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How to do pole teacher performance reviews

Generally, performance reviews are conducted annually. They are an opportunity for the employer to provide feedback on the employee’s performance during the year and may also be an opportunity for the employee to voice any concerns or issues. The annual review is often the time when salary increases are applied.

Pole teachers, front desk staff or other people that work at your studio may be employees or contractors (read about the difference here). Even if your teachers or other workers are not employees, you may still want to conduct performance reviews to receive and give valuable feedback.

Why conduct performance review

There are many benefits to having a performance review.

Feedback to you

The performance review is an opportunity to ask for feedback which is especially important if you have no other mechanism to collect feedback or suggestions for improvement. Many people won’t speak up unless something is very wrong (or sometimes not even then) and if different teachers teach on different days or to different populations, they may have unique perspectives on how to improve, change or update your studio. Similarly, your front desk staff or manager might have valuable insights from customers that you don’t see every day.

Feedback to them

The performance review is also an opportunity for you to provide feedback to your pole teachers and other workers. Typically, if there is a critical (positive or negative) issue, most people deal with that issue immediately.

Feedback does not always mean something to improve but could be a note about that person. Perhaps, you have one teacher that constantly is reviewed well by beginner students. You might want to provide them that feedback and confirm that teaching beginners is something they want to continue doing. Or perhaps you have a staff member that is really great at parties and you want to make sure they are available to teach more.

Check process understanding and adherence

Maybe there is a certain way you always want people to start class or how you want them to conduct a warm-up. Maybe there is a certain way you want your phone answered or parties run.

Maybe you don’t have a formal way for students to provide reviews or feedback so having your teachers conduct a mock class or other physical demonstration of their work is a great way to confirm they are doing their work for your studio in the way that you expect. This is especially important for studio owners who are not in studio taking classes all the time to stay connected to what and how the teachers are teaching and how other functions are getting done.

How to conduct a performance review

Conducting a performance review should be formal and respectful with all expectations clearly outlined.

Schedule the review

Some people choose to conduct performance reviews on the anniversary of employee start dates, where others might conduct all reviews in the same week. Whichever way you choose, make sure your pole teachers are aware the review is coming.

Then provide your teachers with any information on how they will be reviewed including the format of your meeting and expectations for the meeting in email, text, chat or other written format.

Example: Performance reviews should take 1 hour, expect to teach a mock class with up to three people including starting class and conducting a full body warm-up. Then we’ll chat about anything that came up in the mock class as well as feedback I have for you from students, other teachers, the front desk and myself, the studio owner. Please bring any feedback that you have for me at this time for us to discuss.

Other people who are not teachers that work at your studio will likely not need to do a mock class, but you could have them take you through a new customer sale or other live demonstration of their job function.

During the review

Make sure to stay professional at all times. Some feedback can be very easy to provide while other feedback may be met with emotions. Setting a tone of professionalism from the reviewer will make the reviewee more comfortable during this process.

There are many different questions you might ask during the review. Here are a few suggestions that should be updated based on your individual studio situation:

  • Ask them if they like working at your studio and why.
  • Ask them if they like what they do for your studio and why. Follow on: ask if they want to do something different or at a different day/time.
  • Confirm they know all the important tasks about their job. Follow on: if there is a new process, explain the process to them.
  • Ask them if they have feedback for you.
  • If you are increasing their rate or changing the pay scale, explain.
  • Consider asking if they have goals you could help them with or goals for the next year. These goals can be used to measure against in the following year’s review.

After the performance review

The review doesn’t just end at the end of the meeting!

Follow up

Follow up on any outstanding issues that came up during the review with your teacher or other staff member. Follow up is very important and shows that you care about and respect their opinion. You don’t have to implement every suggestion, just acknowledge that you appreciate the suggestion. If relevant you could explain why you aren’t implementing.

Keep a record

Always keep a record of any performance review. This is very important if you have any disciplinary action issues. Laws governing employment different from state to state. Consult an employment lawyer if needed.

If your teacher or other worker did provide some goals, make sure to have a mechanism to help them track their goals. A tracking system could be as easy as a spreadsheet or document.

Remember, a performance review is a great way to gain valuable insights about your studio and can be a great way to connect with your teachers and other workers. The best companies have positive and collaborative employee relations!


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