Published October 5, 2018

What Makes a Positive Organizational Culture?

10 Franchise Leaders Describe What Culture Looks Like in Their Companies

Organizational culture is a red-hot topic among franchisors these days. Everyone’s talking about it – at conferences, networking events, board meetings, and staff meetings. In essence, organizational culture is a set of shared vision, mission, and core values that drive behavior- among franchisees, leadership, and corporate staff – and create the environment of the company. It can be a squishy topic – hard to define and even harder to shape – yet it is critical to the success and profitability of a brand. To help understand what makes for a positive culture, we asked 10 franchise leaders at top-performing franchise companies how they would describe their brand’s culture.

Here’s what they told us:

“Our brand is expert advice delivered locally through a family-based operation. The culture that permeates from that is empowerment. Each of our franchisees feels empowered to grow their business, and brings a different set of experiences to their Brightway store, each building his or her own brand in their community. Local consumers are buying from the local franchisee with whom they have a connection and who they trust. This is a key part of the Brightway brand.”
– Michael Miller, Co-Founder & Chairman, Brightway Insurance

Dream Vacations Franchise“We are a group of professional individuals who love travel and having fun. We work in a fun industry and believe our culture should reflect that. When joining Dream Vacations, you are joining a family. Our franchisees do not view each other as competitors, but rather as colleagues who they can lean on for support and advice.”
– Debbie Fiorino, SVP, Dream Vacations

“Part of what makes FASTSIGNS so remarkable is the level of care and commitment we have toward creating a positive environment and inspiring company culture.

As a pillar of our corporate culture, we pride ourselves on five core values of Being Open and Positive, Acting with Passion, Doing the Right Thing, Doing What You Say, and Making It Great!

As a visual reinforcement of the company’s culture, our corporate office is anchored by “Inspiration Hall,” a long hallway in the center of the building filled with over 150 quotes about positive mental attitude, goal-directed behavior, self motivation, perseverance, and continual learning.

I’ve heard corporate employees say that when they’re facing a challenge, they invest some time in Inspiration Hall and it helps re-motivate themselves and recharge their spirit. And franchisees have loved it so much that they’ve started filling their production areas with inspiring quotes. It’s really taken off within FASTSIGNS.

Additionally, in an effort to further enhance the lives and well being of the team, I have strived to put an emphasis on health and wellness, implementing a comprehensive wellness program, healthier snack options, and rewarding exercise, as well as standing desks and workstations.”
– Catherine Monson, CEO FASTSIGNS

“We have worked hard to create a collaborative culture and a a servant-leadership culture based on beliefs where we serve each other and act as one team. That has led us to living these values. These aren’t just written somewhere. We believe them, practice them, and utilize them daily. We seek feedback from our franchisees, try to do the right things, and create a fun environment in which our franchisees want to grow.​”​
– Buffalo Wings & Rings CEO Nader Masadeh

Our brand’s culture is about seeing the inherent greatness that exists within people and our mission is to help unlock that; it’s about the Dale Carnegie Principles – about putting people first and teaching people “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
– Joe Hart, President & CEO, Dale Carnegie

“Deeply committed to continual improvement, supportive of all new ideas, encourage brainstorming and collaboration across our franchisor and franchisee teams, a direct-simple approach to executing core fundamentals of the business better than anyone else, and caring for each other (franchisees, franchisor, key suppliers) with added focus and attention unmatched anywhere else. It is what we internally espouse as our “Culture of Care.”
– Jeff Bevis, Co-Founder & CEO, FirstLight Home Care

“Our culture is based on Team. Teamwork is a core value of the company. Our franchise network works together – franchisees helping each other become more successful.”
– David Hicks, Co-President, HomeVestors of America

“One of the things about a HouseMaster franchise is that it is a very personal, rewarding business. We really are in the business of helping people at a time when they are going to make a very large decision. It’s very rewarding and every day is different. Being in a 104-degree attic from time to time is not fun, but in general it is a very enjoyable business. Our culture, our mission, our vision actually is all about having pride, being profitable, and committed to our craft. Our owners take such great pride in what they do and they have fun doing it.”
– Kathleen Kuhn, President, HouseMaster Home Inspections

“When nine out of 10 franchisees who are in your system got into your system because they wanted to give back to their community or wanted to make their community a better place…I can only describe our culture in one word: PERFECT.”
– Tony Lamb, Founder & CEO, Kona Ice

“Our culture is very strong and clearly understood. It is the glue that holds us together. When you ask our franchisees what they like best about Office Pride, most will answer “the culture.” Our faith-based culture is very unique – franchisees embrace and live out our core values, which has contributed greatly to our favorable brand image.”
– Todd Hopkins, President, Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services

Franchise Business Review can help you measure organizational culture with our franchisee satisfaction surveys and employee engagement surveys. Contact us at [email protected] or 866.397.6680 to learn more.

Related Content: eBook

The CEO’s Guide to Creating and Maintaining a Positive Culture in Franchising

Despite it’s critical importance, culture is frequently overlooked by leadership. This eBook provides practical advice for franchise leadership teams for creating and  maintaining a culture that leads to greater productivity and profitability.


About the Author: Ali Forman

As the Marketing Director, Ali’s role is to educate franchise companies about and inspire them to participate in FBR’s research in order to grow and improve their brands. Ali's previous experience includes senior marketing communications roles in the employee benefits, data privacy, and publishing sectors. She lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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