the other team members could have done it for her while she was in the salon.  If no one was available on the spot, offer her the next available appointment with whichever therapist can fit her in.  By doing this, Mrs Smith won’t be forced to find another salon to do her pedicure, and we won’t risk losing her . Are you happy to handle it this way in the future, Sally?”

Here’s what you should never do.

Never embarrass yourself or your employee by repeating your conversation to either clients or other employees. 

If you do, you will lose the respect of everyone concerned.

Handling poor performance issues is nobody’s idea of fun, but the fact remains that it’s important to get on top of these kinds of issues quickly and firmly. 

If you handle it professionally and ensure that the employee has seen the situation from your point of view, you will have nipped a potential problem in the bud and prevented this behaviour from spreading amongst the rest of your team.