Employees are the core foundation of the franchising world and unfortunately, poor workplace culture can doom even the most cutting-edge franchise. Franchising is all about delivering a consistent guest experience across all locations; however, if certain locations suffer from a toxic work culture, this impacts guest experience and the level of quality the brand delivers.
If you want your business to excel across all locations, you must be able to identify performance problems before they begin. A toxic work culture can lead to unhappy employees, decreased productivity and ultimately jeopardize franchise consistency making it difficult to retain customers and scale your business.
Detecting and controlling workplace culture is often a major pain point for franchisees, but rest assured that there are tactics to minimize or eliminate culture issues affecting your business.
Establish open employee communication.
Poor communication can be detrimental to any business. According to the Corporate Leadership Council, employees who are committed and engaged at work perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave their current company. Open communication is one clear way to increase employee engagement. The first step when implementing open communication is to ensure that management is committed to and understands their role in employee communication. This allows managers to recognize gaps in engagement and signs of miscommunication. Franchisees can take this one step further by investing in a workplace management software that supports managers in this effort by tracking engagement on announcements, messages, policies and more.
Analyze turnover rates.
In many cases, turnover rates can be dependent on the industry, but they can also indicate a toxic work culture. When multiple employees depart in short periods of time or within the first few months of joining the team, consider this a red flag.
When dealing with high turnover rates, it is important to take a deeper look at a location’s management style. An easy and effective way to this is through exit interviews or surveys. Responses such as “poor management” can mean many things, from simple communication issues to more serious conflicts in personality. Identifying the turnover rates and the reasons are key to remedying the issue early.
Implement regular store visits and coaching.
As a multi-unit franchisee, it can be nearly impossible to have your eyes on each location at once; however, it’s crucial to have regular contact with your management teams to keep brand standards up to par. Employees are 23% more likely to stay at a company if their role and responsibilities are clearly explained. Outside of regular team communication, management can benefit from monthly or quarterly coaching sessions to clearly outline objectives, responsibilities and brand expectations. This feedback loop and on-going coaching opportunity instills motivation across management teams and creates a more productive workplace.
Utilize micro surveys.
Anonymous surveys can be a great way to touch base with employees and get a better understanding of the work culture at each location. Anonymity is crucial in micro surveys to ensure accurate insights. An employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a tool that is often used to assess employee loyalty. These scores can analyze employee engagement and employee experience, which feed directly into workplace culture. The simplicity and easily digestible format of an eNPS helps multi-unit franchisees efficiently track improvements or lack of improvements over time, making it a beneficial long-term tool.
By putting these expectations in place, franchisees and managers can create a work culture that encourages positive relationships, thus a more cohesive work environment.