Building A Culture That Retains Key Talent
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Building A Culture That Retains Key Talent

Building A Culture That Retains Key Talent

Culture of an organization is an area in which we are seeing an increased emphasis of importance. The reason it is growing in importance can be traced to the generational changes we are seeing in the workplace, in addition to increased competition for talent. One of the largest areas impacting culture is in recruiting and retaining talent, with a specific focus on retention.

Franchise owners have a unique challenge in that the talent pool traditionally is only as deep as the seasonality of their location or the longevity of their available options. Simply, most of the workforce often found in the franchise industry is part-time and short-term. The reputation built by the industry does not help it attract talent who may want long-term options. But things are changing. We are seeing proof of this in how franchise owners are focusing attention on a new way of attracting and retaining talent. And, it starts with having the right culture.

Part of building a winning culture, one in which attracts people who want to work for you, means you need to invest in ensuring you are hiring the right people. An example of a franchise doing this well was high-lighted in a Harvard Business Review article, “How One Fast-Food Chain Keeps Its Turnover Rates Absurdly Low.” The article highlight how a franchise hires for attitude first then trains for skill, how they offer constant opportunities for improvement, and how the franchise invests in teaching their people.

In addition to lowering the overall cost of turnover, having a culture in which people want to stay with you also builds value in your franchise operation. The stronger your team of people, the more efficient your operations will run and the more likely you will have a bench from which to groom future managers and leaders of your locations.

Never has it been more critical for business owners to take stock of how they run their operations, with a specific focus on people. The changing generational landscape is forcing employers to really grasp what motivates the up and coming workforce. This means providing your people with positions in which they will have the opportunity to learn, develop, and grow through the help of their employer. The franchise industry can benefit exponentially because the incoming generation is also looking for more flexible work options than the traditional 9-5.

Get started building a winning culture in your franchise with these three steps:

  • Create opportunities for your people to grow – remember to look at your employees’ attitudes and determine if they fit the culture you are wanting to build. For your business to be successful you must have people that want to do more and grow. Ensure you have the right people in place and look at ways to bring in enrichment programs to help your people grow. Focus not only on the job skills, but the interpersonal and people development skills which help them grow as an individual, too.
  • Develop unique flexible work arrangements – with a large part of the franchise industry having part-time and seasonal type employee arrangements, it is a great foundation for building out flexible work programs. Offering shifts that might be outside of the norm, but work better for the employee and their schedule, can create a more productive and loyal team.
  • Define and share how your people fit into your culture – make sure your people know what you want your franchise operations to “feel” like as an employee. Involve them in the conversation and let them know how they fit into your culture.

In past articles, we have shared some tips on how to hire for your franchise culture, which tackles the types of people you can hire, how to avoid losing key talent, and how to build a culture that allows you as the franchise owner to take a break. A common theme emerges when we talk to franchise owners about retaining key talent and building a culture that is beneficial for them and their employees, people development.

How does all of this fit into succession planning and building value for the future? Leadership and management continuity ensures you have a strong bench for leadership transition and to support growth. Recruiting right means you have managers working together (management synergy and teamwork) to drive business performance. Also, as the owner, you shape the culture based upon your attitude, motivation, and perspective of who the business serves. Each of these elements are key elements of the Succession Matrix® which are 10 key areas that must be addressed to build value and a sustainable strong business.

 Kendall Rawls knows and understands the challenges that impact the success of an entrepreneurial owned business. Her unique perspective comes not only from her educational background; but, more importantly, from her experience as a second-generation family member employee of The Rawls Group - Business Succession Planners. For more information, visit or email

Published: September 25th, 2019

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