Why it’s important and how to implement it in your franchise in 2020
If you could increase employee motivation and satisfaction in the workplace by 60 per cent right now, would you? I appreciate 60 per cent sounds like the kind of promise you might see on the side of a bus, but a study by mental health charity Mind found that six out of 10 employees would feel more motivated and were more likely to feel positively about their organisation if they felt their workplace supported their well-being.
I would go as far as to suggest that if workplace well-being is something you, as a franchisor/employer, don’t currently address at all, then with a concentrated effort you might find your organisation pushing that 60 per cent all the way up to 100 per cent.
When we talk about well-being in the workplace, what we mean is the impact our place of work and company culture can have on our mental health. Considering how much time we spend at work, it makes sense. It’s often said that a happy workforce is a productive workforce. So what can you do to implement well-being in your franchise?
Allow flexible working
Over the past few years, there has been a slight shift away from traditional 9-5 working to a more flexible approach.
Flexible working is simply offering flexibility over where, when and the hours employees work. It’s thought that this is an effective way to improve employee well-being and many statistics support this.
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s UK Working Lives 2019 survey (see panel), more than half of UK employees worked flexibly in some way in the last year, allowing them to take care of personal or family matters or increase their leisure time, which ultimately contributed substantially to their overall quality of life. Franchises can definitely benefit from offering flexible working too, as they are more likely to retain employees and attract more.
At Platinum Wave, we dropped our city centre office and rigid working hours for homeworking and a commitment to work smarter to ensure everything still gets done. Without exception, everyone on the team is happier with this arrangement and, in particular, losing the daily commute.
The work still gets done. We Skype and FaceTime regularly, kids get picked up from school and dropped off at clubs and, unlike the old days, it’s much rarer for any of us to need to work through the night or over the weekend. Happier, balanced and more productive - everyone wins.
Focus on personal development
Do you want your workforce to feel confident, valued and empowered? As a franchise owner, it’s up to you to help your team feel this way.
Focusing on employee personal growth plays a huge role in wellbeing in the workplace, as allowing your team to develop their skills will give them a greater sense of purpose and shows that their organisation is committed to supporting them.
Offering fresh learning experiences is a particularly effective way to support personal growth within your franchise. Additionally, working on personal growth plans with your team is a useful way to set and achieve goals.
Ongoing training and development is key to creating a culture of personal development and reduces the need to always have to look outside for new talent. Instead, you can build and retain your own.
Develop a fitness initiative
Healthy bodies equal healthy minds. There are endless studies and statistics that prove just how effective regular exercise is for both the body and mind, yet not everybody takes part in regular exercise enough to feel the benefits.
According to a survey by health club chain PureGym, 35 per cent of UK employees do not get adequate exercise. But it’s often the case that they simply don’t have enough time due to work commitments.
Developing a fitness initiative in your franchise is an excellent way to combat this. It could simply mean organising regular walks to work, encouraging your team to only use the stairs or having sports and exercise equipment available for people to borrow. Many fitness experts also believe that working out in a team is great for team building and enhancing communication within the workforce.
There’s no shortage of fitness brands in the industry now, so pick up the phone and ask them for some tips. You could be enjoying your 60 per cent employee motivation and satisfaction improvement in no time.
Flexible working has positive impact
78 per cent of respondents to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s UK Working Lives 2019 survey said flexible working has a positive impact on their quality of life. However, many are missing out, with 68 per cent wanting to work flexibly in at least one form that is not currently available to them.
The CIPD, which co-chairs the Flexible Working Taskforce, is seeking to boost the availability of flexible working across the UK.
Chief executive Peter Cheese says: “At its best, work gives people purpose, a sense of identity and achievement and allows them to contribute to society. But as our research shows, work can sometimes be all-encompassing, demands too much of people’s precious personal time and takes too much out of them.
“It’s disappointing to see so many workers report they have a poor work-life balance and is an issue which must be addressed by employers. They need to be offering all staff a wide range of flexible working arrangements and actively promote their take-up.
“As co-chair of the Flexible Working Task Force, we are working with the government and other business groups to bring flexible working to the masses and help reset the work-life balance.
“Not only will this help to improve people’s quality of life, but it will make their performance at work more sustainable over the long term.”
The CIPD has produced new guidance and tools on flexible working for all sectors, providing tips on how to improve uptake and successfully implement and carry out an effective evaluation.
More information: cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/flexible-working
Suzie McCafferty is CEO of franchise consultancy Platinum Wave