A quality staff is paramount to successful franchise operations. Motivated employees can help boost sales, create a relaxed, yet productive workplace, and alleviate some of the stress associated with operating a small business. But in order for this to work, the motivation needs to start from the top. Here are a few ways to boost employee productivity at the unit-level.
Eliminate Productivity Roadblocks
First, you need to identify these motivation killers. You have to remember it's not about cramming as much as possible into an employee's day or having them tackle every single thing at once. More times than not, employees will get derailed by this chaotic approach and burn out. After all, we're human. The misconception about being productive is that it's being crazy out-of-your-mind busy. But the truth is being productive means spending time on the right things and seeing them through to completion.
Lead By Example
Great leadership takes strength of character to do the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reasons. If your team can't trust you, then you're probably never going to lead them to greatness. Whether you realize it or not, as a leader, your employees are watching every move you make. It's usually not because there is a lack of trust or they are overly suspicious. The reason they are watching is because they want to make sure that what you say, and what you do, are the same thing.
If you want to gain the trust and confidence of your employees (which is probably something you want to do) then you must lead by example. James Harmer, a franchisee with Lenny’s Subs
, said you must set the example for staff in order to prove to members of your team that their trust is well placed in you.
“The work environment needs to be fun, yet professional. An employee has to want to be there and enjoy coming to work in order to be productive,” Harmer said. “As a franchisee, you have to be willing to do every job you ask your employees to do even if it means cleaning the restrooms, wiping tables or jumping behind the register when things are busy or you are shorthanded.”
Hold Staff Meetings
Despite the daily volume of email, phone calls, memos and notices, regular staff meetings are still one of the most effective ways for employees of a franchised unit to exchange information, get feedback, plan, collaborate and make the important decisions that affect the trajectory of the business. Regular staff meetings can serve as reminder to employees that there is more going on across the unit than their own issues and deadlines. Another benefit to regular meetings is to create opportunities for different layers within your organization to align around current priorities and business goals.
Franchise business owners are constantly dealing with two core staffing issues - how to attract the best employees and how to retain them. Every franchisee wants well-rounded, thoughtful and capable staff operating their units. However wanting and receiving are two completely different things. So how do you build the team you need? In order to push employees to perform at a high level, franchisees need to be proactive in creating opportunities for team members to excel, and then reward them for when they do.
Deal with Toxic Employees
An employee's most important job is to bring value to a franchise location. Great employees go the extra mile, bring new opportunities to the table and provide value not only to the franchisee, but also to co-workers and customers as well. However, toxic employees are the complete opposite. They're disruptive, distracting and can affect the bottom line while crippling employee morale and unit performance. When it comes to toxic employees, you basically have two choices. You can either eliminate them from your organizational chart altogether, or develop a plan that can put them back on the path to success. In the end, trust your instincts, document everything and prepare yourself to do what's necessary in order for your business to thrive.