Jiffy Lube, the Houston-headquartered indirect subsidiary of Shell Oil, launched their own Jiffy Lube University in 2015. Since then, they have trained over 20,000 technicians and provided 2.2 million training hours, earning the company worldwide recognition as a leading automotive training facility.
For the past 10 years, Kenneth Barber has led learning initiatives as manager of learning and development. As a result, Jiffy Lube University has earned several awards, including Training Magazine’s Top 125 Award and first place in the Association for Talent Development’s Best award.
Steve Bates, who writes for SHRM, says that, “As training has increased, so have the chain’s customer satisfaction scores.”
Jiffy Lube University is an example of corporate training that many organizations can learn from. Still, Barber remains humble. In the SHRM article, he contributes his success to, “not considering himself solely as an HR professional; he sees himself as a businessperson who contributes to the bottom line through training.” Additionally, Barber draws a lot of inspiration from mentoring that he received early in his own career, imparting this wisdom into the learning content.
According to Barber, he has had to challenge traditional training methods on several occasions. One of these early achievements was changing the idea that all training should happen in classroom environments, which was the standard in the automotive training arena when he first became involved in employee development efforts at Jiffy Lube. Instead, he used a novel approach by uncovering what the success factors were for top performing stores, and then adapting those traits to learning programs delivered in mixed learning formats.
Barber also said to SHRM that he believes, “We should provide opportunity for anyone who wants to take advantage of it.” Encouraging all employees to pursue management careers or to enhance their skills are the hallmarks of the Jiffy Lube University effort – and it all started with the dream of one determined HR director.