Motivating and retaining your rock stars
A strong franchisee cooperative (co-op) is the backbone of many successful franchisee businesses. A co-op is made up of franchisees who operate businesses in a specific market or in neighboring markets. This group of business owners works together on marketwide initiatives with the belief that when they speak with one voice—when they deliver one consistent brand message—it helps them individually and collectively.
Some of the strongest Great Clips markets have strong co-ops. Much of what the co-ops focus on is marketing, but Great Clips co-ops also work together on other business functions, including recruiting, training, community outreach, and real estate.
Here’s how Great Clips franchisees the Cleveland, Ohio market are working together to motivate and retain their best employees.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland isn’t the only place in Ohio where you can find star performers. You’ll also see them in Great Clips salons throughout the Buckeye State, identifiable by the trophies and banners in the salon, the lapel pins worn by the award recipients, and the smiles on the faces of the proud winners.
The Columbus co-op—a group of Great Clips franchisees in the Columbus market—developed a marketwide program to recognize, reward and retain their best employees. Great Clips franchisee Debbie Tillery believes the high-profile award—called RockStars—not only motivates stylists, but it’s also a good business practice.
“Our co-op wanted to motivate and retain our top performers,” Debbie says, “and we also wanted a recognition program that would help everyone see what’s possible in our market. When you identify RockStars, you’re also identifying who the role mod¬els are in your salons. It’s the right thing to do for the people, and it’s good business.”
Debbie, tell us about the program.
To be recognized as a RockStar, you have to have high scores in how we measure success in our salons. Each of these areas of excellence is weighted in the scoring. Those who score the highest are our RockStars!
How does the co-op work together to execute the recognition event?
The co-op formed a General Manager Recruiting and Recognition sub-committee to design and implement our RockStar event. The committee consists of six general managers and one franchisee liaison. The co-op approves all the logistics—date, location, program agenda and budget—and our co-op dues pay for the event.
Tell us about the actual event.
It’s a big deal! We put on a luncheon and we invite someone from the Great Clips home office to attend as a guest speaker. (Great Clips CEO Rhoda Olsen and Great Clips COO Rob Goggins have been speakers in the past.) Each RockStar receives a certificate and a pin. Those who scored the highest get trophies and cash.
The energy in the room of these top performers is contagious. You can tell they’re all trying to figure out how they’re going to come back next year. They’re also planning how they’re going to get their best-friend stylists to be there next year, too.
What’s the strength of being a marketwide program?
Getting recognition in front of your peers from throughout the whole mar¬ket is a really powerful motivator for the winners. They know they really are RockStars! It has also generated some friendly competition between man¬agers and stylists who want to have the most RockStars from their salons.
What effect do you think RockStar has on retention and employee engagement?
While we have not formally tracked retention data, I do know the recognition helps team members understand that they are part of a bigger picture outside their salon and that makes them proud to work for Great Clips. If we want our team members to act like this is more than a job, and go above and beyond to serve the customers, we have to make it more than just a job and treat them like they are appreciated and special. It’s really about thanking them for all they do.
These RockStar stylists represent a whole lot of haircuts, and that means a whole lot of customers. They are the best people we have across our system and we want to make sure they can see what they’re a part of, and how special that is.