Diversity equity inclusion in franchising
Published July 24, 2023

What You Need to Know About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Franchising

New research reveals how franchise employees really feel about diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a major focus for many organizations in recent years. When a franchisor actively works to create a diverse and inclusive workspace, the whole franchise system benefits. 

Franchisors who design and implement DEI strategies find that their employees are more engaged with helping the organization reach its goals and that they can hire and retain the top talent in the industry.


How Franchise Employees Feel About DEI: What the Data Reveals 

While there is overwhelming evidence that diverse teams and companies that promote inclusive cultures perform at a higher level and positively impact the bottom line, until now there has never been research to benchmark diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts specifically within the franchise sector.

Each year, Franchise Business Review conducts the annual Franchising at Work study to benchmark employee engagement in the franchise and identify trends to help franchise employers better understand how they can recruit and retain top talent.

This year, the survey included seven new questions to measure DEI efforts across the franchise sector. All franchise employers—franchisors, franchisees, and franchise suppliers—were invited to participate in the survey. Over 6,000 franchise employees responded, representing 40% corporate staff and 60% unit-level employees, across nearly 180 franchise organizations. 

Overall, 84 percent of employees surveyed say their company values diversity. Additionally, 86 percent of employees feel their co-workers demonstrate a commitment to creating an inclusive work environment, and 83 percent feel senior management understands that diversity is important to the company’s success. 

Key findings from the DEI survey questions:

  • 84 percent of employees surveyed say their company values diversity.
  • 86 percent of employees feel their co-workers demonstrate a commitment to creating an inclusive work environment.
  • 83 percent feel senior management understands that diversity is important to the company’s success.
  • 80 percent say their company represents a diverse group of talent.
  • 79 percent say their co-workers are comfortable talking about their social and cultural backgrounds at work. 
  • 71 percent of employees surveyed report that their employee training promotes inclusivity.


What Franchises Need to Know About DEI 

In today’s competitive economic climate, recruiting the most talented and motivated employees has become increasingly difficult. Through a commitment to DEI, you’ll find that it’s easier to find the most qualified individuals for your open positions. 

But hiring the most qualified people for the open positions isn’t enough. You will have to actively work to retain them, particularly during a labor shortage when workers have plenty of opportunities available. 

While overall feedback from the survey related to DEI initiatives was very positive, nearly one third of employees thought  company training programs could do more to promote inclusivity. And with more employees than ever before looking for meaning, purpose, and a broader social connection from their careers, franchise brands that find creative ways to be more transparent, open, and genuine about their mission and values will have greater success recruiting and retaining top talent.

The easiest and best way to show your commitment to DEI and measure your recruitment and retention efforts is to implement an active listening strategy with your employees using regular surveys. At Franchise Business Review, we are proud to have created a set of diversity and inclusion survey questions that will provide you with actionable data about the overall effectiveness of your DEI strategies. Our DEI survey questions set themselves apart from similar surveys because they are tailored to the franchise sector. The responses you receive will help you measure your own success and allow you to compare to other franchise employers in your region or industry.

The costs associated with conducting a DEI survey are nominal, but it does require time, dedication, consistency, and most importantly, acting on the feedback you receive, to be successful. 

To request a copy of the questions from Franchise Business Review’s DEI survey, email me at [email protected] or set up a time for a 10-minute demo. I’d be happy to share how we conduct diversity, equity, and inclusion surveys, and recommendations on how to utilize benchmarking data to improve or enhance your employee recruitment and retention efforts. 

Related Content:

Franchising at Work Report: Employee Engagement Study2023 Franchising@WORK Report

Read the full report to learn the detailed findings of the study, including:

  • The state of employee well-being
  • The top workforce trends impacting employee recruitment
  • Which benefits employees crave most
  • How employees rate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
  • Navigating the hybrid work environment


About the Author: Michelle Rowan

Michelle is the president of FBR, the former Chair of the International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee. and a Certified Franchise Executive. She is the recipient of the 2022 Crystal Compass Award, has facilitated CEO Performance Groups and Executive Networking Groups and is also a mentor of UNH college students. When she is not at work she is usually reading, playing outside, or hanging out with her husband and daughter.
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