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The Wealthy Franchisee

This Is the Key Factor for Hiring a Cohesive Team Wealthy franchisees hire for "attitude" and train for "aptitude."

By Scott Greenberg Edited by Dan Bova

Key Takeaways

  • Wealthy franchisees understand the critical role of business culture in their success.
  • This culture becomes a permanent aspect of the business, outlasting individual team members and significantly impacting the quality of work and the workplace environment.
  • While technical skills and abilities are essential, the attitude and soft skills of employees are equally crucial.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This is part 1 / 4 of The Wealthy Franchisee: Section 4: Hiring and Managing Your Team series.

Before I became a franchise coach and speaker, I owned multiple Edible Arrangements franchises. I will admit here that it took a few years of trial and error to dial in my hiring and management skills. I went through a lot of employees, tried many management techniques, and took a lot of Advil, but eventually, I turned a corner. I got better at hiring, learned how to motivate employees and engage them in the business, and got them working as a team. Morale increased, along with retention.

I used to complain about my employees, but now I was giving thanks for them. They would win awards, earn stellar online reviews, look out for the business, solve problems, and have each other's backs. They'd enable me to stay home or travel to a speech. They'd save me time, reduce my stress, and make me money. By the time I sold the business, most of my team had been with me for years. I'm still in touch with most of them. I've come to believe that never before has the workforce offered such a great pool of candidates. In the right environment, today's young people will work hard and produce, remain loyal, collaborate, and innovate. All this while still checking their cell phones.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Team Building vs. Team Cohesion

Anybody can assemble a group of talented people and call them a team. But that's like buying flour, sugar, and butter and calling them a cake. It's not enough to have the right ingredients. What matters is how they combine. Wealthy franchisees don't just fill positions. One person at a time, they carefully construct a supergroup of employees who excel individually and work together to support one another. They cultivate cohesive teams.

Cohesive teams do more than fulfill their responsibilities—they work to become a stronger and better working unit. They're in it as much for each other as for themselves. Their shared purpose is at the center of their bond. Think of a great sports team growing closer over their mutual desire to be champions, or an aspiring rock band connecting over a shared dream of hitting it big. They're emotionally invested in their work, not just out of personal interest, but because that's how they experience their connection to each other. Nothing makes people happier than making meaningful connections to others. If you can give your employees a feeling of belonging, they'll care a lot more about their work. That's good for them and good for business.

Team cohesion among hourly workers isn't some idealistic fantasy. It happens all the time. You can facilitate those bonds among your own team, but only if you hire the right people and are deliberate about building your company culture.

Related: Become a Franchise Owner in 5 Easy Steps

Defining Your Culture

Every business has a culture — some by design, most by default. Within every group, there is a shared set of beliefs — sometimes unspoken — and a set of behaviors that determine how things are done and how it feels to do them. Wealthy franchisees have a deliberate focus on the culture of their business. They use that word a lot, too:

  • "We spend a lot of time working on our culture."
  • "They need to share the same values as our culture."
  • "I only hire people who fit with our culture."

I hear comments like these constantly from wealthy franchisees. They understand that how employees feel working together directly impacts the quality of the work they do together. The relationships within a business are as vital as the systems in that business.

Much of how business is done isn't about work, but about social interaction. How do people greet and support each other? Are they competitive or are they collaborative? Do they work as a team or do they break into cliques? Do they speak lovingly or critically about customers? The answers to these questions will remain in your business longer than the employees who created them. Team members come and go, but culture remains. If you don't purposely establish the behavioral norms of your business, they evolve on their own.

Related: The Secret to a Successful Franchise? A 'Community'-Based Business

Aptitude and Attitude

The success formula for franchisees is Circumstances + Operations + Humanity = Results. And that also applies to employees. These are the things we look at when evaluating them. Employee circumstances are obvious things like age, availability, or physical ability (if the job requires it). There's not much gray area when it comes to their circumstances. We should be able to check for these (legally and appropriately) before the interview.

The in-person meeting is about operations and humanity. The operational piece is their aptitude: Do they have the abilities and skills they need to learn and perform the required work? The humanity piece is their attitude. Do they have the right willingness and energy level? Do they have sufficient social competence? Can they work with a team, or, if the job requires it, can they excel on their own?

Attitude, however — the human factor — should be great from the start. That doesn't necessarily mean they must be outgoing and energetic. It just means they should demonstrate the soft skills needed to thrive in your culture. Most workplace problems are rooted in attitude, so keep that in mind when staffing. Wealthy franchisees hire for attitude and train for aptitude.

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