Emma Dickison: Transforming Home Care while Making a Difference in the Franchise Community

Emma Dickison

Emma Dickison, the dedicated CEO & President of Home Helpers® Home Care, has led the organization to unprecedented heights over the past 16 years. With a visionary approach, she propelled the organization from $37 million to an impressive $251 million, showcasing her remarkable ability to lead and transform Home Helpers Home Care.

Emma’s passion for Home Helpers Home Care stems from a genuine desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. Her unwavering commitment to improving the well-being of others has been the guiding force behind her remarkable journey.

Beyond her influential role at Home Helpers Home Care, Emma has embraced opportunities to contribute to the home care industry wide. As the past President of the Board of Directors for the Home Care Association of America, she has tirelessly worked alongside her colleagues to establish industry standards of care and safety, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, they have met the growing demands for care and ensured that individuals in need receive the highest quality support.

Emma’s journey to Home Helpers Home Care has been marked by notable achievements in other franchise organizations. Her expertise and strategic thinking were instrumental in her role as Vice President of Franchise Services for Sylvan Learning Centers, where she made significant contributions to the company’s success. Prior to that, she honed her leadership skills as the Director of Franchise Services for Blockbuster Video, gaining valuable experience along the way.

Driven by a deep sense of responsibility, Emma firmly believes in giving back to the franchise community. Her extensive involvement with the International Franchise Association showcases her commitment to this belief. Currently serving on the Women’s Franchise Committee, Emma actively contributes to empowering women within the industry. Additionally, she takes great pride in co-founding the Women’s Franchise Network in Southwest Ohio, fostering connections and support among women in franchising.

A Found Calling in Franchising and Home Care

Initially, Emma never considered a career in franchising. During her college years, she focused on education and history with the intention of becoming a teacher. However, as Emma embarked on her professional journey, she witnessed the remarkable positive impact that franchising had in the lives of aspiring entrepreneurs.

As her career progressed, Emma found franchising to be rewarding as teams under her leadership helped entrepreneurs establish and accomplish their personal goals through franchising. Emma also found she had a knack in developing efficient and scalable processes, as well as implementing training programs that would eventually become standard practices.

In addition to her professional journey, Emma’s firsthand experience as a family caregiver led her to recognize the immense potential of joining the Home Helpers® Home Care team. She realized that the home care industry aligned perfectly with her experience and passion for improving the lives of others.

Home care plays a crucial role in our healthcare continuum, enabling individuals to maintain their independence and reside in their own homes for longer periods. The work Emma and the team at Home Helpers Home Care engages in enhances the lives of clients and brings positive changes to their families’ lives.

Driving Long-Term Strategy and Advocacy

As the leader of Home Helpers® Home Care, Emma plays a vital role in shaping the long-term strategy of the organization. Collaborating with the executive leadership team, she contributes to establishing a clear vision and developing comprehensive programs that drive the business towards robust profitability and ensure a favorable return on franchisees’ investments. Leveraging the collective expertise of the leadership team and experienced staff of at the Home Helpers National Support Center, Home Helpers® Home Care is able to identify and seize opportunities efficiently while maintaining scalability.

Recognizing the significance of influencing the business climate within the industry, Emma actively dedicates her time to lobbying efforts alongside prominent organizations such as the International Franchise Association and the Home Care Association of America.

As Emma shares, “It is crucial for policymakers to hear the voice of franchise owners when formulating policies. By actively participating in these lobbying efforts, our goal is to shape a favorable environment for the franchise industry and foster a conducive atmosphere for Home Helpers® Home Care and its franchisees.”

Uniting Teams for Market Leadership

Emma adopts an approach of setting the vision and empowering her leadership team to drive the organization forward. She believes in the expertise and capabilities of her proven leadership team to develop the strategies that will position Home Helpers® Home Care as a market leader in the coming decade. Through collaborative efforts, they determine the integration of innovative care practices, strategies to differentiate the brand, and the creation of programs that foster profitable businesses for franchisees.

In addition to the exceptional leadership team, Emma expresses her gratitude for the remarkable staff at the National Support Center. She takes pride in the team the organization has assembled that comprises some of the industry’s brightest minds and top talent.

This dedicated team works diligently to provide unwavering support to the franchisees, enabling them to operate more efficiently, seize opportunities in their respective markets, and ultimately enhance the exceptional care they deliver to clients.

Journey of Impact in Franchising and Home Care

Emma’s journey to her current position as an executive has been characterized by diverse experiences across various industries and roles. Reflecting on her career, Emma identifies several significant moments that hold special meaning for her:

  • Taking on the leadership role at Home Helpers® Home Care as CEO & President: This was a pivotal moment for Emma as it marked her first experience in a CEO position. She is genuinely passionate about the business of Home Helpers Home Care and has successfully overseen its substantial growth. Emma has been instrumental in scaling the proven concept of Home Helpers, enabling it to support over 1,500 communities across the country.
  • Receiving the IFA’s Crystal Compass Leadership Award: Emma’s selection for this prestigious award acknowledges the personal impact she has made on the franchise industry as a whole. This recognition underscores her exceptional leadership and contributions to the field.
  • Serving as President of the Board of Directors for the Home Care Association of America: Emma takes great pride in her role with the association, where she and her colleagues have worked diligently to elevate the status of caregivers as front-line, essential employees. Their efforts have not only raised awareness about the importance of their work but also ensured that caregivers receive the necessary benefits associated with their essential employee status.

These moments highlight Emma’s significant achievements and the meaningful contributions she has made throughout her career in the franchise industry and the home care sector.

Meeting the Rising Demand

According to Emma, one of Home Helpers® Home Care’s most significant recent challenges was meeting the increasing demand in the industry, which was amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The recognition of the benefits of home care in terms of health, financial aspects, and emotional well-being continues to lead to the industry’s growing popularity among consumers and policymakers.

To address this challenge, Home Helpers® Home Care has focused on opening job opportunities to a broader range of individuals and providing top-notch training for career changers. These efforts have resulted in the hiring of over 4,900 new Caregivers in 2023 alone. Franchisees have also enhanced retention programs to support the network of franchisees.

By effectively meeting the demand in the industry, Home Helpers® Home Care franchisees ensure they can provide quality care while offering valuable career opportunities to individuals seeking employment and that desire to make a positive impact in their communities.

By embracing these principles of seizing opportunities, continuous learning, and taking calculated risks, aspiring leaders can pave paths to success.

Empowering Franchisees with Data-driven Insights

In today’s highly competitive business environment, having access to current and relevant data is essential. Home Helpers® Home Care recognizes the importance of leveraging business intelligence to make informed decisions and assist franchisees in optimizing their performance. The company’s flexible business model allows for localization, meaning the team assists franchisees in identifying the factors that have a material impact on their specific business.

While acknowledging the advancing role of technology, such as AI and chatbots, Emma acknowledges that Home Helpers® Home Care is fundamentally a “people business.” Its purpose is to serve as an extended family when families are unable to provide care themselves. Therefore, she believes that an integrated approach combining technology and in-person care will remain crucial for the organization in the coming years.

Guiding the Path to Long-term Business Success

Emma understands the importance of setting milestones and actionable plans to achieve long-term targets for the business. To reach a 10-year goal, she emphasizes to her team the need to establish milestones at various intervals, including 3-year plans, 1-year plans, quarterly plans, and even weekly to-do lists. By breaking down the larger goal into manageable chunks, the organization stays focused and ensures that their efforts align with the desired outcomes.

Emma emphasizes the significance of staying true to the established plans and maintaining sight of both the immediate and long-term objectives simultaneously. It’s essential to prioritize activities and tasks that contribute to the one-year plan, as spending time on activities that do not align with the overarching goal may divert the business from its intended trajectory.

Inspirations for Leadership Success

Emma draws inspiration from various aspects of her life, including attending church, playing golf, running, and spending time with her family. These experiences contribute to her personal growth and overall well-being. At Home Helpers® Home Care, she encourages team members to seek new experiences, foster inclusivity, and actively voice their ideas. Emma believes that everyone has valuable insights, and by working together, they can identify the most promising ideas to pursue.

When offering advice to aspiring leaders, Emma emphasizes the importance of seizing opportunities without waiting for the perfect time or role. She encourages individuals to keep moving forward, saying “yes” to opportunities that come their way. Embracing the present and learning from each experience is key. Emma also advocates for boldness and taking calculated risks, as she believes that rewards are seldom obtained without some level of risk involved.