The last two years has caused a significant amount of stress for those who operate in the education industry. And with this academic year largely focusing on wellbeing, it is important that franchise owners who operate in the education industry are taking care of their own wellbeing and managing their emotions. Here, Frank Milner, the global president of the in-home and online tutoring franchise, Tutor Doctor, explains why now is the perfect time to consider how to effectively manage emotions as a business owner operating in the education industry.
Studies produced throughout the pandemic have shown us that 82% of educators (1) and 52% of small business owners (2) describe themselves as stressed. These are incredibly alarming statistics for those of us who not only play a part in students’ education but own a business in the education space. And with a larger focus than ever on our mental health and wellbeing, it is an incredibly important time for business owners to develop strategies in order to provide a positive educational experience to students in need of our services.
It often gets overlooked – especially in conversations about stress and emotion management – but supporting and nurturing those in your network is one of the most effective ways to alleviate stress associated with management and owning a business. An employee who feels valued and nurtured means better productivity, less staff turnover, more specialist knowledge, a collective responsibility for your business’s success and a strong reputation in your industry. As Richard Branson once said, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.”
One of the most important elements that has contributed to Tutor Doctor’s franchisees remaining not only buoyant but also incredibly successful during the pandemic is the fact that they encourage and develop their autonomy and entrepreneurial flair. Our franchisees have an array of expertise, both in their local knowledge in their respective franchise territories and in what unique experience they can bring to our diverse global network. Considering this, one of the most important lessons of the pandemic in learning how to manage our emotions was to continue supporting or boosting their entrepreneurial sprits and not to get caught up on the minor details.
Have an open-door policy
Being an open and transparent leader is the perfect formula to manage your emotions and your teams effectively, and it is also an important step towards creating a well-oiled and stress-free environment. Being a business owner who is prepared to listen to your employees and their input is not only a demonstration of trust but also gives those in your team more responsibility to show you that they are committed to the brand’s success. Allowing those in your network this responsibility will also show that they remain committed to educating at a high standard, which in turn will lift additional pressures you may be feeling from the operational side of your franchise.
Don’t forget self-care
Stress can take a physical and mental toll, with anxiety, isolation, fear and burnout all common in those suffering from high levels of stress. That is why it is imperative not to lose sight of looking after yourself. The education industry is ever-changing, and it is therefore very easy to become lost in its very large rabbit-hole. So, making sure you are taking time in your professional life to reset and relax will help you to manage your emotions effectively. According to a 2020 study by a team of scientists at Cornell University, spending just 10 minutes in a “natural setting” could have the potential to make us feel happier and lessen the effects of our mental and physical stress (3).
Frank summarises, “The education industry is an incredibly exciting sector to be a part of. But that doesn’t mean it’s a stress-free experience. Being responsible for enriching the lives of students who need additional help is a privilege we’re incredibly proud of as a global network, but this can’t be achieved without being calm and collected industry leaders. Projecting wellbeing onto others creates an environment students feel comfortable to learn in and tutors feel comfortable to teach in, and encouraging autonomy and allowing the experts to truly use their expertise is a vital element towards creating a positive environment as a community.”
1Education Support, 2021, How to handle stress: teachers & education staff
2Sean Peek, 2022, Stress Management Key to Keeping Business (and Owner) Alive
3Lauren Geall, 2021, Burnout: why spending 10 minutes in nature could be the key to keeping your stress levels under control