As a franchise owner, your greatest asset is your staff. Along with your customers, these are the people who can best help you realize your dream of owning a successful business. Your employees are an extension of yourself, and they ensure that the daily operations of your business run smoothly even when you’re not there to oversee every detail.
Hiring and managing employees is an involved process that requires your full attention, especially when you’re first starting out. Although it can feel intimidating at first, the hiring and managing process does not have to be complicated. It can be broken down into four basic parts: 1) Interviewing, 2) Training, 3) Work Environment, and 4) Employee Incentives.
1. Interviewing Prospective Employees
The reason you are interviewing is because you have a need in your business that can only be met by hiring another employee. Your objective when interviewing prospective employees should always be to hire the best possible candidate for the job. Ideas for making this process go smoothly include:
- Create a job description that identifies the most important qualifications your ideal candidate should possess. Include salary and benefit information.
- Collect résumés of prospective employees through such avenues as employment agencies, trade journals, newspapers, the Internet, and through networking. Go through the résumés and select the ones with the best qualifications.
- Be prepared with questions to ask during the actual interview. Review the information listed on the résumé to verify its accuracy. Listen carefully to how each person answers your questions, and observe if they have a positive and professional attitude.
- Before making your final selection, let representatives of the franchisor or some of your key employees (particularly those who would be working with the new employee) interview the candidate. Don’t rush your decision. Choosing the best person for the job is important to the success of your business.
2. Training New Employees
Once you’ve hired your new employee, the next thing you need to do is train that person. This involves giving clear instructions that detail what you expect from them. The objective is to train an employee to fulfill the needs of the business. In a franchise, you are imparting the training you received from the franchisor along with your own personal experience and expertise. Training ideas include:
- Allow employees on-the-clock reading time to familiarize themselves with the business’s operations manual and other key reference materials.
- Give specific examples as to how you want things done (a model of good performance). After you demonstrate something to your employees, have them repeat it under your supervision to show that they have understood. Be clear as to what you expect from them.
- Don’t overwhelm people. Have a training program that lets employees assimilate information and tasks at a gradual and steady rate rather than expecting them to remember everything the first day.
- Provide ongoing training to your employees so that they are continually getting better at their jobs.
3. Setting Up an Optimum Work Environment
Strive to provide your employees with an environment that is conducive for work, both physically and mentally. Ideas for this include:
- Set up a work environment that is physically comfortable — clean space, good lighting, comfortable temperature, equipment that works, reasonable noise levels.
- Set realistic employee goals. If you push your employees too hard, they’ll resent you. One way to keep everyone focused is by scheduling morning meetings that outline the work agenda for that day.
- Foster an attitude where everyone works for the good of the company because everyone benefits from its success.
- Maintain a good relationship with your employees. Minimize conflict between management and employees.
- Be sure to praise employees when they do a good job.
- Schedule regular group meetings that keep employees informed about how the company is doing.
4. Incentive Programs for Employees
Give your employees something to work toward and they may just surprise you with their hard work and dedication. Ideas for incentives include:
- Set up group incentives rather than individual incentives. In this way, everyone will reap the benefits of the business’s success, and they will encouragement and push each other to do a better job.
- Give employees regular evaluations of their job performance, including what they must improve upon in order to advance. Balance critiques with praise.
- Make your business a place where people want to work — be sure to reward employees for a job well done with proper compensation, opportunity for advancement, and flexibility in regards to their requests for time off and vacations.
For more helpful articles on hiring employees, visit our informative Recruiting & Hiring section.