How to keep your employees happy: Tips for franchisees

02/07/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Franchisee tips

Most successful franchises put a great deal of time and effort into ensuring that their employees are happy and content working in the organisation. This is isn't always easy, but it's typically rewarded with fewer workplace problems, increased productivity, and a higher quality of work. Here, we look at ten ways you can keep your workers happy.

Franchisee tips for keeping employees happy

1. Incentivise
One of the most obvious ways to encourage high standards of service and a productive work ethic is to incentivise it. This usually takes the form of encouraging excellent work with a series of rewards. Establish targets and set out specific rewards for hitting them. Depending on the type of work you want to incentivise, youll need to consider different kinds of targets. If you want to increase your conversion rate, its best to set sales targets. If you want to cut customer service waiting times, you might reward the quick resolution of customer problems. When incentivising, it's important first to consider how you want to improve the franchise's performance and then implement relevant targets and rewards.

2. Establish an open company culture
Employees are far more productive when they enjoy working at a business. Theyll go the extra mile for a boss that treats them with respect and honesty and do the bare minimum when they feel like theyre not appreciated. If you can make the business an open and welcoming place to work, youre likely to see enormous improvements in the productivity of your employees and the quality of their work. This means valuing every employee and ensuring that everyone regardless of gender, race, religion, or belief is comfortable working in your organisation.

3. Organise team building sessions
Teams that spend time together outside of the workplace are likely to form stronger bonds and develop greater respect for one another. While team building sessions and exercises arent always the most popular of activities, they play an essential role in bringing employees together and ensuring that they function well as a group. Try thinking outside of the box when it comes to organising team building events and include your employees in the planning stages. What would they like to do? What do they think would be a beneficial activity for the team as a whole?

4. Motivate individuals
Though the way your team of employees performs as a group will determine your franchises success, its important to remember that a team is made up of many individuals. This means that you need to recognise each individual, get to know them on a personal level and work to their strengths and weaknesses. It also requires an ability to motivate employees on an individual level. Each one of your employees will have slightly different motivations, and a good manager will recognise this fact and ensure that their management style reflects these crucial differences.

5. Be clear about your objectives
If you want your employees to work in a certain way, its a good idea to give them clear objectives to work towards. The best franchises are those that know exactly where theyre heading, how theyre going to achieve their primary goals, and are able to communicate the particulars of each step of the journey clearly. Dont be vague when it comes to laying out your expectations and make sure that all of your targets are quantifiable and easily measured.

6. Reward and appreciate
Though incentives and rewards are excellent motivators, some argue that the biggest motivations are success and recognition themselves. This means letting employees know when they've done an excellent job, appreciating the work they've put in and, when appropriate, rewarding it. It doesnt cost anything to pull an employee to one side and tell them how much their excellent work ethic is appreciated, yet it remains one of the most criminally underused management tools around.

7. Demonstrate trust
Like all businesses, the franchise model depends on an ability to delegate tasks to other workers. In some cases, its necessary because youre unable to handle all of the work on your own. In others, its important because other employees may be able to perform the task to a higher standard. However, in all situations, youll need to demonstrate trust in your employees and allow them to get on with the task at hand. The vast majority of the time, this will be rewarded by an employee that feels empowered and valued by your willingness to trust in their abilities.

8. Foster healthy competition
While competition can cause rifts in a team, it can also encourage employees to go on to bigger and better things. This means that its necessary to carefully consider how youre going to foster healthy competition, without creating rivalries or unnecessary problems. A relaxed and informal monthly competition to see who can hit the highest sales figures is an excellent example of this type of competitive incentive.

9. Make the workplace a comfortable place to be
We all spend a considerable amount of time in the workplace, so it comes as no surprise that we would all like it to be a comfortable and pleasant place to be. Whether its the type of office chairs you buy or the tea and coffee you provide in the break room, taking a minute to think about how you can improve the workspace for your employees is likely to be appreciated and rewarded with higher productivity.

10. Inspire!
Finally, franchisors need to be inspirational figures, capable of motivating their employees and communicating a vision of the future that resonates with their workers. While this is easier said than done, there are a few different things you can do to establish yourself as an inspirational figurehead. Most important, is the idea of leading from the front and demonstrating the qualities you prize in your own work. Its impossible to find inspiration in someone that doesnt practice what they preach, so be the change you want to see!

Developing the ability to keep your employees happy isnt limited to your role as a franchisee. It's crucial long before then, too. Most franchisors will screen those who are considering investing in a franchise to see if theyve developed these skills. Theyll actively search for an individual who is capable of motivating workers, communicating clearly, and getting the best from their employees. Consequently, these management skills need to be cultivated before you even apply for the role.

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