As businesses expand, leaders often find themselves managing more employees spread across multiple locations, whether it is a few franchises in a city or several offices around the globe. While companies aim for sustainable growth, there are many challenges that can arise when some employees are out of sight (though hopefully not out of mind), such as:
* Internal miscommunications
* Confusion or misinterpretation of company policies
* Unclear power structure
* Loss of productivity
All these unfortunate side effects of multiple locations can be diminished or even avoided altogether if you clearly define expectations for employees, take advantage of technology and communicate effectively between different sites.
1. Set clear expectations
Make sure the expectations for employee behavior, regardless of location, are clear from the beginning. If everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing and the company policies they will have to follow, then work gets done more uniformly and efficiently. There are many aspects of the workday that can vary from company to company, so your employees will need guidance on things like flexibility of working hours, power relationships and company culture. When associates’ goals align with company ideals, everyone can work together to pursue your strategy more efficiently and effectively.
2. Take advantage of technology
With the advent of so many new technologies, staying in touch with multiple locations is easier than ever. Ways you can use technology to connect your different sites include:
* Employee time and attendance tracking
* Employee intranet sites for posting company documents, news, and much more
* Websites like salesforce.com that allow satellite teams to collaborate
* Video and phone conference calls
* Custom reporting on labor and employee information across all locations
When your whole company is one cohesive and connected community, you become a powerhouse working towards a single goal instead of isolated locations struggling to find a purpose. Technology is a tool that can help you clearly communicate your purpose to all employees.
3. Maintain open communication
Different branches or franchises of a company can often feel like islands connected by nothing but a brand name or a product. When some locations are not kept as up-to-date or informed as others, they start to lose touch with the company’s policies, ideals and the drive that keeps business thriving. Keeping up communication through technology, company publications and periodic visits to satellite sites will assure those locations that their commitment to the company is important and will help maintain employee engagement.
All of your locations, whether they are down the street or around the globe, can become one unified team if you follow these simple guidelines. If you’re interested in more ways you can improve your franchises, check out the article 3 Keys to Franchise Success and Profitability, or see how Paycor’s suite of products can work for you.
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