What Builds Franchise Success? Ongoing Training for Every Employee and Franchisee
If you ask a dozen franchise executives and franchisees, you'll probably get a dozen answers to what builds success. Some will talk about focusing on finding the greatest franchise owners and helping to finance their investment. Others will speak of the importance of having a compelling product to sell, or ensuring that every new franchise opens in only the optimal locations.
And those people are right. Those considerations--and others--play a big role in determining how quickly a franchise concept grows, how much money owners can earn, how a franchise can stay competitive in a crowded marketplace, and more. I would like to offer a different opinion, based on my many years in franchising.
Training is the most important thing that franchise companies should focus on at every stage of their development. Why do I know that training can play such an outsize role in helping franchises succeed quickly and well? I could point to research, and there is a lot of it.
To cite just one example, a survey of 1,500 Millennials and younger workers found that training is their top concern when they are looking for jobs ("The Millennial Study" by Accel + qualtrics, 2018). If you are a franchisor, you know that Millennials and younger individuals make up the biggest percentage of your owners and their teams. And remember, members of all generations value training. Training provides assurance and shows that your company values your employees enough to invest in them.
Let's look at some of the reasons training strengthens your franchise and helps it grow.
- Training makes it easier to attract and keep great owners and employees. If you provide training that is better than what other franchises offer, you are going to attract more franchise owners. And, after those people buy into your system, the promise of great training will help them attract and hire better employees.
- Employees who are growing stay longer. When employees are continually learning new skills and discovering better ways to do their jobs, they will stay longer. Training is the most effective way to satisfy their appetite for knowledge and growth.
- Well-trained employees are more worth keeping. Companies let employees go when they are not performing their jobs effectively. But before you let your next underperforming employee go, perhaps you should ask, "Have we trained this individual to do their job well?" It sounds obvious, but you will have to replace fewer employees if you simply train them to do their jobs better.
- Great training improves your Net Promoter Score. When prospective new franchise owners call your current franchisees to ask, "Is this a good franchise to buy?" you want your current owners to tell them, "It sure is. I got up to speed and became successful fast because of the great support this company provides." And how is that support demonstrated? In great training.
What types of training are best?
Virtually all training improves employee satisfaction, competence, and retention. However, let me call special attention to these six forms of training. Are you putting them to good use?
- Skills-based training, which teaches people to do their jobs better. Continue to deliver this training over time. The more people are learning, the better they become at doing their jobs--and the more eager they are to continue to work for you.
- Systems training, which teaches franchise owners every aspect of using all your systems.
- Training during onboarding, which makes new owners and their employees feel part of your team, reduces their anxieties, and convinces owners and employees that they have joined the right franchise.
- Motivational success training, which offers a forum for franchise owners to connect and share the solutions they've found.
- Marketing training, which teaches franchise owners the latest and most effective ways to sell and empowers them to earn more income.
- Developmental training that teaches current owners how to increase business volume, acquire additional locations, and grow in other ways.
Training is much more than something that teaches people "how to do things." It is the lifeblood and future of your franchise. Training gives your company a bright, bright future. Through training you will thrive because your workforce will consist of committed employees who are growing, motivated, and who love being part of your company.
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