BUILDING A CULTURE OF EMPOWERED
need their franchisees to be empowered, engaged and supportive. Unless
the franchise company actively, constantly, and effectively involves
its franchisees in decision making, it runs the risk of franchisees
becoming isolated and unhappy.
in the process of keeping your company’s business fresh and vibrant
means building a Culture of Empowerment. This requires constant two-way
communication. The old joke about the employee who says, “They
sent us our brains from corporate” has more than a kernel of wisdom
to it. Franchise companies necessarily have to insist that franchisees
follow their systems closely. Franchisees don’t, however, have
to feel that things are being forced down their throats. Building a
Culture of Empowerment among your franchisees can strike a balance between
these two needs.
to Your Franchisees
This process requires that the franchisor be willing to listen and to
try new things suggested by franchisees. The unique nature of the legal
relationship between a franchisor and its dealers, though, introduces
certain risks into this process. Franchisors have to engage their franchisees
but keep it clear that the ultimate authority rests with the franchisor.
At Kern & Hillman,
LLC, we help clients develop and implement programs that build a culture
Why involve a lawyer
in these internal relationships?
The reason is that
the tools for empowering franchisees are decidedly legal in nature.
A new product development taskforce is an example of an effective tool
for empowering franchisees. It must be established with legal issues
and risk management in mind. A clearly defined policy, for example,
that assures that the franchisor will own intellectual property rights
to any new development is critical. A clear agreement concerning confidentiality
and exclusive rights to new developments should also be implemented.
are asked to participate in the vendor qualification process, antitrust
considerations arise. Allowing franchisee input does not violate trade
regulation laws, but the nature of their participation and its impact
on prices needs to be handled with care.
Building a culture
of empowered franchisees is supposed to avoid and solve problems. Don’t
let the process create new ones. Contact us to empower your franchisees.
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