Picture yourself walking up to the lectern, cameras clicking away while reporters shout questions at you. Once again, you’re having to apologize in front of the press for the misdeeds of one of your franchisees. You will try to convince the public that this is a one-time error in judgement and that your franchisee will be taking sensitivity training to address this issue. You may think that this can’t happen to you. Think again.
Others thought it wouldn't happen to them either. Until the headlines screamed:
- Franchisee beats homeless man!
- Franchisee throws water on homeless man in sub-zero temperatures!
- Store manager threatens to cut off employee’s heads!
Extreme examples of franchisees and managers gone bad? Of course. But the public doesn’t think so. They just can’t believe an X company franchisee could behave so poorly. And what stays in the general public’s mind? Not the franchisee’s name or location, but the name of the company on the signage out front.
What would you do in situations like this? No doubt you’d try to get in front of the news and say that the franchisee’s or manager’s actions are deplorable and that actions are being taken to “remedy the situation”. Or that this behavior is not reflective of your system. The trouble is, by the time you hear about it, the damage has already been done.
The best way to get in front of things and reduce situations like this is to focus early selection efforts on making certain the candidates meet these minimum requirements.
Our research on these minimums identified four different areas:
- Will the candidate deal with others in an insensitive or uncaring manner? I’d bet the franchisees from the cases listed above would not meet the minimums!
- Will they lie, cheat and steal? Important not only when dealing with customers, but the franchisor and employees as well.
- Do they trust the franchisor and business people in general? And finally,
- Will they work consistently and intensely, even in the face of adversities? In other words, will they ”keep on keeping on”?
So be proactive and select people that meet these minimums. Don’t get caught reacting to negative headlines or customer complaints. It’s much easier to make sure you have the right person in place and completely avoid negative press.