Motivating Family Members To Want To Join The Business
As a multi-unit franchisee your attitude and behavior towards your business serve as a role model for your family. What you say, what you do, how you act and react are all factors in how your family forms their opinions of the business. Furthermore, the reputation your business has in the community and at large are also big factors, so it’s important to be mindful of how your employees and customers view your business.
Behaviors and attitudes extend beyond the business. The way you treat people correlates to their positive or negative involvement with you, your business, and your brand. Your treatment has impacts on their commitment, loyalty, performance, and other aspects of the business. In my partner’s book “Family Business Heartburn Relief,” Loyd Rawls breaks it down very simply saying that we have to start with how our kids and family look at how we as leaders of our business or family treat people.
Peeling back the layers of this challenge there are some simple questions you can ask that may help you identify where you stand:
- Have you created a culture where everyone is encouraged, respected, and provided opportunities for growth?
- Do family dynamics enter into the family business or is it respected and treated as a professional environment?
If you’ve answered yes to both of these questions, you are in a great starting position to motivate family to want to be a part of the franchising business. In addition to family members seeing the great foundation you have built, you will have employees who are more engaged, empowered, and excited to be in the business, all of whom act as champions for you as family members enter.
If you answered no, or are unsure as to how to answer the questions, then you have a bit of work to do. The good news is that it is doable! You have to be intentional and invest in creating a more positive and inviting culture. To do this, you can start with the four E’s focused on both your family and employees:
- Express how much you enjoy the business
- Explain why you started the business and what keeps you in it
- Expose your family to managers, employees, vendors, and customers
- Engage your employees and customers to drive brand loyalty
Whether you already have the culture, or you are going to start transforming your culture to motivate family members to want to be involved in the business, you are doing something great. Making these strides will continue to serve you, your managers and employees, and potentially your family to work in an environment that encourages them to want to be the best they can. Whether this is in sales, customer service, packaging, product development, whatever their role, you are creating internal brand champions who will serve you and your business well into the future.
On the other hand, remember, not all family members are the same. Some may want to be in the business, and some may never want it. The last thing you want to do is guilt or shame anyone into working in the business (family or otherwise) if they do not have the passion to do so. Be sure you are pairing the right people, personalities, and passion into your business culture.
David Weaver is an associate of The Rawls Group, a business succession planning firm. David focuses his work with owners and management teams specializing in strategic planning, business performance, management synergy, and teamwork. He helps identify areas that affect performance and culture - transforming managers into influential leaders. For additional information, visit www.rawlsgroup.com or call 407-578-4455
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