Here’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot but is not altogether helpful for most franchise brands:
‘Hindsight is 20/20.’
If that’s the rule, then you’re doomed to make mistakes without being able to effectively assess and address them until some far off point in the future. By that time, who knows whether those faults and undesirable behavior will have calcified – become well-worn habits and a symbol of your franchise brand’s culture?
A far more useful piece of advice that predates the previous one by a few thousand years goes like this:
‘An unexamined life is not worth living.’
Thank you, Plato. It’s a rallying cry against ‘business as usual.’ To lead a meaningful life is to constantly take a critical eye to how you’re living. It’s something that franchise brands need to embrace if they want to get a full portrait of their brand’s culture and its impact on how your system – and each franchise location – operates.
Taking the magnifying glass to operations at both the corporate level and the franchise levels may be a monumental task depending on how large your system is.
Undergoing a step-by-step approach makes self-examination a bit more manageable. Beginning with the corporate franchise brand is a good starting point.
What should you look for? Here are three signs that your franchise brand may be in need of a culture facelift:
- Lack of trust among the ranks: In other words, if there’s a recurring theme of ‘it’s my way or the highway‘ when members of the corporate team propose ideas, it’s likely your brand’s culture is in trouble. Today’s businesses operate on the assumption that people at various levels work bring different aptitudes and skill sets to the table. Forcing everyone to conform to one standard during brainstorming or decision-making process will stunt creative output.
- Employee churn is the rule instead of the exception: The impact high employee churn rates have on company morale isn’t given enough attention in many businesses today. When it’s normal for your team members to leave within 6 – 12 months of their hire date, there’s a clear issue with culture. Employees who don’t feel valued and get the impression that they’re easily replaceable won’t dedicate themselves to helping the brand success and prosper.
- A lack of enthusiasm among franchisees: The only way your franchise brand can grow and flourish is through the hard work and dedication of your franchisees. If you’re noticing an influx of complaints and a general lack of enthusiasm among franchise owners for the brand, it’s likely you need to take a stark look at the brand’s culture at the corporate level. Franchisees who don’t fall in line with the mission of your franchise brand aren’t going to be a benefit to themselves or your system.
Changing Your Brand’s Culture
If after taking an inventory, you find that your brand is not in line with your hopes, then it’s time to make a change. The first step to fixing a problem is admitting there is one and then getting everyone on board to make it better. A cultural change may be gradual, but it has to begin from the top.
For more information on how you can build a better franchise team and workplace, download our ultimate guide by clicking on one of the links below (either the Franchisee or Franchisor edition).