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A well done performance evaluation (P.E.) is among the power players of leadership activities. There can be some confusion as to the nature and purpose of a performance evaluation, in the traditional sense. As business owners are analyzing, more and more, how to improve their employee experiences, streamline career acceleration and boost income growth, there’s becoming a priority to see the clear delineation between the classic “goal setting” and the usually merged or stressful performance evaluation.

In this article, you’ll learn how in today’s workplace evolution, especially in people-heavy industries like the beauty industry, a well-executed and independently positioned performance evaluation will go a long way in cultivating thriving careers and connecting the leadership level to the team level. It’s important to emphasize that a performance evaluation is not in lieu of an expertly designed goal-setting session, it’s in addition to...and this intentional, holistic and interactive approach to professional behaviors, KPIs and skills will help you connect performance to your team in a way that’s not only accountable but collaborative.

You might have heard the term performance review or performance appraisal be used to describe a performance evaluation before..or maybe you’ve personally experienced a “goal setting” that only served to limit your imagination in what’s possible. Regardless of what you call it or have experienced, it’s actually how YOU define it and execute it that truly matters.

Let’s define a P.E. in a big picture viewpoint. A performance evaluation is one part of the system of overall employee performance assessment. It’s a formal, systematic and results-driven evaluation process conducted by organizations to assess, measure, and analyze an employee's job performance, behaviors, and accomplishments through tracking KPIs and employer feedback, within a specified period. Combined with the following Performance Assessment System components converging between management and workforce, you’ll have a rich and diverse performance assessment system inside of your organization.

  • Separately positioned Goal Setting Sessions
  • Delegation & Quick Check-ins Meetings (aka leadership Interfacing)
  • An HR Communication System (digital platforms for updates and employee management)
  • Internal and External Training (direct skill and competency education)
  • Performance Improvement Plans (PIPS)
  • Employee Surveys (A fantastic and safe method to communicate with your team)

A performance assessment system serves as a structured platform for qualified leaders and their employees to engage in constructive dialogue, set objectives, provide feedback, and align expectations, ultimately aiming to enhance individual and organizational effectiveness. Modern day performance evaluations, within these systems, are designed to foster continuous improvement, map out foundational employee development, define relevant KPIs and partners beautifully into the employee-centric goal-setting session. (I’ll define that difference below)

Here are some of the ideal core focuses during performance evaluations that are “business-centric:”

  • Guidance on implementing the technical skills that monetize
  • Advanced development of soft skills and customer service concepts
  • Advanced awareness, clarity and development of business skills that magnify income
  • Plan of action for PIPs aka Performance Improvement Plans
  • Skill acquisition & work quality test outs
  • Training time management concepts for service delivery and FOV
  • Develop cultural mindset and company core value alignment
  • Follow up opportunities on which competencies to train further
  • Work/Change management
  • Promotions, increased responsibility and decisions towards income growth
  • Pricing Level jumps

This process is a synergistic tool used in a company's growth through connective-ness to their employees. When implemented with 1.) thoughtful intention, 2.) enriched data and 3.) tools to guide the process, a performance evaluation serves to empower and lead employees by setting clear expectations, designing behavior guidelines, fostering skill development, and provides a platform for feedback and recognition.

This, in turn, leads to a more engaged and motivated workforce, driving innovation and adaptability to removing some of the haziness that tends to come along with performance and workplace dynamics. As individuals grow, so does the organization, which allows for achievement of higher productivity and customer satisfaction. Carefully crafted performance evaluations create a culture of open communication and accountability, where employees feel heard and valued as well as given the tools for success. This strengthened connective-ness translates into greater staff retention, reduced turnover, and ultimately, manifesting more fulfilling employee experiences...seemingly, the name of the game these days.

Author Nikki Le is the owner of Nikki Le Consultancy.  
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Author Nikki Le is the owner of Nikki Le Consultancy. 

The Difference Between a Goal Setting and a Performance Evaluation Within the Employee Experience

Let’s take a deeper dive into the implementation of the traditional goal setting. In most employee-based salons, a goal-setting often involves a business owner inconsistently scheduling meetings with the intention of correcting behaviors, addressing employee shortcomings, or simply dictating what changes they wanted to see while using somewhat arbitrary standards that would only take into consideration what was best for the business. These meetings often revolved around key performance indicators (KPIs) that hold minimal understanding, lack of meaning or relevance for the employees, leading to a sense of non-collaboration or even a sense of dread and general resistance to change.

Consider a renewed approach by updating the process. Start with separating the goal-setting session into a secondary, "employee-centric" meeting. Here, the primary objective is to unpack the individual's goals with a holistic mindset, focusing on various facets of their life pillars and personal goals impacted by their career rather than solely the business's goals. We discuss the resources and tools for holistic goal-setting sessions in another article that’s a 2nd part of this article called, Engage and Excel: How to Create a System of Performance Assessment and Goal Achievement, Part 2: Employee-Centric Goal Setting Sessions. Both of these articles will also be available in an online course that organizes the step-by-step process of goal achievement through video and downloads. Go to www.statementsstrong.com for updates.

In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving business world, fostering employee development is not just a lofty goal but a strategic imperative. Companies that take the task of people investment seriously tend to reap the benefits of a motivated, skilled, and loyal workforce. I believe separating devoted time for just the employee’s goals, infused with self-reflection, positive reinforcement and encouragement in holistic and preemptive “goal setting sessions”, will make way for a space that can remove negative distraction, dread or diminishing approaches as well as minimize insecurities from criticism (constructive or not) that can come from seeing our shortcomings.

In turn, I believe, firmly, that designing a dedicated space to study some of the things that need to change like KPIs, time management, skill development, and technical proficiency, as stated above, will yield far more willingness when presented with a tool that gives framework to company standards and employee challenges. Our comprehensive tool can transform the P.E. into an opportunity to enhance the employee experience... which helps to guide people through potential mis-fires with open and honest 360-degree feedback, aligning back to the business’ targets. Following a structured P.E. format could be a powerful ally to nurture your employees' growth, accelerate the expansion of necessary skills and ultimately, unleash their full potential.

We’ve created and shared our Essential Performance Evaluation Tool for you to download in this journey towards employee development within the system of employee assessment & coaching. This resource tool is bespoke for the beauty industry and delivers exactly the format you’ll need to develop your performance evaluations to format positive support... instead of all that negative stuff.

Lastly, there’s the question to timing. A question that I’m frequently asked is how often should a leader or owner implement performance evaluations and/or goal settings? The simplest answer is this… It depends on the person, the topic, the objective and the career placement. In the endeavor of customizing your employee experiences, I would encourage you to customize your timing. I would suggest that you implement them as often as the individual needs. Some people will need guidance more often and some will choose to do it less often. Put the filter of humanity first onto such things as performance reviews and goals settings. Listen to each person’s feedback and schedule them accordingly. Always remember that structures such as Performance Assessment Systems are created to help people and that each person has unique needs that don’t always fit neatly into a calendar. Not to say that pre-scheduling onto a calendar isn't vital...but determine the frequency dependent on the individual.

In the capacity of salon ownership, where we need to do the impossible task of creating structure around artistry, performance evaluations act as a GPS to becoming a top producer faster. They’re not just an optional routine, but rather, a compass for professional transformation, guiding you and your team to more successful lives and careers. Embracing the habit of performance evaluations fosters a culture of connection. The significance of performance evaluations lies not only in appraising skills but in nurturing them, not just in setting the objectives but in accomplishing them, and not merely in measuring progress but in directing it. Lead strong despite the adversities, my friends.

Here's a link directing you to our Performance Evaluation Resource Tool to use for your template to effective performance evaluations. Want to learn more? Then follow us at www.statementsstrong.com to stay in the loop of when this course becomes available. Cheers to your salon's prosperous future! Enjoy !

Link to the Perfomance Evaluation Resource Tool.

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