As time goes on, franchisors are increasingly finding ways to incorporate technology into their business networks, a process accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the benefits of digital solutions, their implementation can cause complications, which is why it’s important for franchisors to take measures to reduce tech stress among franchisees.
There’s one key problem when it comes to implementing tech solutions. Workers and customers alike are demanding authenticity, transparency and a demonstration of human understanding from brands. Yet businesses’ growing reliance on technology suggests a move in the opposite direction.
So, when introducing tech solutions, it’s important to put people first and use digital products to enhance human interactions. In turn, this should reduce tech-related stress among the workforce. Here’s how you can make sure you take a people-centric approach.
Franchisor tips to reduce tech stress
1. Understand the need
Some franchisors introduce software products because they’ve noticed a trend and want to jump on the bandwagon rather than risk getting left behind. But to make sure your tech solutions provide real value in your business, you need to understand the problems you’re facing and the best ways to resolve them.
If you know exactly how certain tools will ease your franchisees’ day-to-day lives, you’ll be able to help them save time and effort effectively.
2. Invest in quality products
While it’s tempting to use the cheapest products on the market, options with a higher price tag could offer a more streamlined and convenient service, saving franchisees precious time.
Of course, many fantastic software packages are free to use, but refusing to upgrade to a paid subscription could be a false economy. And if you don’t want to sign up for a subscription right away, you could always take advantage of free trials.
3. Choose intuitive tech solutions
Some platforms and software packages are more user-friendly than others. You can reduce your franchisees’ tech stress and nurture a more inclusive approach to business by opting for intuitive products. Take the time to read reviews to make sure you’re investing wisely.
By taking this step, you also enable everyone to benefit from digital solutions without having to improve tech-literacy levels among franchisees.
4. Follow the instructions
Even the most tech-savvy of franchisees can come unstuck when faced with a new piece of software. If your latest investment doesn’t come with a beginner’s guide, try to find a manual online. In all likelihood, someone has created one, so browse sites like Quora and Reddit to find out.
Taking this step is also a good idea if you need to troubleshoot a particular problem.
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5. Hold technology workshops
You probably provide a training scheme for your franchisees when they first join your business, but advice can quickly become outdated if you develop your technology infrastructure over time.
Arranging informative workshops to introduce new tools or software packages can save franchisees time in the long-run, and will demonstrate your support for your investors.
6. Build a tech team
Creating a dedicated support team will help you stay on top of any issues and should reduce your franchisees’ tech stress. Once you’ve got your in-house technology department in place, your franchise partners can get in touch to resolve any computer problems or raise queries about best practice.
Your ability to become a successful company of the future depends on developing a cultural mindset that is focused on creating value for the people inside and outside the organisation.
7. Develop an integrated tech landscape
You might be tempted to find technology solutions for every business department and task, but switching between countless platforms, apps and software packages can be detrimental to franchisee productivity.
Try to avoid over-complicating things by investing in a few quality solutions and, where possible, integrating them. By connecting your various devices and products, you’ll enable your franchisees to complete their tasks in one streamlined process.
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8. Keep on top of the tech
While technology can save a lot of time, most products need regular updates. Make sure your tech team is always up to speed with the digital tools you’ve implemented and can nip problems in the bud before they cause unnecessary stress among franchisees.
9. Use technology to actively reduce stress
There are plenty of handy digital apps and time-saving tools to help franchisees boost their productivity. Products like Wunderlist and Trello can help you create interactive to-do lists, and platforms such as Slack and Google Drive are useful for sharing files easily.
By investing in user-friendly productivity tools rather than overly complicated software, you can make the work day even easier for franchisees.
10. Encourage franchisees to take breaks
Everyone knows the importance of switching off your devices on a regular basis; it helps boost energy, creativity and morale. So, making it easier for franchisees to take breaks will help them reduce their tech stress.
If possible, encourage activities like site visits and customer interaction to get business partners away from their desks. Or you could offer free membership to gyms or yoga classes to help them break up the work day. You might also consider ways to help franchisees ‘switch off’ after work, such as turning off device notifications.
11. ‘Gamify’ the work
Gamification has become incredibly popular in recent years. Adding a fun or competitive element to online work can make the day go by quicker and reduce tech stress.
One of the easiest ways to ‘gamify’ elements of the franchise model is to create interactive online learning courses for the initial franchisee training programme. You could incorporate game-like quizzes to boost engagement, and even introduce a scoreboard.
12. Encourage franchisees to use personal devices
Around six in 10 workers would prefer to shun their laptop for a different device when it comes to work. And seven in 10 HR professionals believe Gen Y employees would perform faster if they used mobile devices (Cisco).
As technology evolves, it becomes increasingly easy to carry out work tasks on phones and tablets. Although most franchisees are free to run their business with their device of choice, franchisors could improve their business’s productivity by actively encouraging this switch.
Reduce tech-related stress in your franchise
You’ll find lots more informative articles right here at Point Franchise. Check out our guide to digital transformation or use the search box to find other handy tips and tricks for franchisors.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©