Employee Motivation

Tips and techniques for getting the most out of hourly workers

Your hourly employees…they're the face of your franchise business. They greet and serve customers and are essentially the cornerstone of your customer service efforts. So it only makes sense that if you've gone to the effort to recruit right that you would want to make sure that you keep those top employees happy and motivated. You might be surprised how poorly some franchise operators actually are when it comes to motivating their hourly employees.

Every organization has its share of overachievers and underachievers and franchising is no different. But one of the secrets to operating a successful franchise year after year creating an environment where a core group of employees share your vision and buy into what you're doing. Do this and you're on your way to not only getting the most out of your employees, but getting the most out of your franchise business.

Money is always one of the first topics of discussion when it comes to motivating employees. But chances are, as a franchise business operator, you've only got so much that you can devote to wages. Pay as well as you can and then look for other ways to "compensate" employees.

One good technique is to have every employee complete an employee rewards checklist. Just create a simple checklist that gives each employee the opportunity to rate the kinds of things that motivate them. It might include money, gift cards/certificates, additional responsibility, more training opportunities, and written or verbal affirmation, among other things). Armed with this knowledge, you can now customize your incentive arsenal to each employee based on what they've told you motivates them most.

One good strategy is to look for other local businesses that you might trade products or coupons with. Say you operate a fast food or quick casual franchise, look for a nearby movie theater that might be interested in trading food/coupons for movie passes. Now you have something to offer above and beyond your hourly pay constraints. When employees go above and beyond the call of duty, reward them with a couple of movie passes. Incentives can help create higher expectations and more motivated employees.

Here's another strategy. Chances are your hourly employees are going to need time off on occasion. Make it a point to create a culture where that's possible. You may have a lot of high school students who are involved in sports or other extracurricular activities. Be prepared for this and be able to move work schedules around to accommodate these requests. Maybe you even have to work a shift yourself. What better way to set an example of sacrifice and dedication for your crew.

Parties and public recognition are other tried and true ways that have been proven to motivate employees. Christmas/holiday/seasonal parties offer a great chance to recognize employees through awards and recognition. These get-togethers also can allow employees to spend time away from the business and have some fun while they're at it. Don't skimp on prizes and contests.

Make time to visit with - and more importantly - listen to your employees. Encourage feedback. Be open with your goals, expectations, and objectives.

The key to motivating hourly employees is to let them know that you appreciate them and to identify ways to encourage them. As a franchisee, it's so very important to be committed to your employees. Demonstrate a willingness to take care of and sacrifice for the very people that can make or break your operation.

Expect the very best from your employees and you may just be surprised with what you get. Likewise, expect the worst and you'll meet your expectations. Be authentic. Your attitude and enthusiasm will breed a like-minded culture.

Next time we will look at motivating your management level employees.

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23.5: Unit Managers

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