Because of their unique nature, employees and owners working within a franchise are more likely to have strained or alienated relationships that employees and owners working in a traditional business setting. Without a doubt, franchising presents excellent opportunities for profit making and career advancement, but it can often feel that the bond between co-workers is not as strong within a franchise and personal well-being and productivity suffer as a result.
Employees and owners of franchises need not be told corrosive affects of a sick work environment, all too many deal with such environments on a daily basis, but few within the franchise system have offered solutions and analysis of this malady. While there is certainly no one, single right way to conduct yourself in the work place, there are methods that can help identify different ‘characters’ that workers within the franchise tend to play.
Often referred to as ’employee paradigms’ these two general, broad categories of worker – the achiever and the buddy- can help to illustrate the positives and negatives of two contrasting styles of work. There are certainly more character types to be dissected within the franchise dynamic, but these two will serve to set the stage for understanding franchise relationships.
The Achiever: Simply put, the achiever is the employee who treats their job as a life or death situation and who will stop at nothing to make sure that everyone else at work realizes how seriously they consider their employment. The achiever’s behavior and demonstrative attitude can take many, often contradictory forms such passive aggressiveness, assertiveness, and ill-humor, but the underlying thread in the achiever’s behavior is that they are driven by a need to succeed and be recognized.
Without delving too far into the psychology of the achiever type, it is important to understand that if you find yourself working alongside an achiever, though their behavior may at times be off-putting, their goals and projects are most likely driven by an inborn desire to succeed (and perhaps a fear of failure as well) and as such, a few well placed compliments will do wonders for this co-workers self-confidence and opinion of you. Likewise, in your interaction with the achiever, you should not attempt to become too ‘chummy’ or unprofessional as they might be taken aback by your seeming lack of respect for their dedication.
The Buddy: Traditionally considered to be on the opposite end of the franchise employee spectrum, the buddy is an employee who, for one reason or another, puts their work within the franchise as a secondary goal to that of making friends and becoming popular.
The buddy is often great fun to be around and can really lighten up the work place if kept in check, but if poorly managed or, worse, if managing, the buddy can become a plague on the office, draining productivity and causing irritation wherever they go. Buddies are best dealt with in short spurts, if you feel that you cannot talk to a buddy without going back to your work in a bad mood simply find reasons to stay away from them- your work will profit as a result.
One can reduce these two general categories into further specialized character types, but in terms of franchise success and profitability, the achiever and the buddy tend to be the two signature personalities that reoccur most frequently. Above all, with all character types, remember to be understanding, compassionate, and adaptable.