While a franchisee may have the support system, marketing methods and tried-and-true product, if they don't have a core set of dedicated employees ready to learn from their mistakes and continue improving, all the advantages in the world may not matter.

In a recent article for Franchise.net.au, analyst Julie Camm, of education research and consulting firm Corven, asserts that the franchise industry is missing out on key opportunities to implement vocational training.

"[Vocational Education and Training] practices in franchising are predominately informal, intuitive or ignored, resulting in significant variations in trainer, program content and assessment quality. This clearly indicates that the value of VET is neither completely understood nor harnessed," Camm told the source.

"This is the time for the franchise sector to demonstrate its agility and commitment to education and training by ramping up its VET efforts to a level of best practice," Camm adds.

A key place to begin in developing key vocational skills among franchise opportunity employees is in everyday training. While continuous education may seem like a lot of time and effort, in the end, having workers who can fulfill their jobs with minimal oversight will help a franchisee take his or her unit one giant step closer to success.

There are a variety of ways that franchisees can support their employees, from having a dedicated director of human resources to offering career planning help and computer-based training.

Consider Greg Willman, a multi-unit franchisee in the fast food industry. "We utilize career mapping tools and offer an initial training program along with ongoing touch points. We recently instituted a five-month reorientation program for hourly staff as we realized that we were losing a disproportionate percentage of folks at six months and that those who stay beyond six months stay for a significant time," Willman told the website Franchising.com.

Furthermore, vocational training can be tailored to meet the different positions, goals and ages of unit employees. One franchisee told the website that his unit has leadership training programs for those of managerial level and above, while another operates a mentorship program for its young trainees.

Franchisees should make sure that their training programs are not implemented on a one-size-fits-all basis. What works for one unit of employees, may not work for another. To be successful, franchisees will need to take the time to get to know their workers and base training programs off of what they learn from these relationships.

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