It is no secret that today, franchise brands have the unique challenge of navigating a world of viral videos and clickbait in the ongoing competition for consumer attention. And while the traditional marketing format of simply promoting a brand’s products and services remains an important part of connecting with an audience, ‘human’ touch and empathetic leadership are proving their unignorable relevance as deeper connections become more important to communities.

We no longer live in a world of suits and briefcases. Even in the corporate space, you would have to do some digging to find a cutting-edge brand that still operates with characteristics of impersonality and voicelessness. And honestly, who wants that? Over the last decade, accelerated in part due to the rise of social media, brands have found less opportunities to ‘hide’ behind corporate curtains. As such, cultures of openness, vulnerability and empathy have become key drivers behind brand success and growth in 2023. With the franchise industry growing as entrepreneurs seek caring communities where they have the freedom to flourish, it has never been more important for us to celebrate not only the human touch, but the humane touch in equal parts.


Research has never been more conclusive over the importance of morale in the modern workplace. In fact, a staggering 50% of employees would sacrifice their salary for a job they enjoy1. And while financially this sounds like a quick-fix approach to attracting new talent and growing a franchise brand, the workplace is still playing catch-up on these shifting attitudes and priorities. With just 30% of UK businesses having employee engagement initiatives and 42% having employee wellbeing programmes1, it is vital that franchisees and franchisors take control of their team’s wellbeing and morale as a way of securing a business’s foundations ahead of future growth. And boosting morale through such initiatives is not just a way of looking ahead. As we know, the franchise industry thrives off innovative, supportive and creative entrepreneurs taking control of their current environment and industry.

Empathetic leadership from franchisors and franchisees creates an environment where employees and teams feel heard, valued, and understood. This helps brand communities further establish foundations of trust and collaboration, which ultimately inspires and drives effective communication – all vital characteristics of successful franchise brands today. And by leading with empathy, anyone joining a franchise or using a brand’s services or products will see a culture of psychological safety. Ultimately, this approach will become natural which promotes team building, demonstrating a deeper understanding of the feelings and relationships within a well-oiled franchise operation.


Empathetic leadership is not just effective for consumer and employee morale. Around 61% of employees with highly empathetic senior leaders were reported to be innovative at work, while 76% of employees were found to be often or always engaged at work2. Not only this, but thanks to operating within an environment that fosters a positive and engaging culture, teams naturally feel protected in a space where they can flourish. This devotion to creating a permanent ‘safe space’ within franchise operations increases engagement and productivity, improves franchise-wide job satisfaction and ultimately contributes to a brand being scaled and developed with an aligned network of devoted professionals.

The extent of a brand’s empathy determines the level of care for others and how well a franchise becomes embedded within a community. This sense of unity in a well-established environment of openness can be a huge factor determining if a team believes in a brand’s vision, mission and goals.


Of course, this is achieved through people. People are the most important aspect of a business, and with the increasing devotion franchise brands are showing those same people – in their personal and professional development, their families and their overall wellbeing – it is impossible to discount empathy as being a core factor in the continued healthy growth of the industry. When empathetic leadership is discussed, it is often within the context of a welcoming environment where managers and bosses have a strong sense of self-awareness thus avoiding angry outbursts. However, this angle misses a fundamental reason why empathy should be a priority when growing a franchise business: we all have an obligation to care for our peers, and leaders have an obligation to help their team reach its full potential. This can only be achieved through care and trust.

At Tezlom, for example, the beating heart of our brand is the importance we place on collective wellbeing and growth. Every member of the Tezlom team – whether they are a franchisee or one of our exceptional staff members – contribute heavily to our culture. So, if they do not feel protected, nurtured and rewarded, our whole operation is hindered.

Future proofing

These core factors of empathy in franchising certainly highlight the immediate benefits. However, it is equally important to emphasise that by establishing initiatives and programmes that protect teams’ wellbeing and development, franchisees and franchisors are future-proofing their businesses. Put simply, empathy is a definitive aspect of any high-quality franchise’s collective vision for the future. This devotion to improving interpersonal relationships between staff, workforces and customers drives a brand’s vision and ultimately helps them maintain relevance and demand through trust and loyalty.


1Joe Pindar, 2023, 30 Employee Morale Statistics for 2023 to Show How Teams Really Feel

1EMERITUS, 2023, Why Is Empathetic Leadership Important in Today’s Workplace?

Ryan Armitage
Director at Tezlom | Website | + posts

Having worked his way up the corporate ladder in his early 20s, Ryan Armitage has forged incredible successes throughout his diverse career. Over the last decade, Ryan has utilised years of experience in recruitment and franchising to open multiple franchises across the UK. In his current role as Director of healthcare recruitment agency, Tezlom, he is leading the way towards achieving the brand's mission of becoming the UK's leading recruitment agency.