By Piyush Patel
Q: What tips do you have for franchisees to hire the right employees?
In the traditional business world, hiring the right employee has centred only on finding someone with a certain set of skills. While this focus can help fill short-term needs, in some cases it can become a problem, where you end up finding out the hard way the person you hired is not a good cultural fit with your franchise.
When business consultant Jim C. Collins researched this issue, he found there was success to be achieved by flipping the formula around. That is, the path to hiring the right employee starts with identifying the core values of your business. Once you have done this, then you can use these values as a guide for finding the right people for the right roles in your organization.
Many skills, after all, can be trained. Finding people whose beliefs fall in line with your company’s core values, on the other hand, is a more intangible process, but one that will help them find meaning in their work. And doing meaningful work is why people will stay with your business for the long term.
Q: What role should the franchisee take in coaching employees to improve their performance?
As the franchisee, you need to (a) make sure your employees have the tools they need and (b) remove the obstacles that might get in their way.
To do that, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of those challenges. You can do this by getting into the regular habit of communicating clearly with your team.
Equally important is being able to acknowledge quickly a job well done. No one should have to wait days, weeks or months for an official review to find out whether or not they are doing a good job at work.
Constant coaching and communication are critically important tools that will help you make the daily changes and improvements your team needs to overcome any challenge they face.
Q: In what instances should employees be fired, rather than continuing to try to manage them?
There are certainly different options for managing them. I once hired an artist for my business. He had a fantastic work ethic and an amazing attitude. Overall, he was a great cultural fit. Over time, however, it became apparent his artistic skills weren’t up to our standards. We moved him to technical support, where he also proved ineffective. Finally, he joined our production team and blossomed in the new role.
New skills can be learned. Anyone who believes wholeheartedly in your franchise’s mission can adapt to maintain a place working for a business they love. It is worth the effort to shift their roles to find out where they fit best.
Firing, on the other hand, can prove expensive. According to studies by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), replacing an employee can cost between 20 and 60 per cent of their annual salary.
No one hires employees with the express intent of firing them, just as no one wants to be blindsided by being fired when they think they’re doing a great job. When you’re hiring based on core values, you should fire based on them, as well. When your team sees you finding the right roles for people who fit into the culture and their only cause for dismissal is breaking your core values, it sets expectations upfront, so there are no surprises.
Piyush Patel is the author of Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating A Culture That Matters. For more information, visit www.leadlovetribe.com.