Critical Employee Needs and How to Meet ThemJul 04, 2023
Every employee has basic needs and, as a leader and business owner, it is your responsibility to meet them. If you do, you’ll be able to not only attract but retain the best talent for your franchise. And they’ll be able to thrive.
On top of that, if they feel you care about them, they’ll be motivated and try their best to surprise you every day.
Take note of these five basic employee needs and recommendations to fulfill them.
1. Fair payment
The most important way to show your people how much you care for them is by giving fair payment for their work.
Create and follow a consistent and fair process to determine the employee salaries, considering factors such as:
- Everyone that starts in the same position has to have the same starting salary unless they demonstrate verifiable experience. If there’s any difference, make sure everyone understands the reason to prevent staff dissatisfaction.
- Have a staggered wage chart based on difficulty and job responsibility.
- Design a system to obtain a raise, for example, through evaluations or completing additional training. And let everyone know how they can increase their paycheck.
- If you give a raise, make sure it is based on merit and not because of seniority or favoritism.
- Offer a competitive salary, especially within the same industry and neighboring businesses.
2. Appropriate training
Show your people how much you care about them by providing the training they need to feel competent at their jobs. There's nothing worse than being thrown into a job you're not sure how to do! That can lead to mistakes and reprimands for making that error.
So, when the initial training is complete, evaluate if your employees feel capable of executing their roles. And remember, excellence comes only with time and practice!
High-turnover businesses might decide that detailed training costs too much money. But turnover is likely to be high because new employees feel unable to do the job and rather resign before this causes them trouble.
How would you feel if your franchisor doesn’t train you after investing in a franchise? You would feel lost, abandoned, and very dissatisfied with the brand. But instead of stepping down, you would try to save your investment. Consider that if your staff feels like that, it won’t be difficult for them to quit and apply to work at the neighboring business.
The goal is to give your people the skills they need to feel like a positive contributor to their work. If your training does that, you'll be doing a good job!
3. Promotions and growth
Provide team members with a path to grow within your company. It's your job as a leader to identify employees who would love the opportunity to grow and become leaders themselves.
Some will be ready in a few months, while others might take longer. But you have to give them a clear path on how to get from point A to point B.
Although the salary increase is pleasant, it is not the only way to encourage good behavior in your staff. Recognition can be a motivational tool and help with retention.
These are some of the incentives you could have:
- Raise evaluations. Evaluate this matter every six months and give timely feedback so your employees know their strengths and weaknesses.
- Management-level bonuses. Design a bonus plan for your managers based on your business and operations plan and clear objectives. Ideally, you'll pay those bonuses every quarter. That will keep your managers motivated and focused on achieving the results to make the most money.
- Bonuses for employees. Propose a goal that the whole team can work to achieve. And when they do, everyone should be rewarded.
- Competitions. Have a contest between cashiers or waiters for the highest average ticket, among delivery people to find out who’s the fastest, and so on. Think of fun activities that will make the job more enjoyable and help you achieve your business goals.
- Balloons and candies. Incentives don't have to be expensive. One of my customers once carried a bunch of helium balloons and two bags of candies and placed them on a table for everyone in the restaurant to see, along with a note that explained what the team did to earn recognition.
Then he took the time to shake hands with the staff and thank them for what they did as a team. It was fun, cheap, and effective.
5. As many benefits as you can
Don’t think about obvious benefits like health insurance and retirement pensions because small companies, such as single-unit franchises, might not be able to afford them.
There are other benefits you can provide that could be just as effective, if not more, to achieve high retention and high employee morality, such as:
- Growth opportunities. There is no greater benefit than the opportunity to learn, develop, be recognized, and earn more money. If you provide that to your people, they will appreciate it.
- Celebrations. Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries once a month, with a cake and a personal card, is an affordable way to let your people know that you care.
- Employee of the month. Print a photo of the best employee of your staff as a simple way to recognize an individual who is doing a good job and can motivate others to be in that framework next month.
Under the photo, explain why you gave that distinction. This way, everyone will know why they were awarded and recognized.
- End of year party. Having a simple holiday celebration where everyone feels included is a great way to show tour appreciation. You can even extend the invite to your employees' relatives.
- Field day in the summer. Have a picnic at a local park to bring everyone together in an informal gathering, and make it last all day so all the shift staff can attend alternately. You can also invite their immediate family members to make them feel part of the working family.
- University scholarships. You can give $500 or $1,000 college scholarships for team members who meet criteria such as seniority, performance evaluation results, or record attendance. It can also be a great retention incentive for students working for you.
- Food discounts. If you are in the food service business, provide your team members with a food discount benefit. It doesn't have to be free, but it is best if it’s significant.
As you can see, you can meet your employee’s needs in many ways. This will help you attract new people, show appreciation, and motivate them to stick around.
If you offer these benefits, include them in your employee handbook and the new employee orientation.
- But here’s a critical consideration. Do not provide an incentive or benefit that you do not intend to maintain or cannot give indefinitely and consistently!
If any benefit or incentive disappears due to a lack of follow-up or money, trust and motivation will be lower. So, do a cost and effort analysis to ensure you can afford and continue it.
That doesn't mean you can't give short-term incentives, like a contest, as long as you determine the start and end date and the goal.
If you want more tips and resources to manage your franchise successfully, The American Franchise Academy is here for you!
- We offer best-in-class programs for multi-unit franchisees and business owners so they can achieve growth, scale, and success. Learn more about them here: https://americanfranchiseacademy.mykajabi.com/programs
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- Considering the average wage in your industry, are you paying above or below?
- Do your employees have a career plan to grow within your organization?
- Is your staff properly trained? What are they lacking?
- Aside from fair payment, what other incentives are you offering your potential and current employees?