By Katrina Vo posted April 1, 2022
Yes, the pandemic has been a headache, but it has also provided some amazing opportunities to improve communication and productivity. One of these is the widespread adoption of virtual and blended meetings and events.

As you may know, FRI vigorously embraced Zoom and we pivoted our popular workshops into virtual formats with phenomenal results. This not only enabled us to share our work with thousands more people all over the world, but in many cases it actually improved the value of these sessions (as rated by participants).

The next evolution is blended meetings where we are combining face to face and virtual deliveries. For example at the recent IFA Convention, Greg Nathan facilitated a 3-hour interactive workshop in San Diego with 50 participants seated face to face at round tables. Greg could see, talk and interact with them even though he was facilitating from the other side of the world through Zoom.

It is of course also exciting to be getting back to face to face events. Franchisees from The Leather Doctor were thrilled to have Kelley Matson from our team, physically presenting at their Conference, and we are looking forward to being a part of the FCA Convention next week in Melbourne.

In this Positive Franchising Update, we share some outcomes from this new evolution of events, including 10 strategies to prevent and resolve franchisee disputes.

Virtual events are here to stay, and that's a good thing, as they open up development opportunities to more of your team,regardless of location. If organised well, these can be just as effective as face to face events. When we poll our virtual event participants, 93% of them say that the virtual delivery is just as effective, if not more effective, than traditional face-to-face sessions. Of course the benefits of being face to face are powerful. So blended events, where participants have a choice of attending in person or virtually, are likely to become a preferred meeting strategy.

Here are some examples:


Proving that neither distance nor language need be an impediment, we presented to a vibrant and enthusiastic group of franchise executives in Brazil over five sessions. With learning materials translated into Portuguese and live translations happening during the sessions, we were able to deliver all the value of our 'normal' program in a way that delighted participants.


We are now seeing many franchise groups returning to face to face conferences. Last week franchisees from The Leather Doctor came together on the Gold Coast for two days of networking and interactive learning, with FRI education consultant, Kelley Matson, (seen here hamming it up with the guys).Next week Kelley will be 'virtually' off to Canada to join a group of STOR-X franchisees who are gathering together face to face for their annual convention. Kelley will beam in on Zoom to facilitate several sessions on personality profiling and the Franchisee Wheel of Excellence.

As part of last week's Brazilian Franchisor Excellence Masterclass, participants shared strategies they have used to prevent and resolve disputes with franchisees.

Here's some of the tips that were mentioned:

#1: Learn how to communicate with different personality styles, as this can often be a source of frustration and disengagement.
#2: Discuss and set boundaries regarding what is, and is not, acceptable in the early stages of the franchise relationship.
#3: Look for signals early on that there could be problems in the relationship and address these as soon as possible.
#4: Develop your empathy skills to listen openly to franchisee concerns and communicate your understanding.
#5: When delivering information to franchisees, ensure this is relevant, useful, and has clear benefits from the franchisee's perspective.
#6: When receiving difficult feedback, assume good intentions and regard the franchisee as a respected colleague.
#7: Acknowledge the experience of your mature franchisees, and involve them in important decisions that impact on the network.
#8: Be straightforward and honest in all communications, stick to the facts, and do not avoid or cover up challenges or mistakes.
#9: Do not promise what you cannot deliver, and do not be afraid to say "no", while also explaining why something is not possible.
#10: Practice patience, stay connected to your higher purpose, and resist speaking out of anger.

We're looking forward to joining our colleagues in the Australian franchising sector at the National Franchise Convention. If you come and visit us at Stand 16, we will have a gift for you, and we'll also be able to show you an exciting new product we have just launched called The FranchiseLab. We're also delighted to be facilitating two panels at the conference: 

Helping your people get their MoJo back
Supporting your network for post-pandemic wellbeing and resilience

Effective communication in uncertain times
Leading in a positive way and having important conversations with your team

HR Central was created when it was identified that many franchisees and SMEs were without internal HR support. We could hardly believe that owners and managers were either handling it themselves or relying on staff, largely unqualified in HR, to juggle the many tasks that fall under the HR umbrella. Servicing Australia-wide, we are industry non-specific, and tailor every solution accordingly. We have on-shore, in-house, Software and HR Specialist teams who are on call to service and advise our clients whenever they need our assistance. Our philosophy is based on partnership. We work hard to maintain a partner relationship with each and every franchise network and our solutions and services assist in compliance across the sector. With a strong HR focus, we watch with pleasure how our support can help a business to flourish and grow, strengthening brand and reputation whilst building a cohesive, harmonious and positive internal culture.

Contact: Cath Grawe — +61 409 935 106

6pm - 8pm AEST (9-11am BST) | 5 Sessions 26, 29 Apr & 3, 6, 10 May

Being offered for the first time in a timeslot suited to our colleagues in Europe, Asia and South Africa (and Australians who prefer to learn in the evening), the Franchisor Excellence Masterclass is a fantastic opportunity for senior franchisor executives to remain up to date with important strategic trends, engage with high-level peers, and stay fresh and focused on what matters.

Over five convenient 2-hour sessions, you will learn useful techniques on the psychology of franchise leadership, and participate in small group discussions where best practice tips are shared.

The program is facilitated by FRI's Founder, Greg Nathan, and sessions are delivered live on Zoom in a highly interactive manner, enabling you to participate from your preferred location. CFE accredited.

Price:  At AU$545,  this program provides outstanding value and is consistently rated as delivering an excellent ROI. Further discounts apply for groups of five or more participants.


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