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Franchise Management: How to Create an Empowered and Productive Team From Day One

Franchise management can be an uphill task without an empowered team.

As a business model, franchising works.

Investing in a franchise means becoming part of a regional, sometimes global chain.

Most times, the brand has already proven successful. This is one of the main reasons it is attractive to potential entrepreneurs.

It takes great leadership to build a winning franchise team.

Successful franchise owners like Chelsea Segura have been able to achieve this goal.

Your 7 Step Guide to a Successful Franchise

  • Start with enough money.
  • Don’t neglect friends and family.
  • Don’t be an island – the franchisor is your support system.
  • Hire the best – treat your team respectfully.
  • Cultivate a learning culture for your employees.
  • Give customers a memorable service experience.
  • Never forget the community – get actively involved.

As is the case for all businesses, franchise management has no specific formula.

For example, a capable field manager may not make a great franchise manager. They need experience in supervising operating franchisees.

Empowered teams contribute to franchise management success because they lead to:

  • Pioneering organizations
  • The attraction and retention of the best market talent
  • Well developed teams
  • The creation of new learning organizations
  • Healthy and profitable enterprises

Empowering such a team requires completely rethinking how entrepreneurs organize themselves.

Empowerment is a group effort. Everyone has to cooperate to redefine their attitudes, people processes, and organizational structures.

Dominant and successful franchises maintain the most longevity and profitability when their employees work from a team mentality.

In this case, each employee occupies a necessary job role and fulfills the organization’s long-term goals.

Here’s How You Can Create an Empowered and Productive Franchise Team From Day One

Be Open to New Ideas

“We follow the saying, “leave your title at the door.” Whenever our team has meetings, everyone is encouraged to offer ideas, regardless of their rank or tenure at the company. This allows for a diverse range of opinions, ideas, and perspectives. An intern may have a brilliant idea but may be scared to offer it. This empowers them to have confidence in their idea.”Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving.

Employees who voice their experiences are more likely to feel empowered. In turn, they tend to perform at a high level.

The biggest challenge to ideas is the lack of open communication. Organizational communication should be about more than emails and meetings.

You should note any communication challenges common to franchises. Next, resolve these issues before the “Now Open” sign at a new franchise branch goes up.

Examples of these challenges include:

  • Harsh organizational policies.
  • Certain practices or habits that exclude or favor certain groups.
  • Mistrust, usually self-serving behaviors by other parties that prevent free-flowing knowledge sharing.
  • Maturation, where younger franchisees cannot access the same knowledge as other established ones.
  • Competition, the misguided belief that other franchisees in the chain are “the competition”.
  • Toxic culture, preventing the free exchange of knowledge among franchisees and employees.

Most of these communication challenges can be solved, using one globally accessible franchise management platform.

The right communication begins with nurturing the right company culture.

All team members should approach leadership with feedback, concerns and questions. The franchisor should emphasize a policy of transparency.

Some strategies to get employees to contribute new ideas include:

  • Stepping away from the office environment. Examples include team-building events or out of office meetings. A new setting fosters relaxed minds and inspires innovative conversations.
  • Incentivizing revenue-generating ideas. You can build your bonuses based on collective and solo performances. You can also encourage ideas by offering a portion of new revenue gained from an employee’s idea as a reward.
  • Setting the right parameters for welcome ideas. Being specific encourages a streamlined creative pool. Instead of asking for general ideas, look into a specific area of your business that needs changes.
  • Documenting the feedback process. Using a platform like World Manager makes gaining feedback faster and more effective. It gives the process structure, gathers input from everybody, and allows seamless analysis.
  • Never mocking any ideas. Employees will lose the desire to innovate if they witness a culture of ridicule. Instead, cultivate a healthy environment free from toxicity. Many good ideas are actually bad ideas that need a little help.

Hire the Right Manager

Gallup published the State of the American Manager report in 2015. They found that at least two-thirds of employees felt supported by their managers.

This support reflected on their process of setting work priorities and goals. They were also more engaged.

The more engaged franchise employees are, the more productive they will be.

Most businesses under franchising are either service or hospitality oriented. Managers with the right soft skills perform best. This is because people management requires a high level of emotional intelligence.

Managerial attitude is essential. Positivity is infectious and can elevate the employee experience. The intended effect of a happy employee is greater customer satisfaction. This results in repeat business.

Employees with great attitudes are also an invaluable asset for expanding franchises. Loyal employees are the same people who will become great managers to new employees.

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Focus on Employee Development

The ideal franchise employee is keen on professional learning and development.

Skilled and talented employees tend to be ambitious.

Leaders can harness this ambition by allowing their curiosity to thrive.

The result? A team that learns, shares, improves and then repeats this cycle.

You can encourage employee development through ongoing training. This keeps people motivated and productive. When employees stagnate in a role, they lose morale.

The franchise manager has to take on the role of a coach. It is very easy to mix that role with that of a performance reviewer.

With this in mind, the manager should:

  • Ensure that each team member understands their daily and cumulative roles. They should know how their work contributes to the success of the company’s mission.
  • Put a spotlight on productive employee activities that you want others to copy. Continuously share exact times, dates and locations of great examples.
  • Identify key areas of improvement and take steps to collaborate with teams to act on them. Leverage employee strengths as a springboard for these improvement opportunities.

An important tool in managerial coaching discussions is the art of using the ratio of good to “bad”. For each improvement area, a good manager should share at least three to five positives.

The manager and the team can create mutual action plans and KPIs. Together they can work on helping the employees accomplish new goals.

Give Team Members Authority

“As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”- Bill Gates

In franchise management, avoid the traditional top-down management style. Its authoritarian approach doesn’t work with today’s workforce.

Your best bet starts with how you hire, train and onboard your employees. The days of using the “sink or swim” style of learning should be behind you. Remember that it costs more to rehire than to properly integrate.

A franchise manager should work with their HR team to design the most effective process.

Give all team members the necessary resources to collaborate with other team members.

Onboarding should empower new employees to take on problem-solving in the same manner as the ones who’ve been around for years.

Get a firm grasp of each employee’s skills and personalities. This helps you understand how to maintain team productivity levels at a constant high.

You can empower your employees by:

  • Providing opportunities to contribute to some strategy and business objectives of the company.
  • Eliminating the “let me ask my boss” barrier. Hand over some level of decision making power to front-line employees; for example, service recovery decisions.
  • Offering training in key areas of the business. This includes customer service, negotiation, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Assigning efficient mentors that employees can look to for direction. These mentors should already have a successful track record.
  • Giving employees the right access to information and data to support their decision-making process.

An example of the above is sharing feedback from customer surveys or comment cards. Knowing where they go right or wrong will help them make better customer-focused decisions.

Some employees may be reluctant to go above and beyond when they feel like their every move is being monitored.

Giving up control builds an atmosphere of trust between employers and their employees. This always leads to more profitability.

Recognition, Rewards, and Encouragement

Rewards are a tried and tested method for boosting team confidence in any franchise.

Recognized employees feel encouraged to take more initiative and to inspire their peers.

Incentivization also increases a sense of friendly competition among a franchise’s sales team.

And when a sales team is in competition, the bottom line never wavers.

Fair employee recognition policies have positive benefits. These include: 

  • Increasing company productivity.
  • Improving revenue outcomes.
  • Attracting and retaining the best talent.
  • Creating a positive workplace culture.
  • Fostering a collaborative environment.

Build Your Team

Finding the right people for your franchise team is essential. But turning them into a productive and empowered team is even more powerful.

As you kick off your business, you need the right software partner for your franchise.

Whether your team consists of in-office or remote employees, you need a platform that can:

  • Streamline your communication processes.
  • Manage key software integrations.
  • Ensure that your franchise stays compliant.
  • Maximize employee engagement.
  • Simplify your learning and development process.
  • Promote social learning among employees.
  • Keep all your data secure.

Book a custom demo with World Manager today to begin building your best team yet.

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

The best companies use World Manager to train staff, maintain standards, and set the company up on the road to success.