October 4, 2019
Our Training Department recently achieved a huge milestone, one that was several years in the making. When we initially launched our online training portal, Goodcents University, at our annual conference in November of 2015, the goal was to maintain 85% completion as a system of the Basic Operations Training courses. At conference last year, we were at 50% completion. On August 13th of this year, we had achieved 62% completion, a then-record. To test our Training Consultants and our franchisees, we set out to achieve our multi-annual goal. Today, we have 92% of our system certifiably trained.
We are true believers in People First Communication (PFC). Believing in PFC means giving the receiver of your message the benefit of the doubt and pursuing multiple channels of communication. One size and style does not fit all. “Did you get my email?” does no good for anyone and can be detrimental to the franchisee/franchisor relationship. Some people require a physical presence and a pat on the back, others need follow up phone calls and still some are fine with an emoji-laden text. We decided we would do all that was necessary to “meet” every franchisee and provide the assistance they needed. This included:
- In-depth reporting of all crew members, including registering new users and beginning their training journey
- Working crew member shifts to provide time for them to sit down and go through training
- Crew incentive competitions with prizes up to $100 for completion of training
- One-on-one training with franchisees and managers demonstrating how to manage the online training platform
This push for training is not merely for a vanity metric. We hope to see a greater increase in employee retention and a decrease in cost of goods sold with proper portioning. Most importantly, we have already begun to see a material change in the guest experience. Using our digital and social partner MomentFeed, we were able to track our average review ratings on Google and Facebook, as well as the change in ratings for specific keywords.
We have seen our average rating improve from a 4.22 earlier this year to a 4.33 since the beginning of August, 4.48 in the last two weeks as of writing. Reviews containing the word “service” specifically have increased from an average rating of 3.83 to 4.24, 4.56 in the last two weeks. This focus is reflected in hundreds of reviews. That training effort has improved how our guests feel going through the Goodcents experience, and that positive experience has led to our organization experience double-digit growth.
Well-trained employees are comfortable in their position, empowering them to focus on the hospitality that makes a 5-star experience, and that comfort increases crew member retention. We are proud of our training team Todd Anderson, Brian Messmer and Blake Ballinger for their efforts. We are also thankful that our franchisee community worked together with us to achieve this goal and set the precedent for continued success.