Industry: Franchise

Company Overview: First generation, multi-unit franchise business, two partners with locations in multiple states and a diversity of brands

Challenge: First generation business owners, needing to recruit and retain key employees to build leadership bench strength. The owners have always simply hired to fill positions and were experiencing continual turnover, which was not only costing money, but also preventing the company from growing due to lack of leadership in key roles.

Actions Taken: 

  • Facilitated strategic planning to identify the organization’s mission, core values, 3 and 5-year vision to identify and align resources to fulfill growth plan. Confirmed critical resource needs, which included strong committed talent that could be developed internally or through an aggressive external recruiting strategy
  • Evaluated existing talent for rising star potential
    • Implemented unique leadership development programs specific to individual interests and company needs
    • Aligned compensation plans to incentivize and reward growth
  • Developed a recruitment program focused on attracting talent with the Behavior, Attitudes, Skills, Knowledge and Experience (BASKE) required for each position identified as a result of strategic planning
    • Designed compensation plans specific to their role and impact on the organization to motivate performance and retain for long-term growth
    • Utilized various forms of Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans, phantom stock programs, the use of LLC’s member interests, and management companies for critical leadership positions to reward performance and motivate long-term career commitments


  • Created 3 and 5-year organizational road map, tying accountability to compensation incentives
  • Increased productivity and team work, which had a direct positive impact on revenue and profits
  • Filled key leadership positions allowing the owners to lead the organization towards its strategic vision versus putting out day-to-day fires
  • Created leadership bench to help sustain future growth
  • Reduced turnover significantly due to proper alignment of talent, roles and compensation plans

Interview with the Succession Planner

1. How did the development of the strategic plan help the client overcome the challenge of recruiting and retaining the right employees?

Before the strategic planning session, both partners had dreams for the business, which were similar in some aspects but also had some differences. Vision misalignment was beginning to create areas of tension in the friendship, as well as in their approach to business management as partners. The strategic planning process provided the partners the opportunity to step out of the day-to-day management, identify and align their visions and identify specific action steps to get there.

2. Were there any barriers from the client in the development and implementation of a strategic plan specific to recruiting and retention (i.e. time, cost, etc)? If so, how         were you able to overcome those with the client?

Initially, yes. Before we were officially hired, they shared their concern about turnover and their lack of success in hiring good talent, but also shared they didn’t want to invest in recruitment. The mindset was, there are a lot of people out there looking for jobs, we should have a ton to choose from without needing to invest in people.

Once we engaged in the strategic planning process and they understood how much their vision and future growth depended upon strong talent, they quickly got on board with strategically developing a recruitment strategy.

3. What was the “ah-ha” moment when getting the client to realize the difference between hiring versus recruiting?

During the strategic planning process, we discussed the organizations hiring practices and how they identified open positions and hiring procedures. Essentially, roles were created when enough balls were getting dropped to hire someone and then it was a hurry up and fill the role fast scenario. When we began to discuss the resources needed to achieve the strategic plan, it was like a light went on! After that it was full steam ahead! We first began with identifying key leadership positions, strategically developing roles and responsibilities and BASKE requirements for each role, and aggressively began promoting the position and corporate culture using social media, e-marketing and partnering with a seasoned recruiter.

The Succession Planning Matrix

Want to have control over the future of your business?  The best way to do just that is by having a plan.  Our approach in considering the 10 key areas of the Succession Matrix simplifies a complex planning environment.  Click the following link for more drill down resources on The Succession Matrix

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