Part of owning a franchise opportunity, whether it is a tax franchise or a fast food one, means managing employees. While some employees may be on salary, many will be paid by the hour, and keeping these workers motivated requires some planning.

First, why are hourly employees so important to a franchise unit? Hourly workers are often the face of a franchise; they are who customers meet and interact with initially. "They greet and serve customers and are essentially the cornerstone of your customer service efforts," the website Franchising writes.

As a result, franchisees need to make sure these employees stay happy and motivated. While not all workers will exhibit the same amount of effort, creating an environment in which a core group of employees that are dedicated and passionate about their work will ensure that a franchise sees success.

Initially, when employers and workers think of motivating employees, they think of monetary incentives. However, in the current economic climate, franchisees are unlikely to have extra cash lying around and are probably already devoting a large chunk of it to employee wages. Instead, the website suggests looking for other ways to acknowledge employees' work.

The type of compensation franchisees turn to should be dependent upon the group of workers. Each franchise unit is unique so taking a one-size-fits-all approach may not work. Franchising.com suggests that franchisees ask their employees to fill out a survey or an "employee rewards checklist." Such a form can allow employees to check off whether they would prefer money, gift cards or certificates, more responsibilities, more training or verbal or written encouragement.

"Armed with this knowledge, you can now customize your incentive arsenal to each employee based on what they've told you motivates them most," the website writes.

For franchisees on a tight budget, one way to finance gift cards or material incentives is by partnering with other local businesses. For example, a local fast food chain could offer coupons for discounts or free food, or a movie theater could provide movie passes.

Regardless of how a franchisee continues to motivate his or her workers, comprehensive training when they are first hired can be a good first step in developing high-achieving employees. Many franchisees work with their franchisors to offer ongoing management and leadership courses.

The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #1 in the tax franchise category of the 2011 Entrepreneur "Franchise 500." Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes "Top 20 Franchises to Start." Our tax franchise is an affordable and viable business choice. Each office provides thorough, computerized tax preparation coupled with superior customer service. For the best small business opportunity in the income tax franchise industry, choose Liberty!