When is it the right time in the lifecycle for a person to become an Aspray property claims management and loss assessing franchisee? The answer is more complicated than you might think, as we find that different age groups bring different, necessary skills to the table. Consequently, we have franchisees in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, but their mode of operation is different, according to where they are on the age spectrum.
To assess whether we were just imagining this, we did some research and found that leading academics have identified that a person’s management style changes, according to their age. An MIT Sloan Management Review study, examined the management style of 10,000 managers between the ages of 21 and 70, drawn as a sample group from numerous industries and 20 different countries. Despite all the cultural and societal factors involved, the researchers found that “Management style varied more with age than with any other characteristic.” Aspray has now compared what they found, with our own observations.
Aspray Franchisees in their 30s and 40s
Our observation of Aspray franchisees in these age groups is that many are driven to buy a property claims management territory because of factors that matter to them, either internally, in terms of self-worth, or externally, in terms of building a future for their children, greater work-life balance and, gaining recognition amongst friends and peers.
The MIT research appears to validate much of this. It found that younger managers in their 20s and 30s have a more “self-centred approach”. 32% work to business models and want to understand how these change over time. They like certainty and concrete techniques within their management role, appreciating effectively run meetings, demanding mentoring and wanting opportunities to generate feedback. They are assertive and seek recognition and believe that taking the initiative is the thing to do in management.
Aspray Loss Assessing Franchisees in their 50s and 60s
Aspray franchisees in these more mature age groups are often people who want to give something back or add to their retirement fund. They relish helping homeowners and commercial property owners whose property has been damaged in some way, by some form of impact, including storms and flooding, subsidence, escapes of water, vehicle impacts, oil spillages and vandalism. Their motivation when they head to work is to help someone get out of a real fix and be a support for them, when they need someone on their side, or someone who will listen to their concerns. They like to share knowledge and to work as a team with our head office staff and their vetted, trusted contractors whom they project-manage on each property reinstatement project.
The MIT researchers have pretty much reinforced our thoughts in this regard. They found that managers in their 50s and 60s operate through “a more inclusive and collaborative approach, by building coalitions.” They also found that older managers adopt “more intuitive and holistic techniques”, which often involves demonstrating empathy for others. They were shown to love building rapport and getting people on-side to get things done and were highly aware of people’s needs during a change process. They also showed themselves to be excellent listeners, taking an interest in what others had to say. They relished group brainstorming. but were also better delegators than younger managers. They developed skills on the basis of experience and the setbacks they had previously encountered in life and, when quizzed on their self-management, said it was a question of “being aware of how your actions impact others.”
Insight into our property claims management network
Aspray’s analysis of what makes its property claims management franchisees tick is remarkably close to the insight delivered by the MIT study. Whilst our younger franchisees often go-it-alone, seeing delegation as a weakness, but also want to work with a mentor – often seen as our business model, business development managers and our head office team or directors – our older franchisees seem to want to create a legacy in the workplace and are great at teamwork and collaboration. Neither skills-set is wrong. The different ways of approaching the same loss assessing, project management processes, however, are remarkable.
As Julian Birkinshaw, a professor at the London Business School says: “as business people become older, more experienced, more mature, their interests shift from narrower commercial concerns to a greater concern for others, and for broader societal interests.” Here at Aspray, we could not have better summed up the patterns in working and the motivations that our franchisees exhibit, at different stages of life. If you think you have what it takes to become one of our franchisees, wherever you are in the life cycle and regardless of your motivation, please call 0800 077 6705.