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Culture shock: how to keep franchisees happy


Culture shock: how to keep franchisees happy

Overlooking the human element is a slip-up that franchisors can’t afford to make

Overlooking the human element is a slip-up that franchisors can’t afford to make

In this age of unbridled technology and information, we have access to everything and anything at the push of a button. From sharing your opinion on last night’s game to exploring the greatest unsolved mysteries of the universe, all the information we could ever imagine is right there on our phone.

Yet, in this golden age of technology, people are lonelier than they’ve ever been.

Why? It’s simple: we’ve become so focused on staying connected that we’ve forgotten how to be connected. We don’t talk to our neighbors anymore, and when a friend is going through tough times, we hit the ‘like’ button and move on. When we lose our ability to truly communicate, to understand and be understood, we lose our connection to other people.

Opening a dialogue
The same absolutely goes for your franchise business. People crave to be connected to their work and the franchise brand they have invested in as a franchisee. Once people stop caring about a job or their business, the mindset of ‘doing the bare minimum just to make a steady paycheck’ is quick and relentless to set in.

We need that connection – that spark, that drives us to do well and get better at what we do every day – as it is what sets apart a job from a calling. In a franchise system, this is even more important, as you have franchisees and a franchisor who are heavily invested in the business.

Being connected with loved ones and peers gives people a sense of fulfillment that cannot be competed with. The same stands for the franchisee and their teams who truly feel connected to the franchise brand: when the task is clear and the passion is there, people want the franchise brand to succeed.

Feel good, work hard
When one franchisee or employee feels a strong, meaningful connection to the company and is fulfilled and happy with their business or work, it’s a sign that you just might be doing something right. When the whole team feels this way, it’s called company culture, and it’s one of the most beneficial aspects you can develop for your business.

People work harder, better, faster and with a more positive attitude when they feel good about what they’re doing.

Revenue and profit are often regarded as the vital driving forces behind a successful franchise business, and why wouldn’t they be? Your company has a purpose – your team offers something to better the lives of those you serve with the intent of gaining financial stability.

With a bit of tact, flexibility, and attention to detail, you can apply this simple yet constructive plan to develop a work environment that encourages your franchisees and employees to love what they do and flourish as a result.

Optimizing the team
Being smart about who you bring onto the team will ensure that every individual is just the right fit for their position. Refining the franchisee recruiting process and dedicating time to develop your company’s talent brand can make all the difference in creating a truly remarkable team.

Balancing out the environment
It’s no secret that people work more effectively in a workspace that’s as comfortable as it is inspiring. It’s also no secret that an open line of communication and the opportunity to ask questions and speak freely fosters creativity and efficiency on an unmatched level.

Your franchise advisory council is a great forum for this but what about introducing a way to engage with all the people in the brand, not just the franchisees? Great ideas can come from any level of the franchise brand.

Uniting as a whole
You can employ the most skilled, experienced team the world has ever seen, but without a compelling sense of purpose and meaningful achievements to work toward, all of your team’s potential will be wasted. In order to encourage and inspire your franchisees and employees, setting common goals with clear plans of action and making sure everyone understands how your business runs are everything.

The numbers behind it all
One study conducted by Columbia University assessed the likelihood of job turnovers for businesses with both high and low company cultures. The study showed that lower company culture often lowered employee retention, with a job turnover rate of around 48.4 per cent. Organizations with higher company culture enjoyed a decreased turnover rate of just 13.9 per cent, suggesting that such businesses make employees happier and less likely to quit their jobs.

Another study conducted by the University of Warwick’s economics department showed the difference in productivity between happy and unhappy workers: those who felt more satisfied with their jobs were 12 per cent more productive, while unhappy employees were 10 per cent less productive.

“It’s no secret that people work more effectively in a workspace that’s as comfortable as it is inspiring”

Research from a Gallup report, covering 142 countries on the “state of the global workplace”, indicated that approximately 63 per cent of employees worldwide (roughly 900 million) aren’t engaged at work and that an additional 24 per cent (340 million) are completely disengaged; this dissatisfaction has a very harmful effect on productivity, as unhappy employees find it difficult to be motivated.

Whilst stats specifically relating to franchisee engagement are harder to come by, any experienced franchisor will tell you that when franchisee engagement is not what it should be, the franchise brand is in a bad place.

A happy franchise team is a motivated one; they’re more inspired. You owe it to yourself and your team to find common ground and fulfillment in your projects. Ultimately, profits will increase, and you and your franchisees will enjoy being at work more and more every day.

Gus Van Dender is the founder of cnnected Inc., and has a keen interest in ‘inspired vs. desperate’ leadership

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