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When researching how to sell a franchise, one of the first items you will stumble across is the importance of being able to offer a highly skilled team to your successor. However, this can be difficult to realize if your business is nothing more than a pit stop for your employees.
Unfortunately, retaining employees is more difficult than ever, with some 38 million workers quitting their jobs in 2021. The “Great Resignation” has been felt particularly acutely in franchises, many of whom have a poor track record of treating their employees well.
Therefore, if you are a franchise owner looking to buck this troubling trend, the following are 5 ways to incentivize your employees to help attract and retain top talent.
Table of contents
1. Flex Work Times
The shift to remote/hybrid work has changed the business landscape in innumerable ways. One of these is the way it has influenced employee habits. Given a taste of working from home, employees have fallen in love with the advantages of not having to fight a daily commute and being able to fit in their work responsibilities around their personal lives.
While a strict work-from-home schedule is not feasible for service-related franchises, business owners must find ways to incorporate the advantages of a remote schedule into their employee plans or risk losing them to employers who offer more flexibility. One creative way to do this is to schedule flex work times into employee schedules. For example, give employees the option to use the first or last two hours of each day as work-from-home windows, a time to answer emails, or get caught up on any administrative tasks that do not require their physical presence.
2. Recognize Outstanding Performance
Positive reinforcement goes a long way. In any walk of life, people love hearing that they are valued and appreciated. When recognizing performance in your franchise business, you are much likely to establish employee loyalty.
However, archetypal employee-of-the-month programs are no longer the best means of employee recognition. Many employees are uncomfortable being recognized as “superior” to others they feel are deserving, while those snubbed for monthly honors can harbor resentment if they feel like they are not being given their fair due.
As such, some better ways for recognizing outstanding performance in 2022 include:
- Hand written cards from management or other members of the team
- Lunch on the firm
- Social media shoutouts for those employees “caught” killing it
- “Just because” days off
3. Signing Bonuses
Given the recent labor shortage, signing bonuses are not a novel concept. Just drive down Main Street of any decent-size town and you are sure to see banners and billboards reading “Now Hiring: Competitive Signing Bonus.”
However, giving employees cash for signing a contract will not guarantee retention. Signing bonuses must be offered only after a thorough recruitment process has been conducted.
“When looking for your ideal employee, make sure that you pick the ones whose work ethic and values perfectly align with yours. This will make attaining the goals of the company more streamlined and cohesive.” ~ Sam Willis, Business Writer and Contributor at Raincatcher.
When these ideal candidates have been identified, the signing bonus can be a major factor in guaranteeing their loyalty, as bought-in employees will be hesitant to defect from a company that made an up-front investment in them.
4. Lifestyle Benefits
Everyone knows the importance of competitive benefits in attracting and retaining talent. In fact, 30% of professionals state that they would be willing to accept less pay to work for a business that offered superior health and retirement benefits.
However, compensation packages cannot be limited to these fringe benefits in 2022. The dynamic of the modern household has shifted dramatically from where it was at the turn of the century, featuring working parents, non-traditional relationships, and the pursuit of higher levels of education.
As a result, some benefits that will appeal to the modern workforce include:
- Paid and convenient childcare for in-person employees
- Tuition reimbursement
- Gym and health club memberships
- Subscriptions to online streaming services
5. Invest in Their Training and Advancement
Fair or not, working for a franchise can sometimes be stigmatized as a dead-end job. Work for the corporate monster long enough and one day eventually get promoted to management for a marginal increase in pay.
Therefore, as a franchise owner, it is important that you take initiative in actively investing in your employees’ career advancement. Offer regular training so that employees are at the vanguard of technological innovations in your industry. Encourage and facilitate your employees’ move to better opportunities. Serve as a reference and resource for your past employees on their career journey. By having an outstanding track record of cultivating professional success, you will be in a better position to attract and retain top talent.
Be Creative When Incentivizing Franchise Employees
Employees have greater choice than ever over when and for whom they work in 2022. As such, it can be difficult to attract and retain top talent. Therefore, if you are a franchise business owner, implementing flex work times, recognizing outstanding performance, adroitly implementing signing bonuses, including lifestyle benefits, and investing in career advancement are 5 creative ways to incentivize employees and improve retention.
About the Author:
Sam Willis is a business and finance writer that focuses on helping small business owners increase the value of their business. He specializes in topics related to business valuation, business management and business acquisitions.