Striking out on your own with a franchise business is an effective way to build your cachet as an entrepreneur, but it’s not without its challenges. You’ve decided on a financial strategy, raised the capital, found the perfect location, and rounded up all the equipment you need to get your business off the ground—but that’s just the beginning.
Once the grand launching has come and gone, your next priority would be to keep your business going for the long haul. Whether you work in the food or services industry, your employees play an important role in your franchise’s success. Here we look at a few essential management tips you can use to build a friendly but active workforce.
Cultivate a positive working environment
Because you are running a franchise, both you and your employees will have limitations in how you carry out your day-to-day business. To obtain the desired levels of productivity from your workers, create a comfortable environment that allows them to carry out their work smoothly and without problems.
We’re not just talking about a physically comfortable environment; your employees must also feel secure as far as their own personal safety and beliefs are concerned. If at any point your employee feels threatened by the office culture, it’s in your best interests to address this issue before things can get worse.
Be smart when handling conflict
No matter what industry you work in, you’re bound to run into some difficult personalities. When mediating between any kind of conflict in the workplace, make sure you keep an objective and professional stance. One rule of thumb to follow is to focus on the problem at hand without shaming or blaming other people.
If you are franchising from a renowned brand, check to see if they have their own code of ethics or in-house guidelines for conflict resolution. They may even have their own standard procedures you should follow during more sensitive cases.
Maintain open lines of communication
We’ve all heard that old adage: communication is key. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from the people you hired. You can prevent your franchise from turning into a toxic environment by granting your employees a channel through which they can air their concerns or grievances.
One employee may suggest an alternative provider of car insurance policy for your fleet of delivery vehicles. Another may come up with new ways to improve output through modern technology. By fostering better communication across different aspects of your franchise, you may even encourage your people to offer their own ideas to improve the business.
Be considerate of their needs
No boss can dictate their employees’ every move. Chances are you’ll have your share of employees from rough situations, who will require more of your understanding as an employer. Always approach these cases from a sensible and sympathetic point of view.
If you have an employee who’s a working student or a single parent, for example, you must acknowledge that their priorities will be different from your ideal. As long as they do their job well, there’s no harm in granting small concessions that can make their lives easier.
Set firm boundaries
Nobody wants to be remembered as the Boss from Hell, but you must also recognize the fine line between being kind and being a doormat. Every boss’s managerial style is different, and you must strike a balance between being friendly with your employees and leading them effectively.
To avoid misunderstandings, establish your standards for both performance and conduct from the very beginning. Be clear about your expectations from your employees, as well as the very real consequences of falling short.
Remember: You’re all working towards the same goal
In today’s economic climate, demanding utmost loyalty from employees can be unrealistic for some franchise owners. At the very least, however, you should instill in your workers a sense of accountability for their actions. This is especially vital if you’ll be employing young people fresh from college.
To drive this lesson home, the best thing you can do is try to lead by example. Show your employees the importance of taking initiative and working hard through your own actions. This way, you can create an office culture geared towards getting things done.
For any business enterprise to succeed, employer and employee alike must aim for a harmonious relationship where everybody performs their duties and strives to meet common goals. By working to improve the franchise as a whole, everybody else can reap the rewards of the business’s good profits.