My Podner in this episode is Robert Bilotti and he’s going to talk to us about franchisee onboarding and training. We will dive deep into “training theory” and then wrap it all up with a step-by-step discussion on how a new franchisor needs to set up a training program for franchisees.
Rob Bilotti Intro
Get to know Rob Bilotti
Topic Segment – Franchisee Training and Onboarding
Topics discussed in this episode:
The difference between a franchise system and a collection of mom and pops is “Training”
What is the difference between onboarding and training?
When do I need to hire a full-time trainer?
What to train versus how to train
Can a start-up franchisor use the operations manual as the training program at first?
Your first franchisees will be some of the most important validators of the concept, and if you skimp on training up front, it will come back to bite you.
Your most important franchisee is the first one after the former employee, friends, and family franchisees. That is the one that will really be the proof of concept. Be sure that you have a solid training program BEFORE that franchisee starts.
Invest in a learning management system (LMS) early
What is an LMS?
How does training change when you are in growth mode?
How to select an LMS right for your system
Moodle is a free, open source LMS
Look for a user-friendly system (from the administrative perspective) and a nimble system. Learn this by doing lots of demos and talking to other companies that use an LMS. Google is a great resource.
LMS support is probably one of the most important features. Usually, the more you pay, the more support you get.
What are the different modes of training (modality)?
If you set up a mentoring program to help train new franchisees, be sure to invest in a training program for the mentors so they can be trained in how to train.
There is a difference between lecturing and facilitation when it comes to training.
There is not one modality that is best for everybody. There is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to training.
Survey your franchisees, and do it often, how you are doing with training. Don’t just capture “smile sheets”, rather actionable information. This should happen every 3 to 6 months.
You CAN measure return on investment in training, especially in a franchise system.
Use gust satisfaction surveys to draw training topics.
What are the steps that a start-up franchisor needs to follow to develop a training program?
Document – document – document. What makes your business a success.
What can you expand on from that? Create actionable content from that documentation? This is the “what”.
Determine how you will take that information and disseminate it to the people who need it? This would be the franchisee and their employees. This is the “how”.
Determine how you will support your franchisees in their training efforts to their employees.
Establish a mechanism for measuring the results of the training.
Allow plenty of time to develop your training program. If you start developing your training program after you have signed your first franchisee then you have waited far too long.