Redefining Culture in Your Franchise Holdings
Okay, so you’ve put a lot of thought into your business decisions since entering into a franchise agreement, but have you given much consideration to what kind of workplace you want to be? Culture exists at every organization as a product of the values, mission, and vision of the company, along with the environment created by the choices made by leadership. Although workforce culture is in many ways set by the franchisor, you can make intentional choices as a franchisee which reflect your local community, support your team, and can shape the culture in your favor.
Understand franchisor expectations first
To lay a strong foundation for positive culture in your franchise holdings, first work on understanding the expectations your franchisor is setting. What are their mission and vision statements, and how does the company put those words into actions? While you can’t stray too far from the culture set by the company, remember that franchising is largely about creating decentralized, more independent units. Take advantage of this arrangement by finding and focusing on the aspects of company culture and values that are most significant to your team. Is it sustainability? Making a difference in the local community? Creative thinking? Figure what encourages your employees to feel engaged and be their best, and focus on fostering an environment champions these ideals.
Lead by example, especially in your franchisor's culture
Next, lead by example. Culture is not something that can be faked. Don’t just talk the talk, show your employees that you walk the walk too. This means holding yourself to the same standards you set for others, and following through on your goals and promises. Additionally, providing help and support whenever possible can really go a long way. Your employees should see your commitment to the team, your recognition of areas of difficulty, and your desire for everyone to succeed. If a rising tide lifts all ships, then being proactive can create a culture of positivity, productivity, and motivation.
Beyond just being supportive of their struggles, showing your team that you care also means fostering an environment of engagement and respect. Openness and trust can have a major impact on culture. Be approachable. No workplace is going to be free of negativity, but an environment where employees feel comfortable coming to leadership with their problems is far less likely to breed resentment and dissatisfaction. An open-door policy can allow you to not only keep your finger on the pulse of the mood/attitude in your franchise holdings, but also to take active steps to turn problems into positive changes.
Good company culture results in driven employees. Motive your employees by showing that you are interested in their career development. Recognize and support talent. Value individual thinkers who come forward with ideas and innovative approaches to the work. An engaged and motivated workplace is one where employees feel that their voices and actions are valued by the company, where they are active participants in the company’s success, and where they can see a future for themselves.
Regardless or what franchisor you work with, reward results
Finally, reward good work. You can find ways to celebrate achievement and show appreciation to your team through rewards like events for employees, special days, and the like. However, be aware that these freebies (free lunches, dress-down days, team parties) are not a patch or remedy for poor leadership. Use them carefully as a show of appreciation and an opportunity to build connections among your team, but be aware that the larger culture is shaped with your actions and the support you provide. Listen to your employees and make an effort to understand what they value in their jobs, and respond to this feedback with perks that influence retention. Does your team value flexibility in their schedules? Social connections? Room for creativity and collaboration? Attracting and retaining good employees is largely a matter of making them feel excited by the company and valued by leadership.
There is no quick fix for creating positive company culture. It cannot be willed into existence, but instead must be built through deliberate choices and effort. Although you may be limited by the terms of your franchise agreement, by paying attention to the values of your company and the things that motivate your team, you can make informed decisions to shape the culture of your franchise holdings in a positive way.
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