I wish I had known how to be an employer
By Elizabeth Gillam
When I started my franchisee journey by default I became an employer. What a learning curve that was. I had to learn many things and quickly too. The franchisor did help me with some areas but in other areas it was assumed that I knew what I was doing.
If you thought interviewing was hard, choosing the right employee was one thing but how to offer them the job was quite another so I created a “welcome package”. In this package was everything that a new employee needed and wanted. Some things had been provided by the Franchisor but other things were store specific and only I could provide these details. So to help you along, here are the eight things to put in a “welcome package”.
Letter of Engagement
The letter of engagement gives the new employee all the information that they need to know when working for you. The letter should include the Position Description, the award or agreement that they are employed under together with the classification that they will be employed as. Make sure that you outline the pay rate that they will be receiving per hour and how it will be paid to them e.g: weekly/fortnightly into a bank account. Detail what is expected of them as an employee in your store, especially their obligation towards confidentiality. All of the above are must dos, but I also put is some other things such as the details of their first shift and who they will be reporting to. I even let them know who the leadership team were. I outlined the uniform requirements I also included the contact details of the store. At the risk of information overload I also included any Point of Sale log in details and how they were to complete their time cards. This was some letter, but there is so much to tell a new employee. Create a template so that it is a simple matter of just entering their personal details.
Parental ConsentIf the employee is classified as a child under the Child Employment Act you may have to also include a parental consent form. Know what the obligations are in your State.
Fair-work information statementIt is a legal requirement under the National Employment Standards that each new employee receives this information statement so I popped one in the welcome pack.
To make it easy all round for the new employee and myself I also included everything they needed to complete to help me fulfil my obligations as an employer. I popped in these two forms from the Australian Taxation office a Tax File Number Declaration Form and a Standard Choice form.
Staff HandbookThe great part of being a franchisee is that your franchisor will have a staff handbook. In this handbook you find things like; the ethos of the business and the brand; the mission statement together with the vision and values; workplace policies such as the social media and bullying and workplace health and safety policies, first aid and emergency procedures. Pop this into the welcome pack.
Training RequirementsIf your franchise has online training this will be easy, you only have to supply the online address and log in details, if not, outline how the new employee is to be trained. I would often pair the new employee up with a buddy on the team and make sure that their first three shifts were with this person. It helped with keeping track of the training given whilst also helping the new team member assimilate into the team.
Emergency contact detailsThis is a must as it is a legal requirement that you hold all emergency contacts onsite at your store, so it is imperative that you have these details right from the very first shift. Create a standard form for the employee to complete or maybe your franchisor has already done this.
There is so much more that an employer has to know and it took me a long time to learn it all. Check out this Fairwork link as this handbook is a wealth of information for you the employer – it has templates as well:
Elizabeth Gillam founder and CEO of Franchisee Success creates High Performance Franchisees. Having owned and operated three franchised food businesses; Boost, Healthy Habits and Bucking Bull; she knows what it takes to operate a profitable food franchise. In her recent book, Upsize your PROFIT – 6 steps to running a profitable food franchise she outlines how franchisees can ACE their franchised business unit.