How to Make Franchise Training Engaging and Effective

In this post, we discuss some of the challenges franchise holders when it comes to training franchisees. We'll give you some tips on where to start and where to get further support.

Here's what's covered in the post:

  1. Challenges You Face
  2. Who Needs Training
  3. General Approach to Your Training and Development Path
  4. Offering Different Learning Approaches
  5. Blended Learning Approach to Franchise training
  6. Six Training Trends to Be Mindful of for Your Franchise Training
  7. Free Consultation

Challenges You Face

Your role as a franchisor is to build your brand and grow it successfully following the ambitions, vision, and purpose you established when you first embarked upon this format of trading.

You’ve entered into a way of doing business that gives you much control but also leaves you open to the limitations of your franchisees. It's only through adequate training will you be able to deliver on that vision and grow your business.

Here are some of the key challenges you face under the training and development umbrella.

  1. Aligning the vision of your customers' experience with what’s actually delivered by the franchise network day by day.
  2. Building a learning culture amongst franchisees so that they are committed to continual staff development and business improvement.
  3. Establishing and continually upgrading a training and development solution.
  4. Training the trainers and providing a consistent quality of instruction/facilitation.
  5. Clearly defining your target audience for franchisee training.
  6. Developing a training plan with clear, measurable objectives based on what each employee needs to know to perform competently.
  7. Developing engaging and effective learning opportunities using a variety of different interventions and approaches.
  8. Ways to fund the training (wholly or partially subsidised).
  9. Deciding upon what training should be mandatory and what is optional.
  10. Developing accredited training courses leading to tiered levels of achievement (e.g. Junior, Senior, Master.)

Who Needs Training?

Broadly speaking the following categories of people need training:

  • Franchisees
  • Franchisees’ Managers
  • Franchisees’ Employees
  • HQ Field Staff
  • Other HQ Personnel

General Approach to Your Training and Development Path

For those of you embarking on the franchise route here's a general approach tp training and developing the franchise employees that you can use as a model for creating your own path.

  1. Identify your target audience and what they need to be trained on.
  2. Set learning objectives and develop a training plan for each audience. What should trainees be able to accomplish after completing the training program? What level of such accomplishment should they meet (industry or organisational standards)? Are you developing their attitudes, skills, knowledge, or some combination of them all?
  3. Develop your training courses, materials, and learning methods including classroom, online, Action Based, workgroups, job sharing etc. Consider duration, structure, learning methods, trainer experience, and qualifications, training location and environment, criteria & methods for assessing participant learning as well as for evaluating the programs themselves.
  4. Run a series of pilot sessions and then review and tweak.
  5. Implement your training.
  6. Evaluate outcomes and refine the programs.
  7. Rinse and repeat over time.

Offer Different Learning Approaches

Your franchisee employees and managers come in all shapes and sizes bringing with them their own unique preferences for the way they like to learn. These learning styles should influence the way you design, develop and deliver your training programs for the franchisees.

One popular theory, the VARK model, identifies four primary types of learners: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

Another one uses seven styles of learning covering the following:

  1. Visual (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  2. Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
  3. Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  4. Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands, and sense of touch.
  5. Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning, and systems.
  6. Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
  7. Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.

Whether you follow one or the other doesn't make a huge difference. The key point is to ensure that your training courses, workshops, and online programs appeal to the different learning styles and therefore aim to incorporate a mixture.

Why? Because if you have a style of a workshop that is highly oriented toward a more interpersonal way of learning for example, and yet your audience primarily prefers to work alone and use self-study, then you run the risk of limiting the effectiveness of your workshops and therefore reduce the ROI.

By knowing your audience you can design accordingly. This doesn't mean catering to every individual's needs but offering a mixture of activities and teaching styles that will resonate with as many people as possible.

Blended Learning Approach to Franchise Training

One approach to appealing to different learning styles is to design your franchise training based on the blended learning model. Blended learning is a term increasingly used to describe the way e-learning is being combined with traditional classroom methods and independent study to create a new, hybrid teaching methodology.

When we develop blended learning for our own clients it has three primary components:

  1. In-person classroom activities facilitated by a trainer.
  2. Online learning materials, often including pre-recorded lectures given by that same trainer. Some of these can be delivered before the classroom sessions as pre-work which then frees up more time for further classroom work or skills practice.
  3. Structured independent study time guided by the material in the lectures and skills developed during the classroom experience.

 

Six Training Trends to Be Mindful of for Your Franchise Training

Here's our list of six trending issues to be aware of if you are considering revamping your training or developing new programs for your franchisees.

1. Bite-Sized Support Resources

Offer small, short, bite-sized learning video clips that learners can take that last  15 minutes or less. This keeps engagement higher, along with less downtime and higher levels of learner satisfaction. Think about the way people scan for information on their phones. The Intenet is conditioning us to snap at small, short pieces of information.

2. Self-Paced Online Training

Self-paced online training is one of the top Learning and Development trends. It involves letting learners set their own schedule, developing targeted goals, and seeking out online training resources themselves.

3. Gamification

Badges, points, and leaderboards help incentivise the online training experience especially with people that are naturally competitive such as sales executives. Gamification also acts as a valuable feedback tool for managers. For example, a franchise employee is unable to earn a badge or advance to the next level unless they achieve a certain score within the gamification mechanism. This tells them that they need to improve in this area in order to achieve the desired outcome.

4. Make it Personal

Franchise employees need to be able to focus on their areas for improvement, instead of keeping pace with their peers and colleagues. This means enabling them to plot their own path to achieve the competencies required. So making your training offer personalised could mean providing non-linear online courses and self-directed online training activities as wwell as classroom sessions.

5. Collaborative Online Learning Cultures

Collaborative online learning cultures are becoming the new norm as they strive to build eLearning communities that foster personal development. This leads to employees being encouraged to work with their colleagues to solve everyday business challenges and share their experiences. Everyone is allowed to contribute to the community and has the chance to expand their own knowledge and skills.

6. Social Learning Experiences

Similar to point 5 is the increasing use of social learning experiences. Every employee in your franchise is likely to be using some form of social media app. They are used to the approach and know the benefits and enjoyment it can bring them. 

Social media, blogs, and online discussion forums can all be added to your training offer for your franchisees. Allow them to use these social learning tools to interact with peers and gain valuable feedback. Twitter and Facebook can be used as learning tools and now Facebook has added the ability to have social learning groups added to encourage a type of mini training or learning unit.

 

Free Consultation

We hope that this post gives you some food for thought and helps you to kick-start a revamp of your franchise training programs or prepare for the rollout of a new franchise. Either way please contact us for a free consultation.

Email Mark on [email protected] and check out samples of our client work and testimonials here.

 

 

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