We all know that an annual audit meets our obligations as franchisors and sets an overall understanding of how a business is performing but is it really just a case of ticking off the boxes year after year?
When a field coach visits a premise to conduct the annual audit is it a case of walking in, ticking off the annual best practice checklist, the annual operational audit, the employee relations compliance audit, the OH&S audit, the product compliance audit and the customer service check and then leaving again?
Have you considered coaching your coach on how to maximise the effectiveness of an audit so that all parties walk away happy and empowered to grow the business further.
Planning, listening and discussion are important ways to reap greater benefits from an annual audit.
By including planned time to sit, review observations from the audit, talk through what has happened in the business that day, who has exhibited memorable moments within the business with a coworker or customer, you are adding value to your annual audit.
It has been observed that when an operational audit report is turned into a live discussion by exchanging views and engaging thinking, in return all parties learn new ways, new skills and new perspectives, that the audit will be most unsuccessful with the most improvement and development. This adds value to an annual audit and makes it worthwhile for all involved.
Be clear on the purpose of the audit. Do you know what you want to achieve and what your franchisee expects to get in return? How do you align these two goals and make sure they are met?
Consider breaking the audit into bite sized reviews which focus on the business disciplines over the 12 month period, this will:
- Enable you to have an intense look into the actual day to day operations of the business
- Help identify the excellent performers within a business who are our subject matter experts when coaching others, challenging our own practices, introducing new practices, ideas and platforms
- Allow the franchisee to focus on one aspect of the business operations at a time
- Provide the opportunity to identify trends and skills gaps within the discipline and therefore drive training to ensure the network is skilled up.
Once the audit has occurred it is then necessary to action the audit. The final report and action items are best delivered within 48 hours of leaving the franchisees business.
FC Business Solutions can provide you with the tools to ensure that you and your franchisees are getting the most value out of annual audits.