Is Your Franchisee Commitment Phobic?

Rebecca Monet


Nov 17, 2017

Commitment appears to have gone out of fashion. Gone are the days of fidelity and faithfulness. Cohabitation has replaced marriage. Pay-as-you-go has replaced contracts. Today that product, idea or brand is awesome; tomorrow it will be passé. Loyalty is as rusty and dusty as that metal you won in the 50-yard dash in third grade.

No strings attached mentality is rampant; and quickly growing to epidemic!

Franchisors have been complaining about franchisees and prospective franchisees lacking drive or willingness to take initiative. Many seem timid and afraid of risk, they say. Others are overly dependent; and more are easily discouraged or lazy.

I always have my ear to the ground when it comes to human behavior and franchisee performance – thus I wanted to see what might be contributing to these observations by franchisors. This prompted me to look at the numbers; and sure enough Emotional and Social Intelligence markers have gradually and consistently drop each of the past 5 years in several areas including: commitment, initiative, optimism and achievement drive. Seems this anti-commitment attitude is contagious and has permeated the franchise space.

We are observing a frightening statistical trend - left unattended will have serious consequences in franchising.

To stimulate an open dialogue I’d like to share my perspective as a behavioral scientist and someone who has designed franchise specific assessment tools for 24 years. I’ll address each of the Emotional and Social Intelligence factors in part or whole in separate articles. My specialty is neuroecomomics which I’m sure you’ll find as fascinating as me once you understand it’s the study of MONEY (a consequence of effort) and the BRAIN (the director of such effort). Let’s start with commitment.

Unearned Trophies

Trophies have been given without practice, discipline or even winning. Critiquing someone is politically incorrect. Instant gratification is applauded and everyone is perfect and fabulous. There’s no need for improvement or effort. Thus, it’s not surprising being non-committal is the norm. In fact, many actually experience mental distress and emotional difficulty when faced with situations that require dedication to a long-term goal. Yes, you read that correct: mental and emotional distress when having to work or exert effort long-term. Another term for this is commitment phobic.

Commitment is a Virtue

Commitment is a state of being bound to a particular course of action. Commitment starts with a choice and is sustained by dedication, self-discipline and perseverance. Commitment is active - it is expressed and realized in our thoughts and actions. Commitment is more than just obligation – it is a giving of ourselves to a purpose that we find worthy of that gift. Like other forms of giving, commitment produces some of life’s greatest satisfactions. There you have it: commitment produces SATISFACTION!

If I’m so fabulous why am I so depressed and dissatisfied?

Without commitment there is emptiness, malaise, unhappiness, anger and disgruntlement. Now, imagine that commitment phobic is your franchisee. How does that play out? Likely with him complaining, point fingers, shifting responsibility and making demands - leading to higher training and support costs, poor validation and at times litigation. How do you think a non-committal franchisee is performing? Rhetorical question, I know.

8 Signs Your Franchisee is Commitment Phobic

  1. Fears Failure: Easily discouraged, stuck in the past
  2. Inflated Ego: Cannot handle opposition or competition
  3. Lacks resiliency: Finds it difficult to bounce back from rejection or failure
  4. Lacks self-discipline: Easily tempted or swayed
  5. Lacks self-control: Unable to subdue impulses or desires
  6. Lacks focus: Indecisive or changes mind often
  7. Lacks loyalty: Is interested only in self
  8. Lacks courage: Won’t take initiative

Growing a business requires perseverance. A franchisee that is easily discouraged, cannot handle opposition and/or competition or finds it difficult to bounce back from rejection or failure is often a franchisee with commitment issues.

Commitment produces satisfaction. Don’t we want our franchisees satisfied?

Commitment creates focus. Commitment reduces the mental battle and emotional stress. Commitment liberates us from limitations. In franchising, we are observing a frightening trend regarding franchisee commitment. Let’s put our heads together as franchise professionals and nip this in the bud before we have massive franchisee performance and satisfaction issues. What are some things we can do to teach and encourage commitment?

In my next article I’ll address the attributes of commitment.

About Rebecca Monet

Rebecca Monet is chief scientist and president of Zoracle Profiles. Zoracle is a franchise specific solutions provider offering a suite of customizable psychometric assessments. Zoracle’s SpotOn! meta-analysis provides insight no singular profile, survey, algorithm or assessment can. Our SpotOn! science determines franchisee-franchisor compatibility and predicts performance. Zoracle reduces recruitment and support costs while increasing franchisee validation and performance.

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