Training Measurement Gets the Apple Gold Group Where It Needs to Be

Apple Gold Group Uses Measurement to Improve Training

This is adapted from Mimeo’s Spotlight Report: Training Measurement 2017

We sat down with Reggie Hayes from Apple Gold Group to find out how his team measures the effectiveness of their training.

Since our State of L&D 2016 report revealed that only 9% of learning professionals use standard industry benchmarks, such as the Kirkpatrick Assessment matrix, to measure their training, we wanted to get a better understanding of how corporate learning practitioners in various industries measure the results of their work.

One of our customers, Reggie, has worked for Apple Gold Group for 12 years, focusing on L&D but more specifically moving into the role of training administrator in the last year and a half. Apple Gold Group is an original franchisee of Applebee’s and operates 127 restaurants across seven states. It now manages back office operations support teams in its headquarters, including the learning and development role.

Reggie is on a team of three: Reggie, the vice president of training, and the regional training manager. They employ about 15 elite trainers to manage restaurant openings and work with several hundred trainers across their territory to facilitate daily training. Reggie is responsible for coordinating training events, from hotel set-up to ordering workbook documents to occasionally stepping in to facilitate.

The Training

Training at the Apple Gold Group is constant. Reggie coordinates three kinds of training: managers in training, neighborhood experts, and restaurant-level position training. Neighborhood experts provide training in the restaurants, and position training is given during the shift. His team also coordinates workshops and webinars on best practices that are less formal.

In terms of format, the Apple Gold Group uses blended learning, which comprises some classroom training, some computer-based e-learning, and some hands-on training.  

Measure Restaurant Manager Training

The Measurement

The Apple Gold Group developed a robust rubric for tracking and measuring their training starting about six years ago.

Reggie is responsible for monthly reporting on the manager training, including who is in the training, where they are located, when they started, who their directors are, and their current grades on the computer-based e-learning courses that accompany the classroom training.

Restaurant-level trainings are measured during a more cohesive Applebee’s Brand Assessment. Each store is audited to see if new hires have completed required training and what their grades were. If the grades are low, the store receives a special training course to bring them up to the average.

The grades and completion rate measurements are used to measure the effectiveness of training on business. The stores that need the remedial training tend to be the lower-performing stores. This correlation helps Reggie’s team demonstrate their training’s ROI.

Meanwhile, the team measures their own performance by conducting follow-up interviews with trainees, which usually occur anywhere between two weeks and a month after the end of the training. In these interviews, they gather qualitative data such as how the trainee felt about the program, whether the trainer used tools appropriately, and what the trainee thinks could be done differently.

How Measurement Has Helped:

In Reggie’s words, “By setting goals and planning and organizing, we use our systems, methods, and tools to get us where we need to be.” By setting up a robust measurement program, his team is able to focus on what isn’t working, rather than guessing.

How Reggie Uses Mimeo

“Religiously.” He relies on Mimeo to print and distribute bar newsletters as well as binders for classroom training.

 This interview is an excerpt from our Spotlight Report: Training Measurement 2017.

Download it for free now to read more examples like Reggie’s.


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