Jiffy Lube University offers 10 certificationsincluding
training courses on customer service, management, technical
procedures, and service standardsto prepare 21,000 employees to
serve 22 million customers each year.
Most car owners know to have the oil in their cars changed every
three months or 3,000 miles. Last year, Jiffy Lube International
(JLI) served 22 million customers who did just that.
Employee training and development plays a critical role in
preparing 21,000 workers in more than 2,000 U.S. franchise
locations to provide consistent, correct technical services with a
strong focus on customer satisfaction. Although some of that
training is required by the policies and procedures that govern the
franchise, JLI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell Oil Corporation,
doesnt have to mandate much of it.
Training is not a hard sell, explains Kenneth Barber, manager of
learning and development for the past five years. Franchisees are
hungry for training, and just as engaged as we are. Theres no
Jiffy Lube University (JLU), branded as a corporate university in
2009, offers 10 certifications comprising 60 courses. Training
courses on customer service, management, technical procedures, and
service standards are based on procedures and best practices agreed
to by franchisees and the business.
All employees have training paths and must achieve certifications
at certain milestones during their employment tenure. For example,
all technicians must be certified in safety and product knowledge
within 30 days after hire. They get a snapshot of their progress
via the Roadmap, the learner portal in the learning management
system. More than 150 hours of training are available during the
employees first year. A gas gauge shows an employees progress,
while store managers get color-coded LMS reports that show their
locations overall progress toward the requirements.
More than 95 percent of training content is delivered online, on
demand. Once a course is completed, employees take an online test
to demonstrate knowledge mastery, and then managers provide
on-the-job coaching to ensure learning transfer. They use Daily
Training and Observation Guides created for each service. Learners
must pass a proficiency exam to earn certification.
Although we have always had an extremely strong commitment to
learning and development and its value proposition, that focus has
become more precise over the past five years, says Henry Flores,
the organizations chief learning officer. We are making a
significant effort to become world-class.
Barber oversees seven full-time staff membersone who manages the
LMS and six trainers who travel 75 percent of the time. The six
traveling trainers focus on advanced management training, which is
available to assistant managers and managers in instructor-led
training (ILT) classes throughout North America. These advanced
management training classes last three days and include courses on
leadership, goal setting, time management, finance, and people
Initial supervisory training totals 51 hours of e-learning and
classroom training. The e-learning skills are refreshed every two
years, while classroom training is recertified every five years
with 24 hours of training. District managers take an additional
eight hours of professional skills training each year.
Our award-winning training program is an incentive for a new
franchisee to join the business and is used aggressively to recruit
new franchisees for the business, says Stuart Crum, president of
It also helps franchisees tackle one of their most pressing
challenges: employee turnover. In retail businesses, annual
employee turnover can exceed 100 percent. JLUs web-based training
reduces training costs and time, while metrics help store managers
and owners identify and focus retention efforts on top performers.
Progress through the Roadmap on the learner portal is an incentive
to top performers to stay with JLI.
We have really begun to see increased awareness and ownership of
employee training since deploying the new learner portal last
December, says Barber. Employees can make choices on their own
merit. It helps maintain interest when they can see the
opportunities. We have seen a direct correlation between
certification and retention. In some locations, turnover has been
reduced by more than 50 percent; it has declined system-wide each
year for the past three years.
Longer employee tenure facilitates integrated talent management at
JLI, which counts compensation and rewards, engagement,
recruitment, learning and training, and individual professional
development among its practices. Each technical position has a
competency structure that outlines skills and performance for
associated duties and tasks. Employees and managers can assess and
track progress against specific competencies that must be mastered
on a defined time schedule; the learning objectives align with the
Were very proud of JLUs alignment with the business and with the
franchise community, says Barber, who meets with JLIs leadership
team on a regular basis and reports out to that group twice a year.
To make decisions about learning and performance initiatives, the
learning team works with the Franchisee Training Committee, which
includes eight franchise representatives. They convene for two-day
meetings twice a year, and Barber conducts monthly conference calls
with the committee.
The committee reviews current operational practices, makes
recommendations for changes, and sets priorities based on the best
use of resources. Committee members are involved in the design and
development of training courses, providing subject matter experts
who help define the content. Courses are reviewed by stakeholders
at three points in the development process.
This joint ownership is really critical, says Barber. When a new
course goes out on JLU, franchisees know that they have all helped
to develop it.
Last year, Barber and his team performed a complete evaluation of
the corporate university, including all e-learning and ILT courses.
He cites this effort as his teams most innovative learning
initiative of the past 12 months. JLU tweaked everything, from its
classroom PowerPoint slides to online course materials, as well as
the standards to which learning team members perform. Feedback from
employees and customers has been positive. Customer satisfaction
surveys include a question about customers perception of employee
training; positive responses have improved from 87.9 percent in
2005 to 94 percent in 2010.
Our goal was to improve alignment with the organization,
incorporate best practices in adult learning techniques, and
increase training effectiveness for every learner, he says. We all
tend to get too comfortable and to develop blind spots.
By the way, JLI no longer recommends oil changes every 3,000 miles
for all cars. Rather, it has moved to a schedule based on
manufacturer recommendations and the customers assessment of his
driving conditions, from normal to severe. Training played an
integral part in that culture shift because employees have been
trained to guide customers through that assessment by offering
choices and explaining them.
[The service] intervals have actually shortened, says Barber.
Customers appreciate our honesty and are pleased that they are in
control. Its a leadership position that we have taken.