3 Ways To Build A Culture Where You Can Occasionally Take A Break
Summer is upon us and things are heating up! It is the time of year when many franchise owners look forward to a vacation with family or simply spend time chillaxing in the pool. However, the reality is that all too often you find yourself stuck in your store, typically with the excuse that things are just too busy for you to get away.
One of the primary reasons franchise owners fear stepping away, whether it is summer or not, relates to a lack of believing the job will get done. Too often, as with other business owners, you convince yourself that the only way things can run smoothly is if you are present. Although that is a noble thought, the reality is that it is not healthy for you as a franchise owner and it sets a very bad example for your people.
Here are three things to have in place in order to ensure you have the confidence to "step-away" and recharge:
1. Build an ownership mentality culture - Franchise owners are no different than other business owners when it comes to "just getting the job done." You put a lot of pressure on yourself as the owner to do whatever it takes, but at a cost to yourself and your family. The cost is also to your employees because you are not empowering them to grow and maybe someday manage. Rather than doing it all yourself, build a culture of empowerment, which means stepping away long enough to give space and opportunity for your employees to problem solve. Of course, this is not something you can build overnight. However, starting the process of identifying your strongest people and developing them through sharing your knowledge and building trust allows you to be "OK" with them leading in your absence. You cannot let everything go at once, but getting the first step out of the way is the biggest. Doing this will also build a foundation of successor development - meaning as you continue to grow your franchise portfolio or other areas of business, you have someone to come in behind you whom you trust to lead.
2. Invest in your people as humans versus employees - In order to build an ownership mentality culture, you have to first invest in your people as humans rather than simply employees. Be intentional about understanding what motivates and inspires them in their job and at home. Invest in them as people, be authentic and care about them. One of the best ways to get started here is to look at areas in which you can help them grow. Invest in development programs (either internally or externally) to enhance their growth and loyalty.
3. Develop employee engagement programs - As you are looking at investing in your people and with that understanding, their motivations, look at ways you can get them more engaged and involved. Research shows that the more engaged the employee, the more loyal they are to their employer. What can you create for your people that gets them engaged, and empowered, from a growth perspective.
It is not easy to let go of control and even less easy to trust in others who are not part of the ownership structure. However, not doing so means that you limit your own ability to rest and relax in the times that matter most. In addition, you create a culture where employees might believe that they are not trusted to do the job and that they are just a "worker" rather than people. Do yourself a favor and be intentional about building an ownership mentality culture through investing intentionally in your people by driving employee engagement!
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