Many franchise operators struggle with high turnover, which damages customer service, productivity and morale, all creating significant costs to the business. Hourly jobs are not glamorous. Retail and customer service industries have a higher-than-average turnover rate, and when it costs 16% of an associate-level employee’s salary to replace them, the price tag adds up quickly.
Compounding the impact: Consumers have no patience for subpar service. One survey found 86% will leave a brand after just two or three bad experiences. With the current competitive hiring market — 5.7 million workers for 11 million open jobs — filling hourly positions at franchises is especially difficult.
That’s why franchise operators must take every opportunity to retain their staff.
Remove Friction From the Employee Experience
To keep your staff, you must make their job as easy as reasonably possible by eliminating sources of friction. Modern workers, especially Gen Z, won’t put up with frustration and inefficiencies, and they are often willing to jump to the next job quickly. Focusing on the following areas can reduce your employees’ frustration.
Technology. One item to explore: your tech stack. Have you ever thought about how many software platforms you are using? Chances are, you have a lot. In addition to remembering a dozen passwords, your employees must constantly jump between interfaces. This toggling slows down users, increases stress, disrupts focus and mentally taxes users. Not to mention, when employees are completing tedious administrative tasks, they aren’t helping customers.
What’s the solution? Consolidation. Investing in a tool with multiple functions or the ability to centralize multiple applications into a single dashboard saves your employees time and angst. With fewer places to log in and find data, they can spend more time with customers.
Communication. About 86% of surveyed employees report experiencing communication issues at work, leading to more stress. Being surprised by a new policy at work or missing a scheduling change creates mistrust, unease and frustration. On the flip side, research shows companies with good communication have more engaged employees. You need a streamlined process from corporate to associates, ensuring everyone receives the latest information.
Recognition must play a role in your communication strategy. Research shows employees are more satisfied and more likely to work harder if they receive praise.
Training and education. Properly training your employees is a high priority for franchise operators, as you want them to be productive as soon as possible. But quality training is also essential for retention. Nearly 10% of employees have left a job because of poor onboarding. Workers unprepared for the job are likely to struggle and feel disengaged and defeated, making them more likely to quit.
Put time, effort and thought into your onboarding process. Don’t just assign reading material or videos. Creating a dynamic program provides a better experience and helps employees retain information. An effective structure might include quizzes, role-playing and one-on-one interactions in addition to reviewing policies and best practices. A good onboarding experience makes employees three times more likely to feel prepared and supported and stay with the company longer.
Onboarding shouldn’t be the end of learning and training. Gallup statistics show 64% of workers believe upskilling opportunities are an important reason to stay at their job, and 71% say it increases their job satisfaction. Learning management systems can help you manage learning materials and incorporate training into the workflow.
An endless cycle of warm bodies filling your staff does no one any good. To be successful, you need engaged and properly trained employees. If you’re stuck in a cycle of hiring and training, your business is likely not providing optimal customer service. You’re also losing time to create a long-term strategy. You can improve your retention rate by removing friction and enhancing employee experience. Happy and satisfied employees work harder and stay longer.