Developing Inspiring Leaders
We have designed the programme to help our high-potential leaders to successfully embrace the opportunities and challenges arising from greater leadership roles within Franchise Brands.
This innovative, inspiring and personalised programme provides our future leaders with the opportunity to: broaden their understanding of the Group, and themselves; deepen and expand their competencies and capabilities; improve their knowledge of key business functions; be enthused by new thinking and ideas and build and strengthen their ability to lead.
The learning environment we have designed is engaging, collaborative and experiential. Development and training is provided via external events and mentoring and coaching from the Franchise Brand’s leadership team, workshops and training sessions, as well as curated content.
Interview with Steve Chambers, Head of Franchise Operations, Metro Rod
“I joined Metro Rod in 2013, in the contact centre answering the phones. I thought it would be a temporary role but I started to get quite involved, and when a position for call centre supervisor came up I applied. I started dealing with a lot more of the franchising side of the business, talking to franchisees and sorting out issues and escalations. I really enjoyed problem solving.
After a short-term role in the Operations team I was approached by the Franchise Director to be an Operations Manager under his guidance. The role involved taking over the management of all subcontractors and we realised that we could quickly turn around this loss making activity by franchising elements of the work, restructuring the contractor relationships and making sure the work was being carried out on sound commercial terms for us and the customers. When Metro Rod was acquired by Franchise Brands in 2017, I saw the potential and really embraced Franchise Brands’ plans for the business under the Vision 2023 strategy to support and empower franchisees. There was a huge opportunity to work more collaboratively with the franchisees.
I was promoted to Head of Franchise Operations in 2020, covering franchise sales, health and safety and the whole operations of Metro Rod. I wanted to completely change the engagement with Metro Rod and Metro Plumb franchisees, to make this more positive and encouraging, focusing on solutions and learning opportunities rather than on things that might have gone wrong. I really enjoy engaging with franchisees on a daily basis, persuading them to hire that extra person, buy that extra van and reassuring them that it will be okay if they follow our principles in franchising. Last year I introduced a way to recognise franchisees who do well. The first week of the month I spend a day contacting all the franchisees who had their best month ever to say well done and to buy lunch for their entire team. It’s a small gesture but they really appreciate it and it motivates them.
My career has excelled beyond anything I could have imagined. I didn’t do well in school, so it’s been amazing being able to work with supportive colleagues who mentor and coach me. I’m given the opportunity to try things out. I have some mad ideas, but it’s not often I’m told no, and there’s someone always at the end of the phone if I need support.
The business has really invested in my development. I recently became a Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP). Last year I completed a Directors’ course where I got to meet senior people from different companies and to learn about different aspects of business such as finance and marketing, and how to engage with different people. I use what I learned about leadership to help franchisees and also my team to develop”.
Interview with Melanie Hall, Group Contracts Manager
“I first arrived with Chips Away in 1998 as an admin temp for one week and had no idea what I was walking in to! I jumped in at the deep end, with all manner of general office work and franchisee enquiries and found the process fascinating. ChipsAway was much smaller then but after three weeks I really felt like this was something I could do. I quickly became involved in some of the UK accounts, office management, and then PA roles.
When Franchise Brands acquired ChipsAway in 2008, working with the Directors and others gave me a more detailed understanding of the legal issues around franchising. Examining the legal language and detail behind our processes really fascinates me. You’re not just thinking on behalf of Franchise Brands, but also on behalf of the franchisee. Pulling together different strands – i.e. the franchise agreement, the system, trademark, brand protection, health and safety, GDPR – and understanding how they sit together is something I’ve found real enthusiasm for.
After asking the Directors about completing a law degree, they gave me their full support to balance a 4-year part time course with my role. I followed this up with a 2-year Masters in Commercial Law, which included a dissertation in franchise trademarks. The Masters equipped me well to be involved in the IPO. It was such an interesting process, with external people needing to understand and verify the information on the business. We dealt with very detailed questioning to provide the level of information required. Following that, I started a group role taking responsibility for franchise agreements and national contracts.”