Gina Signor, marketing and branding director for Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services, shares her insights on franchise culture, why it matters, and how to make it better.
One of the most positive changes to come about in the franchise industry in recent years is that franchises are becoming more culture-conscious. So, what makes your franchise culture stand out from the others?
“At Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services, we think a brand’s core values are at the heart of a thriving company culture,” Signor said. “The core values on which our company was founded have stood the test of time and shaped our company culture. Our first core value is to ‘Honor God.’ As a faith-based franchise system, we have the responsibility to act and serve others in a way that honors God. For us, that makes it easy to fulfill our other core values – such as doing what is right and demonstrating honesty and integrity. Although franchise owners do not have to be a particular faith to join our company, they need to be able to embrace our values. And, when our franchisees are asked what attracted them to Office Pride, they almost always answer that the company’s values aligned with their own.”
However, building a strong company culture is not always easy. It’s hard work, and it takes dedication. So, how do you build a strong, thriving culture? Here’s Signor’s primer on company culture and why it matters to companies like Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services.
Franchise culture is top-down
When the CEO is committed to your franchise culture, the rest of the company will be, too. Leading by example is important. As franchise systems grow, new franchisees must understand the culture, appreciate how important it is to maintain, and find ways to contribute to it in a positive way. Office Pride’s core values are the filters we use to make big and small decisions every day. Our franchise owners use those same filters as they build their own businesses.
Franchise culture is shared
By definition, culture is a set of shared attitudes, goals, and values of people in a certain place. Franchisors can protect their established cultures by seeking franchisees who are of like mind and share the company’s values. Sometimes that means we – or a prospective franchisee – might decide we are not the best cultural fit, and that’s OK. We want to grow with leaders who are committed to our culture.
Franchise culture is palpable
When you visit our corporate headquarters, our culture is apparent. It permeates the atmosphere – whether it’s in meetings or in the break room. You can tell that people care about each other and respect one another’s strengths and opinions. When someone is ill or in need, we show genuine care and support for them. Our culture of caring for colleagues and franchisees extends to our other professional relationships with customers, vendors, and the communities we serve.
Franchise culture is a differentiator
Finally, culture sets us apart. We know we’re different, and we’re proud of it. We discuss our company culture with franchise candidates, vendors, and others with whom we interact. Our culture gives us an advantage in recruiting new franchise owners and helps franchisees fill positions in their own businesses. A strong, companywide culture can lead to happy franchisees, which positively affects their employees, customers, and business success. We point to our high franchise satisfaction ratings as proof that we really are who we say we are and that we do what we say we will do. People appreciate honesty.
Whether your franchise culture is exactly where you think it should be or it could use a little polishing, encourage and embrace feedback. Ask your headquarters team and franchise owners what they value about your company and what they think you could do better. Listen with an open mind and a willing heart, and keep a watchful eye on your core values.
Gina Signor is the marketing and branding director for Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services.