Gaining award-winning status for its learning organization has helped Jiffy Lube® International improve its training function even more, says Kenneth Barber, the company’s manager of learning and development.
Jiffy Lube (www.JiffyLube.com), a 100-percent franchisee-owned and -operated store chain, has placed in the top five in a dozen national and international training competitions, Barber says. He notes that the company has learned much from applying for those awards. “It’s helped us sharpen our game and do things that we might not have done or things we might have done much later.”
He says all companies can learn from applying for a training award. “I would encourage people—even if they don’t feel like they would do well—to go ahead and give it a try because you learn so much in the process.”
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Jiffy Lube University
Barber attributes the success of Jiffy Lube University (JLU) to its close alignment with the business, franchisees, and vendor partners. He credits JLU with helping to improve Jiffy Lube’s customer survey scores consistently for several years, increase average ticket sales, and reduce employee turnover over the past 3 years.
He says the turnover rate is improving, in part, because employees see that they have internal development and career opportunities. “Most of our managers are promoted from within rather than from the outside.”
Within the first 30 days of hire, every employee must complete an orientation and safety program through JLU and a certification program in at least one position (e.g., customer service advisor, courtesy technician), he says. Employees must pass a certification test with a score of at least 80 percent.
Every 30 days thereafter, a high percentage of employees are expected to complete certification in additional positions, with managers being required to eventually complete all 10 certifications.
The company has a target goal of 80 percent of new employees completing certification in a second position within 60 days of hire, with additional challenging goals through the first 3 years of employment.
“We have exceeded every one of those goals,” Barber says, adding that the focus on personal and professional development has been a key driver for the outstanding certification levels achieved over the past few years.
Why does Jiffy Lube promote cross-training? “The purpose is to have a workforce that is flexible enough to deal with a rush of customers or the quality to take on new services as we add them to our mix,” Barber explains. Plus, having employees who can perform multiple jobs makes the scheduling process easier.
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In tomorrow’s Advisor, we look at how Jiffy Lube uses training committees to improve training results, and we examine a powerful online HR training resource.