Wellbeing: A Field Manager Self-Check

Wellbeing: A Field Manager Self-Check

A role as a field management can be dynamic, challenging and rewarding. However, when working in the field, managing your own mental health is an important part of the job. Not only does it help you maintain a healthy work-life balance but is a vital element in your ability to achieve success in your role. Often, those working in management rolls can ignore their own stress or neglect their wellbeing when addressing the challenges of their franchisees.

Field work, case work and people management can be stressful careers, and those who work in such roles need to ensure they are taking time to undertake a self-check and remain aware of their own wellbeing. This may come in many different forms, depending on how you experience stress and what helps revitalise you. Common stress responses include physical manifestations such as headaches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and muscle tightness. However, stress can also display itself through behavioural symptoms irritability, anxiety, disengagement, and inability to concentrate.

Field managers are often excellent at picking up these signs and symptoms in their franchisees yet may struggle to identify them within their own behaviour. Dealing with franchisees who may be doing through a period of distress can be emotionally draining for field managers. Often, people may take on the problems and stresses of their franchisees at the cost of their own mental health.

In a recent FRI breakout session, the Cashflow It Group team gained some valuable insights from field managers on how they maintain their energy and manage the challenges they face everyday in their role. There were some clear trends, however it is important to consider that what works for one person may not be right for you.

Traditional self-care activities such as daily exercise, meditation and mindfulness are all popular choices. There were however some more unique responses such as learning new skills to share with franchisees, collaborative work projects, and future planning. These activities can help build more personal connections with franchisees and refocus thoughts towards more optimistic times ahead.

No matter how well you manage stress, it is important to take the time to step-back and undertake a wellbeing self-check. Try to consider if you are placing your wellbeing at the forefront of your priorities, and if not, carve out some time in your schedule to dedicate to self-care.

 

A Guide to Conducting Effective Virtual Field Visits

A Guide to Conducting Effective Virtual Field Visits
The way we communicate and connect with those around us has changed dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe. Many franchisees have had to adapt their operating model in order to meet social distancing standards, and this same methodology applies to those working on the franchisor side of the business. Field managers’ roles often involve travelling around and logging face-to-face hours with their franchisees, however at this current time it just is not feasible, and as a result virtual field visits are becoming more common.

Despite the many ways that virtual field visits can increase efficiencies, such as reduced travel time and more flexibility in scheduling, this can be counteracted by technical issues and distractions and at time derail meeting plans. So, how can field managers best conduct effective virtual field visits?

The tools you choose to use matter. Opting to conduct visits over a video platform is a great choice as it helps to make the conversation personal and allows participants to gauge each other’s reactions and engagement. However, ensure that there is the option to partake with audio only, as video requires a strong internet connection which may not be accessible. Another important step is for both the field manager and franchisee to do a test-run ahead of time. Making sure that the chosen software is installed correctly, webcams and microphones are working, and that everyone is familiar with the program will avoid any frustrations.

The next step is to plan an agenda to ensure that the meeting stays on track. This is something that field managers would likely do regardless, however during a virtual visit it is vital that the conversation stays focused. Field managers should reach out to the franchisee in advance and ask if there is anything they would like to discuss in the meeting. This allows both parties to prepare any necessary resources and ensure that each issue can be properly addressed during the virtual visit.

The sharing of information and resources is also an important consideration. The software or platform being used to conduct the meeting will determine the process for sharing of resources. Some platforms will allow for the live sharing of documents during the meeting, whereas others may not have this capability meaning that documents should be sent ahead of time via email.

Finally, it is important that all participants are given time to talk. Just like in any field visit, there should be a balance between what the franchisee is bringing to the table and what the field manager is contributing. Ensure that the environment is collaborative and productive, this can be achieved by discouraging multi-taking or the use of any ‘mute’ functions.

We hope that these tips help both franchisees and field managers in adapting to our new normal (at least for the moment). Field visits are an important part of the franchisor-franchisee relationship and the ability to continue conducting such visits despite social distancing restrictions will help keep the network connected.