Often there is a disconnect between the skill level of operations staff within franchise chains, and the needs of their franchisees. Here is a brief rundown on how to get improved performance out of your Operations Staff and hopefully see an improved performance in sales at the front line – where it counts. You will notice that all the points below fit ‘hand in glove’ and are not mutually exclusive.
- Pay Peanuts, Get Monkeys. I have observed that Operations Staff in many franchise chains are often the lowest paid in the company. Anyone who is happy to entertain a low salary or wage is hardly the candidate to inspire, lead, motivate or have the gravitas to coalesce franchisees into a real fighting force. I cannot expect the town bum to show me how to become a millionaire, and by the same nature, no one should expect lowly paid Operations Staff to perform miracles and outperform industry benchmarks.
- Choose people with the Right Experience. Choosing the right people with the right expertise means seeing them come up through the ranks – as previously successful franchisees turned Operations Staff. To incentivise a successful franchisee to come across to the Operations Team means to improve the salary structure of this group of people. After all, the money for the whole organization comes from the front line – the retail stores. To prevent ending up with ‘monkeys’ and to get the right type of person in your organisation, an incentive pay structure is best.
- Train them relentlessly. Just because they may be paid well, does not mean that they can be left to their own devices. All Operations Staff must be trained relentlessly in the art of Selling – not policing. Borrowing from the above cliché, any ‘monkey’ can use a tick and flick sheet and conduct store audits. What franchisees really need is the skills to generate ever increasing sales. This is easier said than done. Employees cannot be trained to be superb at this unless they have come from a successful retail background – as per point 2.
- Create a Sales Driven Culture. All too often Operations Staff are tasked with the job of minimising the operations expenses of their group of stores. The best way to reduce cost percentages is to ramp up sales of franchisee stores. The focus of head office staff and management should always be on driving up the ‘top line’. Again, having an Operations Team that ticks all the above points makes ticking this box much easier.
- Fashion an entrepreneurial Mindset. There is a vast chasm between being an employee and being an entrepreneur. Most Operations Staff are the former, and not too many are the latter. With the right mechanisms exposing operations staff to entrepreneurial thinking, these employees have a better chance of thinking like business owners. Like the adage ‘I think it, therefore I am’ this attitude or thinking cannot but help rubbing off on franchisees.