As lockdown restrictions are due to ease over the coming days and weeks, many of us will still find ourselves working from home.
It’s difficult to feel motivated when the things that usually inspire, such as attending workshops, browsing bookstores, running ideas past colleagues or working in a beautiful coffee shop, have been temporarily suspended. This is especially hard when you, as the franchisor, are doubly responsible for getting yourself out of bed each morning and keeping your franchisees’ morale boosted.
The trouble is that we’ve reached something of a plateau in the fulfilment of our businesses in a lot of cases – All we can do is stay visible and do our best to adapt.
Even in my business, a homecare company where staff are extremely dedicated to providing the best care, I’ve been aware that my management teams need to feel that head office are thinking beyond the current crisis. Therefore, at Apollo, we’re introducing a new care package solution which our staff are working to implement – It’s already created much buzz among franchisees.
Here are my tips for what you can do to keep your own franchise teams excited and emotionally invested during lockdown.
ONE: Create a new product or service
Just like Apollo, you can create a new product or branch to your business to produce novelty for staff and customers alike. This serves as a project that keeps franchisees busy with implementation and gives them something juicy to market to their social media following. Get their input into the new idea and give them a chance to feedback on it so they feel a sense of ownership.
TWO: Host events online
An event can be a training workshop or even a wellbeing session. You could have an ideas meeting to spark things off in each other and get people’s brain muscles moving again. You could even host hangouts a couple of times a week to simply have a chat and connect with other humans. That way, they can get some of their concerns out in the open and realise they are not the only ones with those feelings. This has worked very well for Apollo. Every week, we have a franchisee catchup on Zoom and it’s been so well-received, everyone wants to keep it going once we’re “back to normal”.
THREE: Give them something to look forward to
The worst part of lockdown is feeling you’re not going anywhere. This can be within the business or on a personal level – Worrying you might never get that bigger house, make more money, travel to another country or achieve your ambitions. These moments give rise to some completely irrational and 100% understandable thoughts. Focusing on the bigger picture while implementing small goals can help defuse the anxiety. Remember that your franchisees are people with their own aspirations and need for validation, so offer to help them with mentorship and a goal-setting workshop that keeps them on track and feeling optimistic. This also shows you’re recognising their hopes and this, in turn, will strengthen your rapport.
I’ve suggested these measures to my course students and they’ve had great results. Why not give it a go?