Sunday, August 12, 2007


I have always been against crash training, specially after having experienced its ill effects while I was still at KFC.

Shortening a training program to its bare essentials and expecting that trainees will be equipped with necessary skills to do the job is really expecting too much of the trainees...and usually ends up as the name suggests, in a "crash."

However, in 1987 I had to agree to launching a "crash training" of our BOTP (Basic Operations Training Program) not only for one, but two, batches of management trainees.

This happened because all of a sudden we had to open three Jollibee stores in two months and there were still no managers ready to run those new stores. Since our regular BOTP ran for one and a half months, we needed to crash the program down to two weeks, after which the trainees would be deployed to their store assignments.

In a crash training situation it is important that the trainers are top caliber instructors and it is also imperative that the trainees' progress is closely monitored. To meet these requirements we required our Training specialists (who were former store managers themselves)to personally handle the training of the management trainess who would go through the crash program.

With the shortened time also we had to do training differently.

We requested that the two best training stores at the time be given to us as venues for training. We converted part of the dining areas of these stores into classrooms where the trainees would undergo lectures on store procedures. After their lectures they would go to the stations and practice what they learned.

To make sure that the trainees themselves were prepared for fast paced learning we made sure to tell them they were going through a special program.

For almost a month, I had no one with me at the office because all my trainers were in the training stores. I visited them occasionally to find out how things were going.

It was physically taxing for my team then because they not only had to teach but also work during operations,coaching the trainees. The trainees too felt overwhelmed by the overload of information they were getting,but they felt challenged, so they gave their best.

Did we succeed after all?

In so far as filling up the new stores with managers, yes, we were able to do that. The "crash trainees" had enough experience to get them through the opening of their stores. But over the long haul, we felt that we failed.

Many of those who joined the crash training resigned within a year. There were survivors but they only did so because of personal tenacity.

We never ventured into crash training the BOTP after that.Things were planned better so that before a new store opened, its managers would have received ample training.

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