The Key Parts of the District Manager's Job DescriptionSep 20, 2022
Although the multi-unit franchise model is gaining popularity, the number of multi-unit franchisees and district managers is yet very little.
- There are around 790,000 franchise units and the average franchisee has about 1.2 to 1.3 units each. That means that the vast majority of franchisees have only one unit.
For that reason, there is not a lot of information on how and when to hire the district manager and what they should be doing every day. Until now.
In this blog post, we’ll break down what are the key elements of the district manager’s job description. With this information, you can set clear expectations of responsibilities, activities, performance, and behavior, to give them (and you) the best chances of success.
District manager job description, part 1: Role
What is the role of a district manager within the organization? There are two answers to this question:
- To grow and protect the brand, the business, and the people they are responsible for.
- To represent the brand, the franchisee or business owner, the team, and the organization in front of others.
Both tasks require a lot of responsibility, preparation, professionalism, training, and experience. That’s why here at The American Franchise Academy we developed a training program specially designed for these leaders.
District manager job description, part 2: Responsibilities
As part of our Multi-Unit Leadership Certification, we have defined the seven critical responsibilities of district managers that must be included in their job descriptions. They are the following:
- Lead the team. The district managers have to develop themselves into great leaders as well as develop other leaders in the organization to cover the necessary leadership positions in the new units you open as you grow.
- Plan strategies. Since their day-to-day work will be defined by the district's needs, they have to be very organized and translate what they see into priorities and then into plans and execution.
- Manage the staff. They have to control the staffing levels and the statutory activities among the unit managers. It also entails developing the bench for the future and taking care of the current leadership staff.
- Execute the business. Although district managers are not the ones that actually operate the brand and business systems, they do have to inspire the unit managers and their teams to have excellent execution.
- Maintain the units. They have to make sure the units are clean and in good working order, so there are no sales interruptions and the quality of the service is always high.
- Market the franchise. When you buy a franchise, you obtain the regional and national marketing for your store. But the district manager has to create local store marketing plans that produce results and increase sales.
- Produce results. This is the ultimate activity that has to be included in the district manager’s job description.
District manager job description, part 3: Metrics of success
The second part of the job description is the metrics of success. Everything district managers do should have a metric, a goal, or a target so they can detect what is important for your business and what they need to accomplish to increase profits.
They also need to know and understand what are the key drivers for those metrics. This will help them spend the necessary time in coaching, training, and developing their teams and leaders so that, all together, they can produce the expected results.
This is especially important if the district manager is coming from outside of your business. While they may know what customer service is, and what labor and product costs are, the drivers might be different from industry to industry and even brand to brand. That’s why they need to be properly trained and guided to achieve those results within their units.
District manager job description, part 4: Schedule requirement
The next section of the job description is the schedule requirement, but the reality is that the district manager's schedule will be dictated by the district’s situation.
To cope with that, they need to know what are the minimum expectations and general guidelines so that they can abide by those but still have the freedom and flexibility to address their district needs based on their needs. Otherwise, they’ll end up working on the wrong things instead of spending their time and effort effectively.
District manager job description, part 5: Cultural responsibilities
You must define what behaviors you want your district managers to display in your organization on your behalf. Other team members will follow them as leaders, so this position becomes a driver of the type of culture that you want to establish in your organization.
Some of the responsibilities around culture are: having employee surveys or some sort of recognition process for outstanding performance. These will help you create a positive environment in your organization.
District manager job description, part 6: Necessary skills
This is an important section of the district manager’s job description. Here you should display what are the necessary skills that will make them become a successful district manager and be evaluated in.
They may not have all of the abilities, but they must be aware of this so that they know where they are and what they have to develop or improve.
As a multi-unit franchisee, help them develop those areas of opportunity and maximize their strengths. This will eventually drive them to be successful and achieve the desired results in their jobs.
District manager job description, part 7: Signature of commitment
While this might seem simple and small, I believe this is a very important point in the district manager’s job description.
Once they receive all of this clear information, they can decide for themselves if this job is something that they can commit to and execute. If so, signing that document will be their word and it’ll set the tone for the job expectation and the relationship between you and them.
It will also establish a starting point for the future and increase the chances of success because they will be clear on what is expected of them. So don't think it's little. This part is a big one.
I hope this gave you a lot of information to build a clear job description for your district managers. If you would like to learn more about the seven responsibilities and the routines of this critical role, our Multi-Unit Leadership Certification may interest you.
This is a 10-week program where we give your district managers the abilities, skills, knowledge, and resources they need to be successful in their jobs.
Visit us at DistrictManagerTraining.com and register for the next information session or schedule a call with our admissions office to learn more about the program.
- Are your district managers fulfilling the seven critical responsibilities of the role?
- Does your district manager know exactly what are the things they need to do and oversee to be successful?
- Have you established clear metrics of success or are they flying blind?
- How are you helping them achieve the expected results and become more successful?
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