The last two years have undoubtedly caused a significant amount of stress for those who operate in the education industry. And with this academic year largely focusing on mental health, it’s important that franchise owners in education are taking care of their own wellbeing too, as well as supporting their students. Here, Frank Milner, the global president of the in-home and online tutoring franchise, Tutor Doctor, explains why now is the perfect time to consider how to effectively manage your own emotions as a business owner in an industry synonymous with stress.
Studies produced throughout the pandemic have shown that 82 per cent of educators (Education Support, 2021, How to Handle Stress: teachers & education staff) and 52 per cent of small business owners(Sean Peek, 2022, Stress Management Key to Keeping Business and Owner Alive) describe themselves as stressed. These are incredibly alarming statistics for those of us who not only play a part in students’ education, but own a business in the education space. With a larger focus than ever on mental health and wellbeing, it’s an incredibly important time for business owners to develop strategies in order to provide a positive educational experience to students in need of our services.
It often gets overlooked – especially in conversations about stress and emotion management – but supporting and nurturing those in your network is one of the most effective ways to alleviate stress associated with management and owning a business. An employee who feels valued and nurtured means better productivity, less staff turnover, more specialist knowledge, a collective responsibility for your business’s success, and a strong reputation in your industry. As Richard Branson once said, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.”
Maximize your time off
By looking after your employees and giving them a collective responsibility to ensure your franchise succeeds, you will be afforded those all-important opportunities to disconnect and truly enjoy some well-earned time off. For business owners, switching off is one of the hardest things to do, with things as simple as checking your email becoming a compulsive habit. But disconnecting from those small things once in a while can free you of a significant amount of stress – stress that ultimately might affect your personal life should that all-important work-life balance become less of a priority to you.
Like any addiction, the first few attempts to fully detach from work during your time off might feel difficult. But the best way to do so is simply through trusting those in your network, who – should they have been properly nurtured, trained and supported – will be wellequipped to keep things running smoothly in your absence.
Encourage entrepreneurial flair
One of the most important elements contributing to Tutor Doctor’s franchisees remaining not only buoyant but also incredibly successful during the pandemic is the fact that they encourage and develop their autonomy and entrepreneurial flair.
Our franchisees have an array of expertise, both in their local knowledge in their respective franchise territories and in what unique experience they can bring to our diverse global network. Considering this, one of the most important lessons of the pandemic was in supporting or boosting their entrepreneurial spirits and not getting caught up on minor details.
Have an open-door policy
Being an open and transparent leader is a perfect formula to manage your emotions and your teams effectively, and it’s also an important step towards creating a well-oiled and stress-free environment for all.
Being a business owner who’s prepared to listen to employees and their input is not only a demonstration of trust but also gives those in your team more responsibility to show you that they’re committed to the brand’s success. Allowing those in your network this responsibility will also show that they remain committed to educating at a high standard, which in turn will lift additional pressures you may be feeling from the operational side of your franchise.
Remember to self-care
Stress can take a physical and mental toll, with anxiety, isolation, fear, and burnout all common in those suffering from high levels of stress. That’s why it’s imperative to not lose sight of looking after yourself. The education industry is ever-changing, and it’s therefore very easy to become lost in a very large rabbit hole. So, making sure you’re taking the opportunities in your professional life, especially during day-to-day operations, to reset and relax will help you to manage your emotions effectively. According to a 2020 study by a team of scientists at Cornell University, spending just 10 minutes in a natural setting could have the potential to make us feel happier and lessen the effects of our mental and physical stress.
The education industry is an incredibly exciting sector to be a part of. But that doesn’t mean it’s a stressfree experience. Being responsible for enriching the lives of students who need additional help is a privilege we’re incredibly proud of as a global network, but this can’t be achieved without being calm and collected industry leaders. Projecting wellbeing onto others creates an environment in which students feel comfortable to learn and tutors feel comfortable teaching. Encouraging autonomy, and allowing the experts to truly use their expertise, are both vital elements towards creating a positive environment as a community.
Frank Milner is the global president of the in-home and online tutoring franchise, Tutor Doctor tutordoctorfranchise.com