Running a franchise business is no easy task. As a business model, it has allowed some of the world’s largest food services brands to expand exponentially — for example, Subway has more than 40,000 stores worldwide, 7-Eleven has more than 50,000 and Mcdonald’s more than 36,000. With that comes an array of internal workforce challenges that occur at both the franchise and franchisee level — ranging from inefficient communications through to inconsistent service qualities — all of which pose huge pressure on operational output, employee engagement levels, brand quality and ultimately the overall success of the business. Because of that, businesses are realizing the importance of introducing an internal employee tool to connect and streamline the operations and communications across the entire network. Here are some of the benefits:
It streamlines communications at all levels
With a hugely dispersed workforce across all franchisees, it’s extremely challenging to communicate from headquarters to the various branches, as well as within and across the branches themselves. This is particularly important for company-wide announcements and, without an effective tool, often leaves frontline staff out of the loop on key updates. With a mobile-first employee platform, everyone can have access to an array of communication channels that connect them in real-time. In doing so, franchise owners can immediately address concerns or share updates without needing to write lengthy emails that are easily lost in an inbox, are often ignored and are not accessible by everyone.
It ensures quality consistency
It can be challenging to ensure the quality of operations and service provided at each franchisee’s store meets the overall brand standards, and with them being so dispersed around the world, it’s extremely impractical to do physical visits and check ups. Without this visibility, companies risk customer dissatisfaction and damage to overall brand reputation due to inconsistent standards of quality. One powerful solution is a centralized employee app that provides an accessible and up-to-date knowledge-base as a guide to running independent franchises successfully. By putting updated training manuals and SOPs in one place, staff can easily refer to these materials whenever they need to. Dynamic e-learning features, such as digital polls and quizzes, are also especially useful in testing staff knowledge on a regular basis.
It boosts company culture and inclusivity
In an industry that puts value on excellent customer service, low employee engagement is a significant problem that needs to be addressed by both franchise-owners and franchisees. Demotivated staff will not provide adequate service to your customers, which can be bad for the brand and its reputation. With the right workplace technology, franchisors can drive engagement through dynamic ways such as the enhanced training methods, stronger communications and better visibility that we’ve already mentioned. On top of that, the right tools can help to foster a system-wide employee recognition program, where managers and team leads can publically and instantly recognize outstanding staff and appreciate their hard work. The positive company culture will resonate to attract more customers for the brand.
It helps form a stronger network of franchisees
One of the key challenges for a franchise business is the ability to create a smooth and dynamic network of franchisees that work together and support each other operationally, rather than functioning as standalone business units. With a single employee platform rolled out to every single franchisee and branch around the world, these individual stores (and the employees working in them) now have a way to reach out to one another in real-time through one shared platform. In the event of any cross-store or regional level support needed, teams can send each other real-time digital workflows or create communities for advice sharing. In turn, the franchise strengthens as one operational unit.