One of the most daunting tasks new franchise owners face is hiring staff. The right employees can lift your business, while the wrong employees can do quite the opposite.
At PJ’s Coffee, we provide our franchisees with hiring guidelines to help them bring the right staff on board. In addition, we know when they have a rockstar employee, they want to keep them. We not only support our franchisees in hiring team members, but also share some advice on how to retain their best workers.
Setting Franchisees up for Success
At PJ’s Coffee, we provide our new franchisees with a roadmap for hiring and retaining rockstar employees. It all begins with a two-week strategic partner training program held both in the classroom and at an actual PJ’s Coffee location for a real-world experience.
We also provide our franchisees with Homebase, a personnel management system for operators to help them manage their team, create schedules and assist with professional development. Our franchisees also use an online training suite called World Manager, which provides compliance tracking and steps for new hires to become great employees. World Manager also has a continuing education management program to help employees advance through the PJ’s system and become more responsible team members.
With the right combination of training and tools, our franchisees are able to find, hire and retain the best team members possible.
Look for the Right Stuff
Think about what you expect when you walk into a coffee shop and place your order. How do you want to be treated? You want to be valued, so we encourage our franchisees to hire people who will value their customers. The best way to do this during the interview and onboarding process is to look for certain traits that suggest how adept they are at delivering good customer service.
To help our franchisees find employees who will provide the highest levels of service, we encourage them to look for the following qualities:
- Display Empathy – At a coffee shop, it’s crucial for employees to see customers as human beings and not the dollar amount of their order. Our existing franchisees suggest that their employees look at customers like they’re a member of their family, and elevate their service as if the customer really mattered to them. That takes empathy to a higher level.
- Problem-Solving – When things go wrong, employees should be able to say, “What can I do to make this right?” Franchisees can learn more about people through adversity than they do when everything is working favorably. When things go wrong, that’s when employees show if they care about the business. Our franchisees take note of how each of their employees functions during difficult situations. Coaching employees through challenges helps them get over the hump of providing mediocre service and onto delivering top-notch service.
- Relationship-Building – Because so many coffee shop customers are typically regulars, employees should try to connect with them and make them feel welcomed. Not only does that familiarity keep guests coming back, but it helps convert the one-time visitor into a regular and life-long customer.
Keep Employees by Getting Them Involved
Of course, once our franchisees have employees who operate at an optimum level, they want to retain them. However, it’s not only pay that keeps workers engaged in their jobs. PJ’s franchisees who allow team members to take ownership of their roles and expand their knowledge of operations do well in retaining their star employees.
This requires franchisees to let those staff members know they’re valued and trusted, and that there’s a career for them with PJ’s. In fact, some of our franchisees who’ve done this have seen their employees become fellow PJ’s Coffee franchisees.
This can be done with absentee franchisees as well as with owner-operators. Absentee franchisees put general managers in place who embody the PJ’s spirit and value the staff have success developing PJ’s employees into ambitious team members.
We encourage our franchisees and their general managers to share what it is they do with their staff to encourage star employees to stay with PJ’s and move toward ownership. We suggest showing them the profit margins, the costs of waste, scheduling, ordering and more. Employees can then see their next steps in the PJ’s system and feel motivated to be a top performer.