5 Tips to Give Your Barista an Effective Performance Review

by Katie Sawyer, · 4 minutes
HOME blog 5 tips to give your barista an effective performance review

Performance reviews are important for any business to make sure the right employees are on staff. When you know who your best performers are, and who needs extra mentoring, you can manage your team more effectively, increase productivity, and improve your bottom line.

Cafes and coffee shops might not have formal, sit-down reviews like desk jobs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. And if your shop doesn’t hold performance reviews, you could be missing out on key insights that help grow your business.

So how do you give an effective performance review? Read on for five tips to make your next performance review a breeze.

1. Provide regular, ongoing feedback

When it comes to performance reviews, your feedback should never be a surprise. While a busy shop means business it looking it, that also means you might not take the time to provide regular feedback to your employees. Here are a few tips for creating a system of feedback into your routine.

  • Create feedback files. Create digital folders where you can make notes pertaining to your employees. Each time they do something above and beyond — like taking extra care to check the coffee cup stock — make a note in your file. You can also use this file to record examples of poor performance, too.
  • Feedback Fridays. Well, it doesn’t have to be Friday, but make a note in your calendar to give feedback to your employees. Reference notes you made in your feedback files for example. Your feedback doesn’t have to be about something monumental. Did they handle a morning coffee rush like a pro? Keep calm when the water heater was acting up? Make a customer laugh while checking out?
  • Be a coach. You can talk and talk and talk, but is your employee listening? Managers who act like coaches teach their employees how to improve so the employees can be successful on their own. For example, if you see an employee struggling with the latte machine, give them pointers for how to get the hang of it.

2. Ask your employee for their self-evaluation

Before you give your review, ask your employee to come prepared with their own self-evaluation. This will give your staff a chance to think critically about their performance — what are they doing well and what can they improve on.

It will also give them a voice in the conversation, making them feel more inclined to listen to your review. Ask for their self-evaluation in advance of the official review so you can use that in your evaluation. Here are just a few questions to help your employee build their self-evaluation.

  • What are you most proud of that you’ve accomplished in the last X months?
  • What do you think you could improve on moving forward?
  • List your goals for the next X months.
  • How can your manager help you achieve these goals?

3. Stick to the facts

If you have someone on your staff that annoys you, you’re not alone. But during a performance review (well, anytime really) you can’t let your personal feelings impact your job as a manager.

To give an effective performance review, you need to stick to the facts. Give clear, concrete examples of whatever you are trying to say. For example, instead of saying, “You’re a good team player,” you can say “You show how much of a team player you are when you helped Mary at the cash register last Friday when we were busy.”

4. Practice

Practice makes perfect. Well, not all performance reviews are going to be easy, but practicing what you’re going to say will help. Not only will you feel more confident going into the review, having a well thought out review shows your employee you took the time to really reflect on their performance.

And when your employees feel like you’re invested in their success, that can lead to higher employee engagement, increased sales, and better customer service.

  • Write it down. Whether you want to write a whole script or just some notes, write down your talking points. Be sure to include clear examples to get your point across.
  • Say it out loud. It’s amazing how different something sounds in your head versus how it sounds when you say it out loud. What tone are you going to use? What’s the rhythm of your voice? Are you going to talk quietly or get louder at points? Are you going to smile?
  • Test it out. Practice with your superior or even with someone outside of your organization (in confidence). Ask for feedback on your delivery and ways to improve.

5. Agree on next steps

The hard part is done but the work doesn’t end there. You’ve delivered your review, and now it’s time to agree on the next steps. After all, performance is an ongoing conversation. Use these three tips for making the next steps easier.

  • Finalize employee goals and methods for achieving those goals.
  • Agree on informal check-in points, like over a monthly lunch.
  • Leave room for questions and feedback. Your employee shouldn’t leave with any outstanding questions or concerns.

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