Session Notes: Building a successful corporate university

Yesterday afternoon, Ken Barber from Jiffy Lube University show off the amazing tool he helped develop. It is the Jiffy Lube University. This is a well designed program for presenting and tracking training for the entire Jiffy Lube organization.

Jiffy Lube University
Jiffy Lube University

Barber outlines five keys to their success:

  • Alignment
  • Blended learning
  • Learning brand
  • Business results
  • External recognition

When deciding to move in the direction of a virtual university, Barber outlined the challenges. They were having issues with standard procedures, brand integrity, trust of franchisees, extensive curriculum, disperse audience, and high turnover of employees.

Alignment
To be successful, Barber indicated that they had to align with three major groups: the business, franchisees, and vendors. Within the business, they had to make relationships with resources who controlled the budget and personnel, the information technology folks, and the legal department. Barber also regularly met with operations to get direction. He would hand out states of training reports to keep others informed. He developed a training committee to determine the focus. The training committee worked through review processes, met twice a year, and reviewed products for quality. He stressed select key business partners to help deliver quality materials.

Blended Learning

Jiffy Lube University uses a blended learning model. Trainees start with Web-based training that have lots of video and lots of questions with robust feedback. Once this training phase is completed, trainees take a Web certification test in order to move forward. After passing the test, they begin on-the-job training. Supervisors evaluate their progress with a daily training observation guide. Once the supervisor signs off on all training, the trainee is then considered fully trained. Throughout the process, learners can see where they are with a dashboard (See image above).

During the presentation, Barber emphasized the soft skills necessary to develop the program. He said, don’t set rules instead set standards. He referenced the The Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team by Mike Krzyzewski.

Barber also showed off the amazing dashboard for tracking training across all individuals, stores, franchises, regions, and nationally. He expressed that there was a great deal of transparency at all levels of the organization. Colors were used to indicate the status of all teams and people.

Jiffy Lube University Dashboard
Jiffy Lube University Dashboard

Marketing
Barber discussed the development of the Jiffy Lube University brand. He outlined the different stages of brand development such as birth of a brand, growth of a brand, and mature brand. Jiffy Lube University is a mature brand because everyone assumes that it has been there forever. He recognizes that they must work on continuous improvement.

Business results
Barber was able to show statistics on the level of training increase, customer loyalty score increase and revenue increase. The training provided is not only technical, but also includes soft skills like customer service. He was also able to show increased employee retention based on the amount of training the employee had. The more training employees had completed, the increased retention they had.

External recognition
Finally, Jiffy Lube University competed for and earned a number of prestigious awards. Additionally, they developed alliances with organizations such as the American Council of Education (ACE) and the University of Maryland University College (UMUC).

Barber demonstrated a fantastic product, a product that should be benchmarked as a model of success. Great presentation!

Additional Reading: Jiffy Lube University “A Success Story” (PDF)