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Few things can sink a business like making the wrong managerial hire and while this applies across most industries, in the franchising world a bad hire can lead to dire repercussions for the business, its customers and other stakeholders. But while a dreadful appointment has the potential to ruin an organisation, finding the right manager as a franchisee is as critical as the franchisor placing a reputable CEO, explains Marcel Strauss, Group Chief Operations Officer at The Franchise Co.

“A manager of a business plays a crucial role in the daily upkeep of a company. The decisions they make can have far-reaching financial, social and even political consequences for the business. In the food franchise sector, for example, incompetence in management can result in customers suffering from food poisoning, injuries, credit card theft, abuse or a host of other challenges, which could result in the business facing a slew of lawsuits,” says Strauss.

To counter this, The Franchise Co. provides efficient, practical and comprehensive training for managers. Managers must understand the systems, procedures and dynamic of the workplace and the team, therefore, must undergo vigorous training that develops their interpersonal skills, time-management abilities, strategic planning techniques and leadership approach. They will also be exposed to more technical training that often covers a series of areas, including quality control; employees’ wellbeing; customer service and financial management.

“While training can equip your staff and manager with the necessary tools to ensure the franchise runs smoothly, franchisees need to get it right from the onset when they are recruiting for a manager. And one attribute that every leader must possess is integrity, because their actions and not words, set the precedent for the organisation. Leadership motivated by self-interest will not serve the business,” explains Strauss.

He says excellent communication is another trait to look out for when picking the right manager.

Managers must foster an environment of open communication and empathy, create a culture of inclusivity where every employee can voice their concerns and customer feedback is taken earnestly.

For Strauss having a vision is acumen great managers must possess. They must have the ability to see the big picture and the business’ goals. But equally important is being able to translate that vision into practice, meet goals and effectively deal with any problems that arise.

A great manager not only understands the business’ journey but also the pitfalls standing between employees and their respective tasks. They need to understand their team’s strengths and weaknesses, identify an employee’s potential and be willing to encourage them to work on developing their skills and grow their knowledge base.

“Managers have a level of enthusiasm that cannot be snubbed by the run of the mill activities that one encounters on the job. These types of leaders have a can-do attitude and are geared towards solutions and not problem identification. Their commitment to their job inspires their team members to give more of themselves and because optimism is contagious, the positive outlook spills over towards customers as well.

“But to figure out if your managerial candidate has the necessary traits, you cannot rely on the conventional interview questions during the recruitment phase. Instead ask questions that reveal a person’s character, place them in situations that will force them to show you who they are and complete psychometric evaluations. Give them tasks that apply to the job at hand, and if possible, take them through a tour of the business and have them interact with other employees and assess how they might treat their future co-workers. It is here that you will get a feel whether the candidate has the qualities to be a great manager or not,” concludes Strauss.

The Franchise Co. offers franchisees an opportunity to invest in the following food brands: Blacksteer, ChesaNyama, Mike’s Kitchen, Nyamalicious, Yami Pizza, Yami Rib and Burger, Yummy Fish and Chips and Zebro’s.

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