- Category: Leadership
Incorporating the franchises Mr. Whippy, Cold Rock, Pretzel World and Nut Shack, the Franchised Food Company CEO’s experience across business in general and the franchise sector in particular, is extensive. Stan has a deep appreciation for the challenges with which employers can be faced in providing and maintaining a desirable workplace for staff.
The savvy South African born, Australian entrepreneur offers these top tips on how to get the best out of your employees, and reminds us that most of the time… it’s the little things that count.
Good working conditions
It is paramount that you create a positive space for your team. Team members need to feel comfortable and safe in their workplace, and it is essential that they are made to feel respected and valued. A friendly, and fun workplace is appreciated by most people and makes it easier to view work as a positive space – and let’s be honest, you spend a lot of hours there; so make it a good exciting place to be!
Lead by example
Creating a professional workplace with clear boundaries and guidelines is a great way to demonstrate workplace behaviour. Team members look up to their management to display strong leadership qualities to enable them to follow suit. Don’t expect your team to just ‘follow’ your management; there is a big difference between a good manager and a good leader. Be a good leader and you will instantly gain respect. Respect and mutual respect in the workplace is critical.
Common sense tells us that your team make up the ‘face of your brand’, so it is integral they are knowledgeable on your product or service and understand the company’s values. Don’t plan meetings where you talk at your team, rather encourage interaction and input… No one likes to feel as though they are being lectured.
If your team do not feel valued or important to a company, their motivation to add value to a business will likely be at a minimum. Clear, concise and regular communication between everyone is essential to the success of an organisation, to ensure that everyone feels recognised and appreciated.
Effective communication with your team can be achieved through a number of mechanisms, such as regular meetings, where your team can ask questions and offer their input.
Have a ‘walking meeting’ with your team members, where you can walk and talk. This allows for the opportunity to chat to people in a non-confrontational environment, you get out in the open and even get a bit of exercise… Fresh air does wonders for creative thinking!
People naturally feel valued if they are listened to, their opinions are considered and if possible, implemented. Again, get in amongst it!
Once in a while, make an effort to interact with your team. Showing that you understand the distinct roles played out by each individual and acknowledging each person is an expert in their position can do wonders for the way you are perceived by your staff.
Offer your team the opportunity to grow and develop themselves. Not only does this educate and keep them up-to-date with industry knowledge, developments, and other opportunities, it can also give an insight into the bigger picture of running a business. Team members become more of an asset if training and development is maintained, and who knows, they might ever have the potential to be the next business owner… Something I genuinely relish!
Offer your team a reason to work harder. Having incentives to not only keep team members interested in their job, but to encourage them to work to their optimum, is a simple but effective idea. This can easily be achieved in a number of ways, including reward programs, staff discounts or special offers
It used to be that for those striving for opportunity in the workplace an incentive might be more responsibility or the opportunity to move into a more senior job role. Why not give time off in addition to annual holidays and provide ‘treat experiences’; like a day spa… or a ride in a Rolls Royce? Theses experiences are invaluable and something most people won’t do for themselves.
Do your research into what motivates your individual team members and understand that different things motivate different people. If you are prepared to tailor your incentives to individuals you will get the best results from your team.
Just remember, talk to your team, be there, get in amongst it and listen. It’s not hard to be a great leader!
Stan Gordon is the CEO of Franchised Food Company, the umbrella company that encompasses the brands Cold Rock, Mr Whippy, Pretzel World and Nut Shack.