Greg Nathan's Franchise Relations Tip #11
Beware – Consultation is Not Consensus
A franchisor VP of Marketing recently shared this story with me. It's a great reminder not to assume your franchisees share the same perspective as you on important issues.
When setting up their FAC they attempted to have clear guidelines around its operation, including defining its decision making powers. The Charter stated the FAC was “to be a sounding board for new initiatives and strategies”.
The franchisees interpreted this to mean they were the Board and the franchisor was required to sound ideas off them for final approval!
When this misunderstanding came to light and the franchisees realized they did not have final veto over the franchisor's strategies they felt somewhat hoodwinked.
People hear what they want to hear
One reason for this confusion is that people tend to hear what they want to hear. So it pays to check that franchisees have not misinterpreted the meaning of important policies or processes.
There is one word in particular that is regularly misinterpreted in franchising circles. It is consultation – the process of having regard for the thoughts or needs of others when making decisions. Contrary to popular belief, consultation does not mean getting everyone's agreement to a decision, or even involving others directly in the decision-making process. This is consensus, a far more radical and impractical concept when applied to a franchise system.
Consultation does, however, mean considering the views of pokies online those who may be affected by your decisions or plans. Our research with thousands of franchisees indicates franchisors have a lot to learn here.
For instance, while 92% of franchisees say they enjoy their work and 86% agree that, generally speaking, they have a good relationship with their franchisor, only 61% believe franchisor management respects their opinions or that there are avenues in the franchise system to express their ideas and opinions.
Consultation makes good commercial sense
It is good commercial practice
to have a consultation process with franchisees on key decisions. They typically have a high emotional and financial interest in the outcome and will no doubt have strong views to express. They also often have a well informed understanding of the operational implications of any decisions.
While FACs provide an excellent opportunity for franchisors to consult with franchisee representatives on future plans and initiatives, the sounding board story above reminds us of the need to be clear on the rules of engagement. Remember, consultation does not mean consensus. So be sure to regularly make this clear to all people involved in your consultative committees.
Because these types of issues can make the difference between success and failure when working with franchisees, we will be covering them in depth at my next Profitable Partnerships Boot Camp on May 25th and 26th.
We are delighted to also announce the Boot Camp is now registered for CFE points. Attending will get you 300 Education Credits towards completion of the Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) accreditation or CFE re-certification. We are only taking a limited number of people and I understand the program is filling fast.
Thanks for reading this. If you are interested in creating profitable partnerships with your franchisees, register soon.
Register for Profitable Partnerships Boot Camp! May 25 & 26 in Denver. Hope you can join us!
Franchise Relationships Institute
Often described as the international thought-leader and expert on franchise relationships, no one understands the unique challenges and rewards inherent in the franchisee-franchisor relationship like Greg and his team of psychologists at Franchise Relationships Institute. They have spent the past 20 years researching the science of successful franchise relations.