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Feature Story:

New Overtime Rule Compels Problems For Franchisees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The U.S. Department of Labor's new overtime law will force thousands of employers to shift the pay status of their employees from salaried to hourly and diminish their quality of work life, says the International Franchise Association (IFA). The group has previously expressed its concerns in comments to Department of Labor and meetings with Office of Management and Budget.
"Far from 'giving America a raise,' the new overtime rule will compel many franchise businesses to reduce their managers' take-home pay simply to comply with the extreme new salary level," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE. "The rule is unfair to employees who will need to be reclassified from exempt to non-exempt, and thus effectively demoted. The Administration irresponsibly failed to conduct any economic analysts of this rule's impact on myriad stakeholders and millions of employees will experience reduced take-home pay, opportunity and flexibility in the workplace as a consequence of the Administration's actions...

Feature Story:

Turning Today's Employees Into Tomorrow's Leaders »

By Jeff Bannon

One of the biggest challenges of business ownership is attracting good talent - but retaining them is even harder. As a multi-unit franchisee business owner, you look at your strong employees as future leaders. With changing demographics in the workplace creating generational diversity, how do you turn your current and future employees into leaders?
There are consistent core areas of leadership development necessary to turn employees into leaders, regardless of age and generational differences. Communication, commitment, recognition, and growth are requirements for helping your people to become leaders.

Communication: It is a skill that the potential future leader must have, but also an act of leadership that they expect from you...

Feature Story:

The 3 T's For Franchise Success »

By Chris Taylor

Higher customer expectations, lower brand loyalty, and pervasive consumer technology have created a dynamic landscape for companies looking to differentiate and win. But for today's franchisees, the ability to adapt will ultimately determine which locations thrive and which disappear.
In this ever-changing landscape, what sets the winners apart? I believe that today, franchise success depends on conquering the 3 Ts: Team, Tools, and Transparency.

Team
Historically, franchisees have underutilized a not-so-secret weapon - the field organization. The field holds major responsibility as they funnel information from corporate to individual franchise locations, yet today they are not being used effectively. District managers are poised to be advisors for your stores, so making the most of your time with them to share objectives and goals can have a strong influence and impact on the success of your franchise...

Feature Story:

Benefits Of Employee Engagement Surveys »

By Dan Schneider

"The Millennial Generation loves itself. Its members have bad manners, contempt for authority, no respect for older people, and talk, tweet, or text nonsense when they should be working. They show no respect for the members of previous generations with whom they work; they contradict recognized authorities and experts; and they tyrannize parents, managers, and colleagues who are deficient in knowledge and practical application of social media and contemporary technology."
First, let me apologize to Socrates, a Greek philosopher who lived sometime around 450 BC, for having updated a quote often attributed to him about the generation that followed him into Greek society. While Socrates may not be around any longer, the human race is still going strong, and each generation seems to say to itself "Kids! What's the matter with kids today? Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way, what's the matter with kids today?" (from the musical "Bye, Bye Birdie")
Pundits and trainers everywhere are making a financial killing convincing organizational and business leaders that the Millennials have to be the greatest threat to the human race since the onset of the Bird Flu epidemic...

Feature Story:

Put Your People First: Creating A Magnetic Culture »

By Julie Moreland

What makes a great company culture? Free food? Extra vacation time? Flexible hours? Employers spend more than $720 million on engagement every year, yet only 30 percent of the workforce is actively engaged. That's because it takes more than "stuff" to truly engage team members.
PeopleMatter recently partnered with workplace culture guru Laurie Ruettimann for a webinar on what it takes to build and develop a culture that helps you find and keep happy, passionate, loyal people. She says creating a magnetic culture boils down to six key things: 1) Mission-driven organizations are more fun. 2) Culture is a choice. 3) Straight talk with team members beats buzzwords and legalese. 4) Learn from the best; improved engagement and retention are possible...

Feature Story:

Call To Reverse NLRB Ruling »

Danny Farrar, CEO and founder of SoldierFit Fitness Company, testified last week on behalf of the Coalition to Save Local Businesses before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. He asked the committee to take action to reverse the NLRB's decision to alter the "joint employer" standard for all small businesses.
In his testimony, Farrar--who served eight years in the military, including a combat tour in Iraq, 700 missions, and tasked with leading the first Army team into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, stated that small business owners around the country are being forced to try to grow under great uncertainty because of this new standard.
"When the National Labor Relations Board decided to change the joint employer liability standard last fall, it was a scary moment for local business owners like me," said Farrar...

Feature Story:

Wisconsin Passes Pro Franchisee Bill »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Wisconsin is the latest state to push back against the overreaching National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by passing a new law that affirms franchisor and franchisee employees are separate entities. Senate Bill 422 was just signed last week by Governor Scott Walker and applies to state enforcement agencies.
SB 422, which excludes a franchisor as the employer of a franchisee or of an employee of a franchisee for purposes of certain laws relating to employment, was signed in the wake of a decision by the NLRB to change 50 years of federal labor law and legal precedent.
Wisconsin is the latest state to enact legislation that provides clarity to the small business community. Nearly a dozen states have passed or are considering actions to protect local franchises against federal government overreach...

Feature Story:

Economic Census Data Highlights Franchising's Role »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 Economic Census reveals the significant impact franchise businesses have on the U.S. economy, illuminating for the first time since the 2007 census the number of establishments, jobs, and payroll in franchised businesses. The agency's report is based on a survey of U.S. businesses with paid employees as part of the Economic Census, which is updated every five years.
The Census Bureau reports franchise businesses accounted for 560,086 establishments and 10.8 million jobs in 2012. These businesses paid $193.3 billion in wages and salaries and benefits and had total sales of $1.5 trillion.
"Franchising plays a vital role in our nation's economy. The understanding we gain from these statistics about the impact franchise businesses have on the economy is important to further educate the public and lawmakers about the importance of the franchise business model, and the contributions to economic growth and jobs in thousands of communities across the U...

Feature Story:

IFA Battles Seattle's Minimum Wage Law »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The International Franchise Association is appealing Seattle's minimum wage law all the way to the Supreme Court. Last week, the organization filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, asking the United States Supreme Court to review the decision of the Ninth Circuit in the Seattle Case.
The association says the law's discriminatory provisions harm franchisees.
IFA and five Seattle franchisees sued the City of Seattle in June 2014, seeking to block portions of the city's law to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. The plaintiffs asked the court to enjoin the city from treating franchisees as large, national companies rather than the small, locally-owned businesses that they are.
"The controlling Supreme Court precedent and the conflict among the decisions of the federal circuit courts have proven that a Supreme Court review of the Ninth Circuit's decision is the appropriate next step," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti...

Feature Story:

Trust And Teamwork Build Success »

By Loyd Rawls

Organizational productivity is dependent upon teamwork, which I describe as two or more people working together for a common goal. Team can be expressed or implied, conscious or unconscious, but regardless, organizational productivity depends upon the effectiveness of interdependent, collaborative effort.
Teamwork can be fair, good, or great, but there really is no such thing as bad teamwork. If you think about it, bad-teamwork is actually an oxymoron. To further this point, the English language doesn't have one single word to describe the opposite of teamwork. We generally associate "the opposite of teamwork" with uncooperativeness, inter-organizational competition, backbiting, and under productivity.
Partners or families endeavoring to develop, manage, or grow a multi-unit franchisee organization often struggle with building strong collaborative teams...

Feature Story:

What State Is Your Employee Handbook In? »

By Daniel Mormino

One size does not fit all in today's environment
This column looks into the use of employee handbooks by multi-unit franchisees, particularly those originally drafted by the franchisor or by a third party operating in a different state from the franchisee's territory.
I begin by exploring the definition of "employer of record"--and how it can help shape expectations for a multi-unit franchisee, specifically relating to employer liability in an evolving regulatory landscape. Second, I summarize the rationale for why employee handbooks should come directly from the employer of record. Third, I offer a recommendation that could help mitigate potential vicarious employer liability and minimize the risks of future claims that parties acted as joint employers...

Feature Story:

Recruit, Retain, Repeat: How To Find, Hire, And Keep The Best Employees »

By Helen Bond

When it comes to hiring, BrightStar Care franchisees Maureen and Peter Moore count on more than just credentials to get the job done. The Moores, BrightStar's 2014 franchisees of the year, estimate that for every 10 applicants, only half make the cut to interview for a position with their in-home care business that serves Norwalk, Bridgeport, and Southbury, Conn.
"Of those five, three get hired, and of those three at least one is gone within two weeks because they don't show the type of attitude in the field that we expect," says Peter Moore. Their company, with nearly 200 employees, practices a rigorous supervision schedule to oversee staffers in the field that exceeds franchise requirements.
Recruiting and retaining high-quality employees has always been a winning business formula, but these days the right hires--so crucial to the bottom line--are harder to find, despite the growth of job-finding websites...

Feature Story:

FRANdata Research ID's Threats Of NLRB Ruling »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) jeopardizes the ability of franchise small business owners to hire, schedule, and set the salaries of their employees, says FRANdata in a newly issued report. At least 40,000 small businesses operating in more than 75,000 locations are at risk of failure, says the report.
The research also illustrates the manner in which the NLRB ruling threatens a large portion of the estimated 600,000 or more jobs to be created over the following two years. A dramatic loss in franchise small business owners' equity positions will ensue, with the significantly higher costs eroding operating margins and simultaneously risking profitability and, in many instances, survivability. Some of those expenses must inevitably be passed to consumers, making franchise small businesses less competitive...

Feature Story:

Talent Management System Pays Off »

By Steve Adams

Your people deliver the brand experience

For many years, our organization struggled to create a solid, stable team. We were guilty of hiring to fill spots rather than thinking of our people as guardians of our brand. We stepped back and decided to create a system. We started from scratch and asked, "What does the ideal employee look like?" Then we found a tool that profiles the work style of the employee.
The tool is not a personality test per se; it is an assessment of work style. We applied it to all our employees and found a consistent profile of our best employees. We were able to determine that when we were outside that profile, in general we had employees who did not fit well for us. In a sense, we were asking people who were "off profile" to work in a way that was inconsistent with who they were...

Feature Story:

Minimum Wage Protesters Miss The Point »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Protests coordinated earlier this month by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) were merely "political theater that does not help close the income inequality gap," according to a statement released by the International Franchise Association (IFA).
IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti said, "The franchise industry is an American success story and an economic growth engine creating jobs and spawning vibrant new small businesses in local communities across the country." He went on to point out that the franchise business model is a "valuable playbook that provides a pathway to personal and professional success and business ownership for aspiring entrepreneurs. The protests put the future of these jobs and businesses in jeopardy...

Feature Story:

Building Success Through Culture »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Culture is something that can't be measured by Google analytics. But it has inherent value and it makes a tangible difference. Creating, implementing, and maintaining a strong culture that reflects your values and beliefs can pay off in employee and customer satisfaction - not to mention the bottom line at your franchise locations. Creating a culture is just what Brent Collier has done.
He operates 14 restaurants from 6 different franchise brands along a 25-mile stretch in the tourist mecca of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and faces a nice kind of problem: his restaurants compete for the same customers. But that's not really a problem, since the area draws more than 11 million tourists a year.
The way he figures it, most visit for an average of three days, which he translates into "nine meal opportunities...

Feature Story:

What's Your Service Aptitude? »

By John DiJulius

It's your job to teach employees how to treat customers

Companies don't engage emotionally with their customers--their employees do. If you want to create a memorable company, you must fill your company with memorable people. The level and quality of your organization's customer service comes down to one thing and one thing only: the Service Aptitude of every employee. From the CEO to the account executive, sales clerk, call center, receptionist, corporate office support team, to every front-line employee--the most critical component in building a world-class customer experience culture is the Service Aptitude of every individual in your company.

What is Service Aptitude?
Service Aptitude is a person's ability to recognize opportunities to exceed customers' expectations, regardless of the circumstances...

Feature Story:

Industry Groups Join To Oppose Overtime Regulations »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A united front of 15 franchisee associations and the International Franchise Association (IFA) are working together to fight the government's proposed changes to overtime regulations. Together, the groups submitted comments last week declaring the Department of Labor's (DOL) proposed changes to overtime regulations are "fundamentally flawed and bad for employers and employees," according to a statement issued. The IFA also accused the DOL of "failing to extend the comment period on the radical changes that will severely hamper job growth in the small business sector."
"The proposed change to the overtime rule is another action by the Obama Administration that dramatically alters how small businesses operate," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE...

Feature Story:

IFA Claims Labor Department Conducting Franchise "Witch Hunt" »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Last week, the International Franchise Association (IFA) filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) asking for the rationale behind questions OSHA inspectors are asking franchise owners, which appear specifically designed to presume a joint employer relationship between brand companies and local franchise small business owners. The group also wants to see correspondence between DOL and OSHA officials and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is engaged in a three year, $50 million corporate campaign to destroy the legal separation between franchise businesses and grow union membership.
"The Labor Department is conducting a witch hunt that, at a minimum, exceeds the statutory authority afforded to the OSHA by Congress...

Feature Story:

Now Hiring!: Recruiting And Retaining The Best Millennials »

By Adam Pierno

So, you're hiring again. You have positions open and want to make sure the employees you bring in will meet your goals--or exceed them. No matter what position you're trying to fill, your hiring pool probably consists of those aged 18 to 34, otherwise known as Millennials. As the Millennial group matures, we have seen that they have a unique outlook on work and corporate life, but can be great employees when properly motivated and understood, based on a few key insights.

1) Transparency
The job market has not exactly been great for Millennials as they graduated college and joined the workforce. This has had a few different effects on their perspective on jobs and careers. One is that they have become less trustful of corporations, meaning they're less likely to take things at face value...


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