How Do I Help My Franchisees Find and Retain Employees?
As you may know, our team at Angela Cote Inc hosts weekly roundtables for franchisors to collaborate and problem-solve in a peer-to-peer environment. In these virtual calls, we hear the real-time challenges that franchisors have (everything from fran dev strategies to what learning management system to use).
Over the last several years the overwhelming majority of brands have faced the SAME struggle when it comes to supporting their franchisees – helping franchisees find and retain employees.
The labor shortages and challenges around staffing can leave many franchisors feeling helpless and unsure of how to support their franchisees.
It can be difficult to know how to help or what approach to take – so I want to share some insights about how you as a franchisor can support your franchisees with how to find and retain employees.
Quick Disclaimer Before We Jump In…
I want to acknowledge that you need to take into consideration the joint employer threat (which you should look up if you don’t know what I’m talking about) and you’ll have to decide how you will weigh out the risk you take if you get involved in helping your franchisees with this particular challenge.
If in doubt – talk to your franchise attorney to get some legal counsel.
This is an Opportunity for Leadership
Whenever your franchisees are struggling it’s important to recognize those moments as an opportunity to show your franchisees that you are their partner.
It’s okay to admit you don’t have all the answers (being vulnerable and authentic is actually a great leadership quality!) as long as you also demonstrate that you will partner with them to problem solve the challenge at hand.
A great place to start is to show empathy and validate their concerns. As a business owner, franchisees can struggle with feelings of overwhelm or even isolation. It’s so valuable to hear that their concerns are real and that someone is listening.
(Even just saying the words “this must be hard” can be extremely validating).
The next step is to leverage the strength of a franchise brand – a group of people all running the same business!
Collaboration is Key
Anytime there is a common challenge that multiple franchisees are experiencing is a chance to bring your franchise owners together to brainstorm and explore solutions.
When people problem solve in a group, there’s always more chance of buy-in and feelings of empowerment to take action. Creating an opportunity for your franchisees to come together and problem solve together has more than one benefit…
- Get more creative ideas (not everyone thinks the same)
- Increases buy-in and excitement about taking action
- Less room for blame if one strategy doesn’t work as planned
- Creates a sense of community and trust
Collaboration to Find and Retain Employees
When you bring your franchisees together either in-person or virtually (Jam Board is a great free virtual collaboration tool) it’s super important to establish certain expectations and guidelines…
- Openness to new ideas (nothing is too far-fetched!)
- Give everyone a voice/chance to participate
- Wait to assess the ideas until the end
- Encourage outside-the-box thinking
You can do this kind of brainstorming individually with your franchisees, as a large group, or in breakout rooms.
This kind of problem-solving often leads to amazing new ideas and action steps, and when franchisees hear their fellow franchisees sharing ideas it empowers them to take action.
The Mom Pool
An example of a time this kind of collaborative problem solving worked well to solve the question of how to find and retain employees comes from Bonnie Paik of Finally Home Service…
During a collaborative session like the one outlined above, Bonnie shared that one of the best sources for employees they have found has come from what she calls the “mom pool”.
They have found that moms are incredibly smart, hard-working, and happy to stay long-term when their employer is willing to be flexible on timing and schedules. Being able to run their kids around as necessary is a big part of their incentive to stay with their employer.
No matter what your business is, there will always be a reason someone may be motivated to work and stay working for you – compensation is just one!
Flexibility, culture, education opportunities, proximity to their school or home… there are so many reasons someone would want to work for your brand! Discover those attractive qualities and highlight them in your hiring and retention strategies.
Did you enjoy this blog post? Looking for some more support in your franchise journey? You should try one of our roundtables for emerging and established franchisors.
The AC Roundtables are a free resource we offer franchisors who are seeking collaboration and peer-to-peer learning. We’ve been running these virtual roundtables since 2020 and we always love to have new franchisors join us!