Three Ways Franchisees Can Attract And Retain Talent (Without Raising Wages)

Three Ways Franchisees Can Attract And Retain Talent (Without Raising Wages)

Hourly wages have always been a significant factor in attracting or deterring prospective employees; but with a number of major stores announcing company-wide wage increase plans this year, it will become increasingly challenging for franchisees to meet these expectations.

Here are three ways franchisees can appeal to prospective employees with the competition for hourly associates on the rise:

   Evaluate your business's total rewards package: While wages will always remain top-of-mind for job applicants, there are a number of factors beyond this that franchisees should consider when mapping out employee recruitment and retention plans. Business owners should devote time to evaluate the total rewards package that they present to employees. This holistic view of what the franchisee offers includes a number of components beyond pay, including organizational culture, benefits, and other factors impacting employee engagement and work-life balance. For example, a prospective employee looking for better health benefits may be more interested in a job that pays slightly less per hour, but is able to offer them a full-time work schedule in order to qualify for these benefits. By determining what non-monetary benefits your organization is able to offer and delivering on those promises, franchisees can attract associates with specific needs in mind.

   Provide flexible, transparent schedules: In addition to being one of the easiest ways employers can cut costs, allowing employees to have more flexibility in managing their schedule is a huge selling point for today's prospective employees. More organizations are using digital workplace platforms to give employees control over their schedules, which in turn raises the bar for flexibility expectations and improved work-life balance. Implementing an availability-based scheduling model where employees can share more accurate availability information, empowers employees by giving them a say in the administrative process, opening up two-way communication between business owners and front-line employees.

       Additionally, availability-based scheduling can also increase employee retention. A study by WorkJam found that 62 percent of managers have seen employees quit due to scheduling conflicts. Reducing the friction that comes along with the scheduling process and providing a better work-life balance can keep skilled talent from jumping ship to a different employer that may offer higher wages.

   Develop growth opportunities and give recognition: For employees who are looking for a long-term career with your franchise, the ability to grow can be more appealing than a slightly higher hourly wage. Franchisees and store managers should open up the lines of communication with front-line employees and encourage professional development. Managers can provide regular assessments, rewards, and recognition through digital platforms in order to keep associates motivated and on track. Though a quick message with positive feedback may seem simple, the gesture can go a long way. When an employee sees that their work is appreciated as well as having a potential future with your franchise, they will be more likely to remain loyal despite industry-wide wage increases.

Considering that many organizations are emphasizing customer-centric processes to cultivate brand loyalty, one can understand why businesses are raising associates' hourly wages. But while wage is a factor in this equation, there is so much more - including schedule flexibility and development opportunities - that drives a franchise culture improving retention and allowing the franchise to be more competitive.

Mike Zorn is the VP of workplace strategy for WorkJam. In his role, he works with client companies to develop strategies, using the WorkJam Digital Workplace, to empower and engage their hourly workforce. Prior to joining WorkJam, Mike spent more than 30 years with Macy's Inc., and the last 15 years as their senior vice president of associate and Labor Relations. His responsibilities included culture and employee engagement development, internal branding and communications, employee and labor relations strategy for the Macy's enterprise.

Published: November 7th, 2017

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