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As labor shortages continue to leave employers scrambling to attract and retain quality talent, with some offering record salaries and sign-on bonuses, the key to keeping workers might not be a hefty paycheck. , but something intangible or non-normative. incentives that improve the quality of life. The franchise industry has been hit particularly hard by the tight labor market, but smart employers have changed hiring benefits or expanded existing initiatives to create an environment workers want to stay in.
experiences, not things
In the competitive fight for quality workers, some brands have realized that many employees are in the market for a rich company culture and life-enhancing experiences both on and off the job, not just a steady salary. “No one wants to go to work where you just clock in and clock out,” says franchisee Jason Cabrera of Layne’s Chicken Fingers. “I want my team to want to come to work every day.” Cabrera prioritizes a strong balance of fun and challenge within his team, making sure everyone feels valued.
Zoom Room, the indoor dog training franchise, puts relationship building and a meaningful company culture at the forefront of your experience. The company hosts regular social events and team-building activities, one of which includes an anniversary celebration at the Virginia Beach location that lets employees throw a cake at their bosses (really!). Zoom Room aims to foster meaningful relationships among all employees and maintains high standards for its quality company culture. “We work day and night with puppies and dogs, so [the events] they are a fun stress reliever and incentive for us,” says Stephanie Knepp, vice president of operations.
Scramblers Restaurants implements similar initiatives to foster team dynamics and give employees something to look forward to. Each year, it hosts the “Scramblers Olympics” for all employees, where each location forms a team and comes together for a day filled with activities, prizes and fellowship.
Related: Team Building Tips: 8 Ways to Make Sure Every Employee Feels Included
Opportunities to grow
According to the Pew Research Center, one of the driving forces that led people to quit their jobs in 2021 was feeling that there was little or no opportunity to advance. IT services franchise, Cinch IT, provides extensive resources for its employees to grow and learn during their time with the company. With world-class training and internship opportunities, along with homebuying programs and resources, Cinch IT strives to give employees autonomy and access to build their lives and careers toward growth.
A generous signing bonus doesn’t hurt, but it’s the intangible aspects of feeling supported and valued that often keep employees happy, productive, and engaged in the long run. In the wake of the pandemic, when most large companies chose to furlough a large portion of their employees, Flame Broiler made the executive decision to keep all workers on board and ensure job security in times of uncertainty. “Although this led to a significant financial impact, it served the franchise well in the long run in maintaining a strong company culture,” says Christian Lee, director of business operations for Flame Broiler. “We found that treating our employees like family is the best strategy for employee retention.” Similarly, Noodles & Company goes to great lengths to ensure that its employees feel valued and offers extensive resources that provide ongoing support to staff outside of work. Some of the initiatives include six weeks of paid maternity leave, surrogacy and adoption assistance of up to $10,000 for qualified team members, dependent care backup assistance, free mental health counseling, flexible work schedules and gender-neutral bathrooms for an inclusive work environment.
Related: How much and what kind of ongoing support should you provide to your franchisees?
What really matters
As the nation emerges from a global pandemic, it’s no surprise that workers are reassessing what really matters and what’s simply not worth it when you consider the value of quality of life and one’s time. With a shortage of candidates and endless positions to fill, companies are reassessing themselves and providing not only a job for workers, but also incentives to grow, learn and build meaningful relationships.