By Lorri Freifeld
The Jiffy Lube training drive starts at the top with Stu Crum, president of Jiffy Lube International (JLI). He developed Operation Frontline in which he called for every employee to follow his lead by completing seven courses in Jiffy Lube University (JLU), the company’s award-winning training program, plus spend a minimum of one day at a Jiffy Lube service center. The courses included Orientation and Safety, and training for the Courtesy Tech, Upper Bay Tech, Lower Tech, Customer Service Advisor, and Team Lead positions and products.
“The goal of this program is for JLI employees to gain a better understanding of service center operations and the challenges faced by those operating Jiffy Lube locations,” explains Ken Barber, manager of Learning and Development, Jiffy Lube International. “This ultimately allows us to become a better franchisor due to our ability to relate to the challenges store employees and operators face. We are pleased with the success and plan to expand this program in 2013.”
Training Is Job 1
Undaunted by a seesawing economy, Barber proudly emphasizes that training continues to be a top priority for Jiffy Lube as the company strives for operational excellence. “We’ve found that a strong alignment and open communications with the JLI Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and the Jiffy Lube Association of Franchisees (JLAF) is the best way to ensure training is a top priority; we meet with the full ELT twice a year and with key members monthly. This ensures that JLU is in line with overall company goals and priorities.”
In addition, a JLAF Training Committee meets virtually each month to review course content and plan deployment for new training initiatives. “The alignment with these key stakeholders has helped gain universal support for JLU,” Barber notes.
JLI recently established an educational partnership with the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Through this agreement, Jiffy Lube service center employees can transfer Jiffy Lube University credits to UMUC to earn an undergraduate certificate in Management Foundations. Additionally, Jiffy Lube International and Pennzoil offer scholarships to the program for qualifying team members.
“Over the last few years, we’ve added more robust online learning experiences for service center employees, some of which have contributed to the increased use, and success, of Jiffy Lube University—leading to the program’s recognition by the American Council on Education (ACE) and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE),” Barber says.
In 2010, ACE determined that an individual earning all 10 JLU certifications earned the equivalent of seven hours of college credit. It now provides an ACE transcript to employees who have completed the courses, which then can be applied at thousands of colleges and universities nationwide. Only two other franchise organizations—McDonald’s and Starbucks—have achieved ACE accreditation, according to Barber. “JLU is also the only training program in the industry to earn the distinction of being an ASE Certified Training Provider,” he says. “As a result, Jiffy Lube is able to provide employees with a career path, leading to turnover rates that have decreased to a level well below the industry average the last few years.”
Cars & Drivers
In 2012, JLI’s corporate strategic goals focused on developing growth opportunities for Jiffy Lube franchisees and providing a world-class experience for customers. Neither of these goals would be achievable without thorough, comprehensive training through Jiffy Lube University, Barber says. “One avenue to help franchisees achieve growth, as well as ensure we help customers leave worry behind, is to ensure our service center teams are knowledgeable about the services required to help drivers keep their vehicles in top shape. To this end, it is Jiffy Lube policy that no service can be performed by a technician until he or she is trained and certified.”
The JLU learner and manager portals provide 24/7 access for learners, a roadmap to chart their path to career advancement, and a “gas gauge” to reflect their current standing against the standard. A simple, flexible, color-coded dashboard report reflects the status of individuals, stores, districts, regions, and national certification percentages at all 10 certification levels. This has resulted in a 60 percent overall improvement in training certification in the last three years, Barber says.
In 2011, some 125,000 certifications were earned, and more than 1.3 million hours of learning took place. For 2012, the company certifications earned increased and Jiffy Lube surpassed 1.5 million hours of training for the first time.
As a result of this continuous training, Jiffy Lube has seen consistently higher customer service scores over the last six years, contributing to the current overall positive response level of 90.6 percent, Barber says.
With more than 2,000 service center locations across the country, Jiffy Lube University also teaches the standards for the store image and technician performance to protect the brand. This training program is used to attract new Jiffy Lube franchisees and to provide the initial training needed for a successful start-up. “The result has been positive store count growth of more than 100 stores in 2012,” Barber notes, “and the largest pool of prospective franchisees in more than 10 years.”
In 2012, the brand launched its new customer value proposition (CVP): Jiffy Lube believes every driver deserves to be free from the anxiety of keeping his or her vehicle in top shape. To communicate the new CVP, the learning team launched a video series in the company’s learning management system and updated relevant e-learning and coaching materials. After this implementation, Barber says, 96 percent of franchisee employees surveyed reported that they understood the need for the CVP and knew the tagline.
“The success of this initiative relied on service center employees communicating a clear message to customers, which, in turn, meant a heavy reliance on training,” Barber says. “Through Jiffy Lube University, we were able to provide course modules to ensure service center employees were prepared to speak with customers confidently and knowledgeably about their vehicle’s preventive maintenance.”
Barber says JLU benchmarks training success not only on a consumer level, but also on an internal level. “It’s important for us to ensure that service center employees enjoy learning through JLU, while maintaining educational excellence. We’ve seen the positive results in a number of ways. Primarily, we’ve seen customer service scores from our mystery shopper program go up for six consecutive years. We also recently conducted a franchisee survey regarding the training program in which JLU received a 90 percent approval rating.”
In addition, JLU tracks standard measures—such as the number of training courses completed, certifications earned, and total hours of training—every year. “We also review the feedback from our students in both instructor-led and e-learning courses,” Barber says. “Their feedback helps us continue to improve on our content and delivery.”
Let’s Go to the Video
Social learning is one delivery method that JLU has been devoting more attention to lately. “At Jiffy Lube International, we understand that social learning functions are a positive feature for service center employees, especially since our ‘students’ typically range from 18 to 25 years old and already participate in their own social media activity,” Barber says.
As such, the idea of a video communication platform for sharing best practices modeled after video-sharing site YouTube fit well with JLU’s training mission. “We equipped all members of the JLU Learning Team with video cameras; field trainers work with the store employees to capture best practices, ideas, and success stories. From there, we edit and produce top-quality videos that communicate best practices,” Barber says. “We also created an icon and a tagline—‘Your voice, our mission’—which identifies the location of the video within JLU Tube and video of the week.”
In just the first year, JLU Tube premiered 30 videos featuring best practice ideas on subjects such as customer service, teambuilding, operational excellence, and safety, along with videos to assist in communicating programs such as “The All-Star Competition,” “Updating the Customer Value Proposition,” “National Advertising Campaign,” and explaining the University of Maryland University College/Jiffy Lube alliance for further education. A new video, suggested by service center employees, is posted in JLU every one to two weeks, and is available to all employees. Each video is archived so it can be accessed after the week it is featured.
“JLU Tube has allowed us to capture and share ideas, experiences, and success stories with all learners and has proven to be a great way to communicate with the entire system,” Barber says. “Jiffy Lube leadership has used JLU Tube to announce marketing programs, fundraising campaigns (such as Muscle Up—our 2012 cause marketing campaign benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association), and other system-wide initiatives. The results have included heightened awareness and successful implementation of operational best practices and campaigns such as Muscle Up, which raised more than $1.1 million for the worthy cause.”
JLU Tube is just the beginning, Barber says. “The workforce of the future will be more tech savvy and eager for just-in-time learning. We know that the use of interactive e-learning, simulations, and virtual instruction will grow. Access to this information using smart devices also will increase, and
we must grow our capability to keep up with the trends and student demands.”
As such, JLU is currently in the process of launching its newest simulation project called “A Day in the Life of a Store Manager.” Available to trainees in March 2013, the project will offer a more in-depth experience to those going through the management training program.
“We also conducted a virtual instructor-led training (VILT) pilot in the fall to determine how we could expand our reach and reduce our cost for ILT classes,” Barber says. JLU used the Blackboard Collaborate platform to deliver the previously four-hour ILT Empower the Customer and Instant Expert courses in two hours virtually. All members of the JLU Learning Team were trained to use the platform; preview sessions with business leaders and franchisees were conducted; and a self-enrollment schedule for 21 pilot sessions was distributed. “The pilot proved so successful that the courses have been added to the normal training schedule in 2013,” says Barber, who notes that the potential for expanded reach and reduced costs are in excess of $200,000.