New program will put state-of-the-art training into the hands of employees systemwide
When Rod Sanders joined Marco’s Pizza® two years ago as Director of Learning and Development, he knew he had a major job in front of him – to move the Marco’s Pizza training experience from a fairly traditional presentation style to a state-of-the-art eLearning platform that would keep Marco’s Pizza competitive in a workplace now occupied by Millennials. Now two years in, the Senior Director of L&D is getting ready to roll out his biggest initiative yet: mobile training.
“We are taking the existing training, which we feel is already state-of-the-art, optimizing it for mobile devices and then we’re putting that training program into the hands of employees across the system,” Sanders says. “It’s ambitious, yes, but now is the time to make this transition.”
Marco’s Pizza prides itself on making the best delivery pizza money can buy, and our growth is testament to our devoted fans nationwide. Marco’s Pizza is handmade in the Italian tradition, using fresh, never-frozen cheeses, making the dough by hand in stores daily and using only premium meats and vegetables. Founded in Toledo in 1978, Marco’s Pizza is the only top 20 pizza chain begun by a native Italian. Our pizza franchise has enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years and is on target to have 1,500 stores open by the end of 2020. As we grow, it’s important that the tools we provide are able to meet the demands, and that extends to training.
“This new training program doesn’t take the place of any of our other modes of delivery. It just accents them, adds a new channel,” Sanders says. “When I joined just a couple of years ago, most people didn’t own a tablet. That’s changed. Today, people interact with screens on an almost constant basis, and we have to be able to meet them where they are — both physically and technologically.”
All of our training programs will be deployed in a mobile environment. A new employee can log onto Marco’s University and find a comprehensive list of the training that they need to complete. They start at the beginning, work down the list and certify their training at the end with an exam.
The benefits of an online training program are apparent. Streamlined training reduces labor expenses and speeds the time between the moment a manager makes a new hire and the time that employee is on the line, doing their job. Reduced training times translate to a double benefit of labor cost savings and a faster process getting the employee onto the floor, serving customers.
“It’s so streamlined for the employee and the manager,” Sanders says. “The manager loads up the training the employee needs, mapped to their position in the restaurant. Then the employee logs on, knocks out the training, watches the video, takes the exam, conducts that process and then demonstrates it in front of a supervisor using their mobile device. This empowers employees to learn at a faster pace than traditional, face-to-face or on-the-job training.”
“For current franchisees we are confident it will be faster time to productivity,” Sanders says. “The new employee can train before even day one. That way, when they show up, they’re ready to go to work.”
The new online training program is expected to be deployed system-wide sometime in the first quarter of 2017.