<P>46 Copyright © 2012 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com T H E B U S I N E S S S I D E O F G R O O M I N G Grooming Time Standards Our goal as employers should be to pay the best wages in return for the best grooming labor we are fortunate to hire. Best would include productivity, quality, humane pet care, teamwork, steady attendance and general adherence to policies and procedures. There are tens of thousands of grooming businesses yet few have written grooming performance standards for their employees (or independent contractors). Fairness requires grooming employers to set and apply performance standards to avoid the risk of bias and confusion when judging the performances of their employees. There are several types of standards to set for grooming performances (see From Problems to Profits book). In this article the focus is productivity and its standards based on grooming times. We expect high grooming quality and humane pet care. Faster, meaning shorter grooming times, is never acceptable where there is a loss of quality or humane pet care. Dont be fooled by those who feel they must defend their significantly extended grooming times as better quality. Extended grooming time alone is no guarantee of quality grooming or humane pet care. In fact, the longer the groom the more time the pet is separated from its owner. Setting reasonable grooming times and productivity levels requires a common sense approach. 1) Well- trained, healthy, and experienced groomers should have the highest productivity. 2) New groomers have the lowest. 3) Groomers with temporary or permanent disabilities require adjusted productivity expectations. Some job candidates want to work on a basis of productivity to which they feel comfortable. If it matches their employers expectations, it can work. Use common sense. Productive employees delivering quality grooming and humane pet care deserve the recognition and compensation that matches their standards. They deserve the best wage levels. New groomers require more time to groom pets while they safely raise their productivity levels with hands- on experience and supervision. They should expect to earn less during this phase until they reach milestones you set for productivity. When done properly all employees are classified according to fair performance standards. They earn fair and balanced wages based on their grooming productivity. As a result none of the employees should feel rushed or expected to groom more than the productivity basis for their compensation. Employer expectations should be documented in personnel job descriptions and agreements (see From Problems to Profits book for samples). Changes will occur. For example, new groomers will reach milestone increases in their productivity and overall performance. Their personnel files should note evidence of the progress and the adjustments made in compensation and sometimes job titles. Unfortunately almost everything discussed thus far does not exist in most independent grooming businesses. Where it may exist in practice, it may not be in documented form. It must be both or employers are needlessly at risk of employment-related problems. Standards for Grooming Time Time plays a major role in wage systems. Grooming is all about hands-on labor. Time is something the effective grooming business manager can easily document daily. The operations forms and computer software used by employees should document time spent on every grooming. Using actual figures, instead of estimates or guesses, owners of businesses can accurately determine average grooming times for their pet clientele. Using average grooming time standards employers can more accurately set standards for the job positions they offer. For example, here are some time-based standards set by Madeline Ogle, author of (Continued on page 48) </p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/1/1/">Cover-Page</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/2/2/">Quadruped-Pet-Care</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/3/3/">Groomers-Choice-Pet-Products</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/4/4/">Pet-Silk-Products</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/5/5/">Golden-Paws-School-and-Consultation</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/6/6/">Oster-Furst-Aid</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/7/7/">Plaqclinz-Groomer-Oral-Care</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.stallionpublishers.com/publication/1048/dkmwywypp/8/8/">B-Air-Dryers</a></LI> <LI><a 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