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Staff Development Strategies for Franchisees

So, you finally bought that franchise business you have been considering for years. At last, you have a business of your own, and you’re delighted not to be behind that desk on the 24th-floor shuffling papers. Owning a franchise can be remarkably satisfying, but many puzzle pieces need to be joined together before you embark on what can become a lucrative business venture.

One of the biggest perks of owning a franchise is that the franchise corporation usually offers the franchisees and head staff corporate training at their headquarters, but core training issues almost always require in-house development and on-site instruction in addition.

The Operations Manual

Because the operations manual must include all legally binding compliance standards, the manual needs to be created by the franchisor and follow all franchise agreements. Additionally, it should be written as if the franchisee has had no experience in the franchise’s industry. 

Examples of topics that cover every step of the business’ establishment and must be included in the manual are:

  • choosing a site
  • acquiring a federal tax identification number
  • executing sound business practices
  • explaining business operations
  • defining standards of performance

Leaders in the field of training employees suggest that it is an excellent idea to hire professionals to assist in the production of the operations guidebook since its contents could determine whether or not the owner will have to face future court battles.

Creating Outstanding Training Programs

Training manuals, and even corporate training services, often do not approach employee training with an eye toward the knowledge and skill levels of the employees, or even the franchisees, being taught. An appropriate program will address the staff in a way that ensures that the least skilled among them will reach a level that represents the brand’s concept.

Corporate training allows managers and owners to meet the corporate staff, take part in engaging and interactive classroom training, and address daily operations, insurance requirements, the history of the franchise, and more.

Next, onsite training sessions of several days or even weeks should take place and include:

  • understanding the franchisee’s needs
  • meeting the needs of the employees individually
  • allowing for the assistance of a corporate opening team
  • administering a final exam after the training process
  • ongoing testing of written and practical procedures

Establishing Ongoing Training

To keep staff members on their toes, it is essential to require continuing certification. The employees will need refreshers on new products, new services, and procedure changes. Although making time for training sessions is difficult for the franchise owner due to the downtime that interrupts sales, But, Mark Siebert, writing for Entrepreneur, explained why ongoing training is essential:

I tell the franchisor to imagine they are going on a cruise down the Amazon for a month. No cell phones. No internet. And then I ask them, “How much training would you want someone to have if you were going to let them run your company store for that month without you?” Add startup training (site selection, lease negotiation, etc.) to that number, and you’ll be getting close to an adequate initial training requirement.

Thus, it seems to be the intersection of the three aforementioned areas (creating an operations manual, establishing outstanding training programs, and maintaining ongoing training programs) that seems to govern the health and efficacy of your franchise. While the aforementioned does not preclude other staff development strategies conventionally used in other industries, nor those used in non-franchise restaurants (such as the typical, family-owned location), we firmly believe that the three concepts outlined above will pave the way for your franchise’s prosperity and health.

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