Have you noticed a dip in your franchisees’ motivation levels? Are they bringing the excitement and commitment to your opportunity that they pledged when you first exchanged contracts? From setting realistic goals to sending happy mail, Cheryl White, founder of the Mercury Franchise School Ltd, reveals four ways to help disconnected franchisees to rediscover their focus:
Setting realistic targets
When someone perceives that they are unlikely to accomplish something, their motivation levels nosedive. A goal that is well within your reach doesn’t inspire excitement or radical action. The best targets, therefore, feel both achievable and stretching.
Where that sweet spot is will differ from person to person, so you (or another senior figure within your franchise) will need to sit down with each franchisee to assess where they are now, and to agree a series of realistic targets for the coming 12 months.
Be sure to lead with praise for your franchisee – acknowledging current or past successes – and to recognise their strengths, as well as taking the time to emphasise how much you value their contribution and role in achieving your franchise’s bigger mission.
Things to discuss include skills gaps that need to be addressed through supervision or training; changes to personal circumstances – warranting your kindness and support; and money that is being left on the table in terms of untapped business potential.
Co-creating a plan that is designed to move your franchisee forward can reenergise someone who is ‘phoning it in’ or who has gradually lost their spark.
Offering a collective support system
Operating a franchise can feel isolating, particularly if you are geographically located far from company headquarters or the nearest occupied territory. Left to their own devices, your franchisees may begin to feel disconnected from the brand and its identity. Your operating ‘Bible’ may also feel more like a rough guide than the binding Code of Practice it should be! Plus, there are missed opportunities for recognition or reward, or to share on-the-job learning.
If that collective support system is missing, think about how to gather your franchisees together in a structured way. At Apollo Care, for example, we are introducing round tables online each month, where our franchisees can meet virtually and chat through their ideas or seek any support they might need. WhatsApp groups or other Instant Messaging services foster a timely sense of connection or, where practically possible, arrange in-person meet-ups. Speaking of which…
Organising social activities
Prior to COVID-19, team-building days were often perceived as something of a chore. But, ever since the pandemic, people in general are craving more in-person connection. If you have relied on Zoom and Microsoft Teams to ‘gather the troops’ these past few years, now is the time to explore whether you can take that interaction offline.
From easing tension to boosting morale, sharing knowledge to offering emotional support, the myriad benefits of socialising with colleagues are well-evidenced. So, to motivate your franchisees, plan an opportunity for them to network in person and create franchisee-to-franchisee support systems that will sustain them – alongside the overarching input from your corporate team.
Sending happy mail!
As founders, we are sometimes guilty of keeping our ‘future thinking’ close to our chests – forgetting to share our plans with our franchisees. Having positive things to look forward to is a proven motivational tool – and one that is easy to implement. Commit to sending your franchisees regular ‘happy mail’ – positive missives that land in their inboxes to inspire, delight or ignite. This could include sharing your plans for 2024; details of social meet-ups and award ceremonies; or fun challenges to bring a sense of adventure to their working day.
To become a franchisee is to sign up for a marathon, not a sprint. After the smoke from the starting gun has dissipated, and the roar of the crowd has died down, there will be natural dips in motivation… Moments where a well-timed encouraging word, milestone marker passed, or the promise of a reward makes all the difference. Use my tips to give your franchisees a welcome burst of energy, so they can keep striving for success and find fulfilment along the way.