Healthy franchise culture workshops combat negativity

The FRI team decided to do something positive in response to media criticism of the Australian franchising sector and the subsequent Parliamentary Inquiry.  We organised a series of workshops on how to build a healthy franchising culture. The highly interactive program was designed to educate franchisor Support Office teams on what it’s like to be a franchisee - what we call “understanding the franchisee reality” – and how to better support franchisees.

It was fantastic to see 120 people from 70 brands around Australia respond to the call and attend one of these workshops, which were led by Jenna Robson, our L&D Leader, and Jewli Turier, our CEO.

In one of the more fun exercises, participants were asked to pretend they’d been paid off by a competitor to behave in a way that would make franchisees feel Derisive, Uncommitted and Defensive, thus creating a DUD culture! (This was in preparation for a teaching session on how to create an ACE culture, where franchisees are Advocates, Committed and Engaged).

Here’s 10 frequently mentioned strategies that would create a DUD culture:

  1. Gossip to franchisees about other franchisees
  2. Make derogatory remarks about your business model or brand
  3. Forget to return franchisee phone calls and emails
  4. Know nothing about your franchisees and their businesses
  5. Create uncertainty and confusion about upcoming changes
  6. Talk about franchisees as “them” using a cynical tone of voice
  7. Say “yes” to franchisee requests while not delivering on these
  8. Criticise or undermine your colleagues to franchisees
  9. Brag about the size of franchisor profits to franchisees
  10. Take credit for the business’ success while not acknowledging the work of franchisees

It was interesting to hear people in the workshops laugh with embarrassment as these strategies were shared, and they realised they sometimes unwittingly practiced these strategies.

Participants clearly found the program valuable, based on their satisfaction ratings of 91%. Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to these workshops.


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