Engaged, motivated and committed staff members, including managers, all working towards a common goal is the ‘holy grail’ for franchise businesses.

So how do you get there? Firstly, it is important to recognise that it is not always just about the money. Of course, financial reward is integral to retaining those who drive the success of your franchise.

Money is a great motivator but there is often more to getting the best out of your team and keeping them engaged with the business for the long term than just their pay.

If it is only about money, staff will keep moving from employer to employer to chase the biggest pay cheque. Happy, motivated and high-achieving employees are usually found, and stay, at those workplaces seen as a great place to work, somewhere they feel appreciated and recognised for the role they play in contributing to the success of their employer.

People want to enjoy coming to work and being part of a successful team and they will seek out fun and rewarding work environments. Somewhere they are not only financially rewarded but also acknowledged for their efforts in making the company a success.

This a big challenge for all businesses right across the world with research showing close to one-third off employees, including managers, are not engaged with their job.

Is this the world’s best boss?

In the US, a Burger King franchise owner set a new benchmark in the best boss stakes by sharing a US$120,000 bonus with his staff for helping him win a national award.

After winning a brand new Corvette and Rolex watch for being named Franchisee of the Year for his stores in Arizona, he decided not to keep the prizes for himself but sell them and donate the proceeds back to his staff.

More than 100 employees received bonuses with the owner declaring that the rewards “needed to go to the people who got us here”. This was more than just money. It was an acknowledgement of the importance of his team and that his success comes from his hard working staff at the frontline serving customers every day.

Another US franchising giant, McDonald’s, last year announced new steps to enhance employee benefits and engagement, not only in increasing its minimum wage but also expanding its ‘Archways to Education’ program to include free high school completion and college tuition assistance. Again, this is about more than just money as it promotes opportunity and self-development among staff.

‘Golden handcuffs’ lock in star performers

Just like a special bonus payment or reward, aligning pay with long-term performance helps incentivise staff to contribute to the shared goals of a business.

Michael Sherlock successfully utilised the ‘golden handcuffs’ method when he drove the rapid growth of the Brumby’s Bakeries franchise, from an ailing set of shops to more than 300 stores and share price growth from 56cents to $3.40 in just three years.

He says this approach locked in high performing staff with the incentive of lucrative share options for achieving stretch growth targets, encouraging them to set aspirational personal goals aligned with the overall growth and success of the business.

As well as incentivised financial rewards, Michael says there are a range of other steps that franchise owners and managers can take to create engaging and inspiring workplaces and encourage a culture of teamwork and high performance.

He is a big believer in teams having fun, both in an out of the workplace, and acknowledging and rewarding their efforts and success through social activities such as team bonding getaways and events such as lunches, dinners, concerts and shows.

“Getting staff away from the everyday work environment and sharing experiences such as travel or social events breaks down barriers and builds tighter teams much quicker,” Michael says. “Relationships that could take years to develop at work can be developed in days by taking people out of their comfort zones and bonding over shared experiences.”

He says creating happy, motivated and high-achieving work environments requires a holistic approach to staff engagement through “a total package” of offerings, including short and long-term incentives and a culture where people feel valued and want to work hard and share success.

Franchise Growth Masterclass

Michael, who consults and mentors in the franchising industry throughout Australia and internationally, host’s the Franchise Growth Masterclass.

This unique one-day event, jointly hosted with senior business coach Alan Anderson, is designed to accelerate franchise growth through first hand insights and action plans for fast-tracking success.

For more information on the next Franchise Growth Masterclass, please contact Kerry Miles franchising@griffith.edu.au.