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The importance of employee retention

Written by Frank Milner on Thursday, 17 October 2019. Posted in People

No matter the state of the current economic landscape, or what sector you operate in, employee retention will always be a hot topic.

The importance of employee retention

No matter the state of the current economic landscape, or what sector you operate in, employee retention will always be a hot topic. Whether it’s your team at HQ or the employees of your franchisees themselves, retaining good staff is a challenge that all brands face. With the 2018 bfa NatWest Franchise survey revealing that there were over 700,000 people employed in franchising - up 14% since 2015 - it’s more important than ever to hold on to the good ones.  

Why does employee retention matter? Well, put it this way – as a franchisor, if a prospective franchisee sees that members of your head office or support team are constantly being replaced, they may start to get suspicious? They’ll more than likely ask questions about what could be happening to cause this. Worryingly, they may assume that it’s your brand’s culture, management style or integrity that’s at fault. And, unsurprisingly, that could be detrimental for the future of your franchise recruitment. Prospects need to know that they are going to be supported by a team that has lived and breathed the brand for a number of years. During their due diligence, potential franchisees will expect to find that your team is made up of professionals who have experienced, and overcome, most of the typical challenges they may well face in their first months and years.

For a franchisee in their own business, it’s even more crucial to retain your employees. Your customers will expect a sturdy team to assist them with any questions, queries or problems and if this isn’t in place then you’ll be faced with the same worried concerns. It’s important for your customers to feel supported by a workforce that is loyal as that’s usually one of the reasons that they keep coming back.

For those who operate a customer-facing service, or one that sees you enter a customer’s place of work or their home - think care, education or cleaning - consistency is key. Being able to provide a consistent service, where the same staff member or team conduct visits, is vital for building trust. A new face every day or week simply won’t cut it. Trust takes time to build, and so, the retention of your employees is one of the things that can turn a good business into a great one. 

Improving employee retention is something that the majority of franchisors get spot on. One of the biggest ways of helping people to love their work is by creating a culture that keeps them turning up every day. Of course, you’ve got to have the basics of good pay, a pleasant environment and a decent holiday allowance but it’s about so much more than that. These days, employees value flexibility, a sense of belonging and peer recognition as well as financial rewards. Some brands utilise flexible working hours and the option to work from home to great advantage. Fun days out and team lunches help build camaraderie and a sense of value and community within the workplace. You might even start an employee of the month award. These nuggets of appreciation will keep your team coming to and leaving work with smiles on their faces.

You might even think about going that one step further. As we’ve established, employees like to feel appreciated and there’s nothing that says ‘grateful’ more than a promotion. At Tutor Doctor Home Office, we prefer to promote a vacancy internally before offering it out to external prospects. The team feel like they have scope to make progress in their careers and can work towards moving up and developing their skills. I know all too well how important it is to keep the team within the company and value them.  

Ultimately, it’s a matter of empowerment. No matter whether you’re a franchisee or franchisor, by placing trust in your employees and providing them with the tools, the training and encouragement to succeed, they will become loyal, proficient brand ambassadors. Invest your time, energy and money into your team - not only will they be happier in their roles, but staff will be more satisfied with both the company and you as their leader. And, ultimately, they will do a better job and do it for longer.

About the Author

Frank Milner

Frank Milner

Having worked as a stock broker, built a successful insurance business, acted as a sales coach and then taken on a vice president role at WSI, the digital marketing franchise, Milner has an impressive and varied background in business, franchising, sales and marketing. In his current role as CEO of Tutor Doctor, the private tutoring franchise, he's seen the company grow globally to include 500 franchisees spread across the world, including the UK.

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