Jiffy Lube Is Leader of the Pack
Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (JLI), surged to the top spot on the 2016 Training Top 125 and earned an additional victory lap with its fourth consecutive finish in the Top 5, making it eligible for induction into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame in 2017.
“In 2010, when we entered the Top 125 for the first time and finished No. 50, we considered a Top 10 finish almost out of reach,” admits Ken Barber, manager, Learning & Development for JLI. “The credibility and pride generated within Jiffy Lube as a result of that award, coupled with what we learned we could do to improve, made continuing in the competition an absolute. Every year, we have learned from the process and been challenged by the stiff competition. Induction into the Hall of Fame will be a dream come true.”
Adds Mauricio Quezada, director of Operations, Jiffy Lube International, “Jiffy Lube is proud to have been recognized by Training magazine for our training and development efforts. We remain committed to furthering our training programs, especially from a technology perspective, to ensure Jiffy Lube service center technicians are not only knowledgeable about products and services but are providing a positive customer experience through their interactions.”
The greatest challenge in 2015 was the introduction of a new Point-of-Sale (POS) system for the more than 1,900 Jiffy Lube service centers across the U.S., Barber says. This new system was named GROW “because it reminds us to focus on the Guest and our Relationship with the customer, as well as Optimization of our Workflow so we work efficiently.” The result was a system that established a secure, stable platform; supported expanded services; allowed flexibility for the fleet business; and enhanced the customer experience.
GROW was developed and initially tested in late 2014, with a pilot training and deployment test taking place in July 2015. Jiffy Lube International began full deployment of the system to all Jiffy Lube service centers in September 2015. The Jiffy Lube University (JLU) Learning Team was engaged early in the development period to help determine how the new system could be successfully rolled out and store and back office staff trained within nine months.
“As no budget was allocated for face-to-face training for the new POS system, we had to come up with a unique, costeffective solution,” Barber explains. “Supporting the business during the launch of this important initiative was critical, so we assigned one member of the JLU Learning Team, Janeth Harrison, to work full-time on the POS project team. Her role was to develop training solutions, schedule training sessions, and coordinate all aspects of the deployment support.”
The solution was composed of the following:
E-learning courses to provide training on how to use the new POS system. Additionally, the Learning Team revised other JLU courses where the POS system change affected the content.
Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) courses for nearly 5,000 individuals. Two classes were developed. The first was an Overview and Fundamentals course taught to all store managers and others interested in understanding the benefits and usage of the new system. This course was taught the week prior to implementation. The second was a Back Office course for those responsible for setting up products, services, and other stock information needed by the system. This course was taught 60 days prior to implementation to allow time for set-up. VILT sessions were taught using the Blackboard Collaborate platform by members of the Learning Team in six different 90-minute sessions per week.
- Just-in-time video was used as a resource to refresh training following participation in a class. The videos were identified by function and hosted in JLU for convenient, easy access. For example, if a service center technician needs a reminder about how to use the new credit card signature functionality, he or she can click on the appropriate video and watch a 60-second clip that explains functionality.
The result of the training has been the smooth transition from the previous POS system to GROW in more than 1,000 stores during 2015, with the balance to be deployed by March 2016. “The training solution has helped make this an easy transition for franchisees and store staff and resulted in significant savings on travel while accelerating the deployment calendar significantly,” Barber says. “The Level 1 feedback score from participants is 4.65 on a 5-point scale, which indicates the students benefited from and enjoyed the learning experience. The extensive use of VILT sessions also opened the door for further application of VILT for expanded training of all kinds in the future.”
Quezada notes that while training is the foundation for achieving Jiffy Lube’s business goals, it also is the cornerstone for attracting and retaining service center technicians and managers. “Finding ways to attract, retain, and train new leaders in the Jiffy Lube system is a key to long-term success,” he says. “Knowing that most leadership positions are filled from internal promotions and that 45 percent of service center employees have a desire to continue their education, we developed two complementary initiatives.”
First, JLU developed a new Leadership curriculum for store managers. The three-day instructor-led training (ILT) course was developed using principles from top leadership and business books and insight from industry experts. The feedback has been positive, with Level 1 student evaluation scores on a 5-point scale improving from 4.73 to 4.87 for the instructor and 4.67 to 4.88 for the quality of content compared to the previous ILT course.
Following the interactive ILT class, students were asked to complete two further development steps:
Leadership Simulation: The successful completion of an innovative online simulation module, “A Day in the Life of a Store Manager,” was required. The participant must resolve 32 real-life scenarios, earning points based on the quality of the response.
- 180-day follow-up: JLU also introduced an electronic online follow-up system to encourage service center employees to apply the learnings from class and to gain support from their supervisor. The system communicates to service center employees and their supervisor the day after class and again at 30, 60, 90, and 180 days following the session to assess their development as a leader as they continue to focus on learnings.
Some 1,549 students completed Leadership Training ILT classes in 2014, and an additional 1,400 completed the class in 2015. Managers who attend Leadership Training and engage in the follow-up system for the full 180 days have significantly higher customer service scores and car counts, plus lower rates of discounts and turnover than the system average.
The second initiative was to earn re-accreditation with the American Council on Education (ACE) and to increase the number of college credits available through the JLU certification program. “We were successful on both fronts when, on September 16, 2014, we had an ACE re-accreditation review and earned 25 hours of college credits,” Barber says. “The increase of 18 hours from our 2011 accreditation allows us to help more individuals reach their development goals.”
To help service center employees take advantage of the ACE credits and get their higher education work underway, JLU and University of Maryland University College (UMUC) developed a partnership. ACE credits can be applied to a degree program at UMUC. In return, UMUC provides discounted tuition rates and support in helping enroll students and provide them information about all support programs. JLI also provides $2,000 scholarships to students who complete UMUC courses. “Many franchisees also provide tuition assistance to their team members as they see the business and personal value in programs that further development,” Barber says. “This past quarter, three service center employees made the UMUC Dean’s List, and two are on track to graduate in 2016. Additionally, the first JLI scholarship was awarded in 2015.”
Are They Really Trained?
Jiffy Lube uses its 4-Step Process for certifications to reinforce training:
E-learning to teach concepts and procedures
A certification test to verify knowledge
Structured coaching on the job using Daily Observation Guides (DTOG) to practice the skill
- A proficiency exam through observation of service center employee performance to verify skill application on the job. The proficiency is signed off by a supervisor to provide rigor and accountability to the process.
Jiffy Lube measures training success based on business metrics and also uses training metrics such as the 2.2 million hours of learning that took place in 2014 and 2015, plus the Level 1 evaluation scores received from students. However, Barber says, the metrics that mean the most are those that show an impact to the business. “The customer service satisfaction scores secured through mystery shoppers and customer surveys reflect the strength of our program, with 92 percent of our customers committed to a return visit. This has helped Jiffy Lube maintain its position as industry leader in the quick lube sector with three times the market share of our nearest competitor.”
An additional metric is the evaluation of JLU by franchisees and the learning industry. For the last four years, the Jiffy Lube Association of Franchisees in their annual survey of JLI has given JLU the highest approval rating of any department. The approval rating has been between 90 and 93 percent for four consecutive years.
A franchisee model sometimes can make systemwide collaboration and training complicated. Barber says one of Jiffy Lube University’s keys to success has been alignment with the business, franchisees, and vendors.
Business Leaders: The manager of L&D meets with the JLI Leadership Team at least twice each year to discuss strategic goals and to determine training priorities to support business goals. Monthly meetings with the director of Operations maintain tactical focus and alignment. This close and early collaboration with the business leaders ensures JLU’s efforts are consistently hitting the mark and focusing on key business initiatives.
Franchisees: The Jiffy Lube Association of Franchisee Training Committee comprises eight franchisees, two JLI Operations team members, and two members of the JLU Learning Team. This group meets face-to-face once a year and virtually every month. All courses are developed through the input and review of this committee. “The alignment with the members of this committee has given the entire system buy-in and ownership of training,” Barber says. “This group also has raised the quality and applicability of training.”
- Vendor Partners: The JLU Learning Team is a small team of eight people, Barber notes. “To achieve our training and development goals, we require the creativity and support of key vendors who know the business well and are committed to our success. They have become an extension of our team and work closely with us from the beginning to the end of every project.”
Fostering franchisee and service center employee engagement likewise can be a challenge. In response, the Learning Team created the JLU Honor Roll, which comes out each quarter. “On the first of March, June, September, and December each year, we review the training certification report and identify the franchisees who are at 90 percent and 100 percent certification levels for their stores,” Barber explains. “Initially, this was done to recognize the franchisees that made training a priority. To our surprise, we realized that franchisees, being competitive, like most of us, saw the Honor Roll as a badge of honor. They want to be on the list. Knowing that, we began to post the dates when the Honor Roll would be taken and made publishing the list an even greater priority.”
The result has been a steady growth in the number of 100 percent and 90 percent service centers and franchisee entity groups. Today, 80 percent of all stores make the JLU Honor Roll consistently.
In addition, to encourage more Leadership ILT students to complete the Leadership Simulation, JLU introduced the Leader Board. The Top 10 highest scores are visible on the login page and the entire list of individuals who have earned 10,000 points or more can be accessed from the Learner Portal. “We also offer gift cards as rewards for the Top 10 finishers and randomly award gift cards to another 25 who qualify,” Barber says. “This has significantly increased the successful completion of the simulation and the learning reinforcement gained from the exercise. We find that the highest scores come when the exercise is taken three or more times.”
Fast Track to Technology
Over the last year, JLU online training modules have been updated to ensure service center employees can conduct training using tablet devices such as iPads. “This enhancement was driven by the increased use of tablets for work tasks and the increased comfort level of the employees who are accustomed to interacting with mobile devices,” Barber says.
Video likewise plays an increasingly important role in training at Jiffy Lube. To maintain security while still opening the door for interesting, informative, and entertaining social exchange of ideas, the Learning Team created JLU Tube videos. For the last four years, JLU Tube videos have been featured on the landing page in JLU. The videos are captured by the JLU Learning Team during ILT classes.
“We ask participants to share best practices about key topics and we capture their thoughts on video,” Barber says. “The videos are edited, evaluated, and selected for the JLU Tube calendar. To keep the content fresh, the video changes every two weeks. A spinning icon is displayed next to the JLU Tube tab to let the learner know a new video is available.” Once learners view the current video, they also see archived videos on various topics.
Two interesting things have happened with JLU Tube videos, according to Barber:
The Learning Team has become creative in producing videos. “Some videos have a game show or news broadcast feel,” Barber says. “The information being shared is high quality, but now the entertainment value and resulting viewership have increased.”
- JLI Leadership has recognized the value of using JLU Tube to communicate key initiatives to service centers. “Having a tool that disseminates clear, concise messages to all of the 20,000 service center employees has been helpful in launching new products and services, marketing initiatives, and the new POS system,” Barber says.
Down the Road
Looking ahead, Quezada notes, “as automobiles become more complex, our capability to provide fast, reliable service, beyond an oil change, must keep pace. As customers become more demanding and as marketplace options grow, we must meet the needs of our customers and exceed their expectations in regards to their experience. This will help strengthen our brand and further build customer loyalty.”
The role of JLU will continue to be a key strategic driver for the Jiffy Lube system, Barber believes. “We will continue to seek new ways to deliver simple yet effective training solutions through e-learning, ILT, VILT, video on demand, and mobile solutions. We are committed to ensuring JLU is the best learning and development tool it can be. Our business leaders demand it, and our service center employees and franchisees deserve it.”
Total number of service center employees trained overall annually: 20,500
Average length of service center employee service: 12 years
Percentage of job openings filled by internal candidates: 90 percent
Percentage of new hires referred by service center employees: 80 percent
Total number of service center employees trained annually via instructor-led classroom sessions: 2,500
Total number of service center employees trained annually via online, self-paced study: 20,000
Number of courses offered as instructor-led classroom sessions: 5
Number of courses offered as instructor-led virtual classroom sessions: 4
Number of courses offered as online-self-paced modules: 200
Total annual hours of training in 2014 and 2015: 2.2 million
“Keep it simple!” That’s Jiffy Lube International Learning & Development Manager Ken Barber’s main emphasis. “So many times, Learning leaders try to impress our learners and business leaders with complex, sophisticated learning solutions that make us look really smart. Unfortunately, many of these solutions are not practical and do not provide the desired results. Remember: If access to learning is difficult, if knowing when and what to take is unclear, and if tracking progress is not visible, learners will get frustrated, angry, and eventually give up. That is not impressive. It is a shame!”
That’s why Barber and his team made access to Jiffy Lube University (JLU) simple, using the same login ID as learners use to access the Point-of-Sale (POS) system in their store. “We make the learning path abundantly clear on the ‘Roadmap’ page, where every certification has a timeline, and launching courses to satisfy the training standards is accomplished in one click,” Barber says.
Progress is visible on a color-coded gas gauge on the Learner Portal. Red means you are not yet halfway to your goal. Yellow means you are between 51 and 99 percent of the way to your goal. Green means you have met or exceeded the learning goal based on your time in service.
“Don’t be afraid to give control to the learner,” Barber stresses. “Make it simple and intuitive, and watch to see the amazing progress learners will make when they have the freedom to set and accomplish their own learning goals.”