Being a business owner usually means that at some point you’ll need to employ staff to help, this might be to assist with the day to day running, to increase sales or on a more strategic level. Either way if they’re not engaged they’re unlikely to be motivated and therefore not perform to the best of their abilities.

Running your own franchise can mean living and breathing the business, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, especially during its growth stages. Whilst you can’t demand that your employees do the same you can at least expect them to give 100%. So what practices can you adopt to engage and motivate?

As an employer it’s important to remember that the two in this scenario go hand in hand. Motivation is something we talk about often, but perhaps people don’t ask enough about how they and their staff could be more engaged.

Everyone’s different

People are motivated by different things. We’re all slaves to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but where an individual sits on that scale may vary.

It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?”

At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on.

This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency’ (Maslow, 1943) If we can assume that the basic needs are met, then higher needs become important- feelings of trust, empowerment, belonging, self-esteem and self-actualisation.


So in order to find out the different needs of your team you have to engage them in regular conversation. Provide opportunities, perhaps through regular 1:2:1s to see what motivates them.

You also need to show how they as an individual fit into the overall strategy of the business so they can understand how their contribution, no matter what their role, is essential and valued.

To do this you should define your vision for the business, help them understand how decisions are made, set clear goals and keep your promises.


Communicate frequently and effectively and don’t forget to listen. Appreciate their viewpoints, opinions and feelings. If they are able to understand how they ‘fit’, they may be better positioned to suggest ways their role/tasks could be improved or made more efficient.


Once you’ve found out what motivates your employees you’ll be better placed to reward them. To recognise and celebrate successes in a way that suits the task in hand.

Some personalities are driven by money, so bonus incentives will work for them if the goals set are SMART*, essentially deemed achievable. Others would welcome work flexibility so they are better placed to fit their work around their personal life and family commitments.

Team incentives could be as simple as offering an extended lunch hour, an early finish or a dress down day if appropriate. Money matters but it doesn’t tick every box. Whichever route you choose act fairly and be consistent in your praise and your behaviour.

Remember to always praise publicly but to criticise privately with the individual/s involved. Criticism should be an opportunity to assess a given situation and provide an opening to discuss learning and development so any mistakes aren’t repeated.


So why bother? We’ve already discussed that an un-motivated employee is unlikely to work to the best of their abilities. An engaged and motivated member of staff that understands the direction of the business and the importance of their role within it is likely to be a huge ambassador for the brand, its products and services.

They’re more likely to work hard, provide an excellent level of customer service and they will do their best to help your business grow.


Effective communications and incentive schemes may not be new ideas but, when you’re building your business and getting caught up in the day to day tasks or a period of strategic planning, it’s easy to let these slip.

You might forget that, as individuals, your expectations may differ from those you work with and fall into the habit of presuming that because you’re happy everyone else must be.

If the business you own or you’re looking to buy is part of a franchised network you should be able to tap into the experience and knowledge gleaned by the franchisor and other franchisees over the years as to what does and doesn’t work.

Their HR department may also be able to offer golden nuggets of advice and ideas. In any case, if you remember to communicate often and effectively in a two way dialogue. Are able to listen and learn. You should be able to build a hard working and loyal team. *SMART – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Kasia Baldwin is Franchise Marketing Manager at Driver Hire Nationwide Has worked for Driver Hire, a UK based award-winning recruitment franchise for over eight years and is the initial contact for anyone looking to buy into this highly successful business model that has been franchising since 1987.

Request more information about Driver Hire here.

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