3 Easy Ways to Gather Franchise Employee Feedback and Supercharge Employee Retention

Gathering employee feedback in a franchise model can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be.

One of the biggest challenges for franchisors AND franchisees is getting and keeping great employees. Our research on employee engagement shows time again that employee recruitment and retention are the top factors limiting growth. You can’t thrive without a great team, and you can’t grow if you can’t staff your business. 

The culture of your organization has the biggest impact on retention and hiring, which makes staying tuned in to the employee experience crucial. These days most business owners gather feedback from their employees in some way, but when it comes to the franchise sector, getting feedback becomes so much more complex.

The Lash Lounge shares the model they created to measure and improve culture in the corporate office and franchise locations. Read More


Why Is It So Complicated to Get Feedback from Franchise Employees? 

Gathering feedback isn’t complicated, in and of itself. Many franchisors survey their employees, but it becomes complicated when they try to convince franchisees to do it in their own organizations for a number of reasons:   

  • First and foremost, franchisors don’t typically have access to their franchisees’ employee contact information, nor should they. The employees at your franchise locations do not work for the franchisor. They are trained by, managed by, and paid by the franchisee. This is an important distinction to eliminate any potential joint employer concerns.


  • Some franchise brands have locations and employees internationally, so there can be a need for translation into other languages.


  • Some franchise brands have corporate-owned locations, which may require different types of questions than your standard corporate office staff questions.


  • Change is constant in franchising, and it’s easy to push off getting feedback from the team “until things are settled” or “in a better place”.


  • Franchisees don’t have the resources or bandwidth to research a survey tool, create and administer a survey, or analyze the data that comes back.


3 Simple Ways to Get Employee Feedback Across Your Entire Franchise System

The power of a franchise system is access to data that can in turn, help you identify and create best practices. Franchise Business Review has been helping franchises do just that for nearly 20 years. Here are three easy ways to survey franchise employees to get the data you need across your entire system: 

1. Corporate staff: Start with your corporate office team to lead by example. Depending on the size of your team we can break out the data by role level, tenure, location, or any other demographics that help you understand engagement levels of your team members. FBR specializes in the franchise sector and has surveyed thousands of corporate franchise employees to benchmark engagement, so you can also see how your survey results compare to hundreds of other HQ franchise teams. 

See a sample benchmark report here.

2. Corporate locations: People leave managers, not companies, so getting feedback from employees about their managers is critical to retention. We create a benchmark of all locations and/or managers to help identify coaching opportunities and toxic managers that are hurting your business. Share the data with your team, tie it to performance reviews and bonus structures, and make it visible to all the employees so they know their feedback is valued and crucial to the success of the brand.

“We encourage (managers) to celebrate the wins and create a plan of action for opportunities. Our expectation is to see improvement over the last survey. Our turnover is far less than the industry average both on the hourly employee side, as well as management side. We partly attribute that to being a listening company, especially (related) to the feedback we receive on the surveys.”

Michele Kemplay, Jason's Deli

Michele Kemplay
Director of Human Resources, Jason’s Deli


3. Franchisee employees: Most legal teams caution franchisors to stay away from any gray areas that could be considered joint employer flags, but franchisors have an opportunity to help franchisees tackle recruiting and retention—one of the big reasons WHY entrepreneurs choose joining a franchise system vs. starting an independent business. By having a third party (like FBR) create and distribute the survey, you remove the franchisor from any direct contact. The franchisor offers a tool franchisees can opt in to use (no mandatory requirements here!) within their organizations. FBR administers the survey, shares the aggregate data with the franchisor, and the franchisee gets a report card for their teams. The brand can share benchmarking data with all locations/franchisees that participate (a reason for them to take part) and/or with the whole network to identify franchisees and managers with highest scores and use them as a resource to identify best practices.

Franchise Business Review has been getting feedback in the franchise sector since 2005. We work with each corporate franchise team to understand their challenges and goals, and who in the system they need feedback from. We use our standard survey questions to help provide context and benchmarking, as well as customized questions to give you insight into your own specific programs or initiatives. 

It’s easy to get started. All we need is a contact list and we can have the data back to you in 2-3 weeks. 

Reach out for a copy of our standard employee engagement questions. I would be happy to walk you through our process and help you compare any survey tool you’re currently using to FBR’s survey. 

In the meantime, I encourage you to read these case studies from some of the brands that were able to gain surprising insights from our survey and implement best practices to improve employee engagement. 


Massage Heights Case StudyMassage Heights: How the leadership team used FBR’s survey data to positively impact employee well-being and culture. Read the Massage Heights Case Study.



Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Case StudyWild Birds Unlimited: How an award-winning team used FBR’s employee engagement survey to improve communication and better align teams across the organization. Read the Wild Birds Unlimited Case Study.


Hot Dish Advertising Case StudyHot Dish Advertising: How they used detailed employee survey data to increase employee commitment and accountability. Read the Hot Dish Case Study.



Related Resource:

Franchise Hiring GuideFranchise Hiring Guide

Top talent is getting harder to find and even harder to retain. If employee recruitment and retention are a concern for your franchise organization, this hiring guide is a must-read. Download our free guide and you’ll learn:

  • Top 5 franchise employment trends
  • Which employees are most likely to leave
  • Most common benefits offered to franchise employees


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