Business Challenge

In the past ten years, this company grew from a stand-alone massage center to a franchise operation with more than 100 locations. One of the keys to a successful franchise operation is consistency, consistency, consistency.

Achieving that consistency requires a comprehensive training program on every aspect of the business — operations, marketing, and customer service. When the training is successful, a customer in Arizona will have the same experience as a customer in Iowa.

The organization has a comprehensive, multi-week training program that is 100% instructor-led. What they suspected was the instructor-led training took too much time and that some of the trainers were “freelancing” the work and not sticking to the script.

The company had a three-part request:

  1. An audit of its existing training to get an understanding of its effectiveness
  2. Recommendations for ways to make the existing training more interactive
  3. Hire a company that provides instructional design services and learn how to migrate a portion of the training to digital platforms such as eLearning, podcasts, and webinars

Assessing the Training Through Review, Interviews, and Surveys

The goal was to cast as wide a net as possible to obtain a maximum amount of data for the analysis. The first step was to review the training content. This involved auditing the entire company library of training sessions.

Once this review was completed, interviews were conducted with current trainers, former trainers, as well as people who had completed the training and were now franchise owners. Also, interviews were conducted with various Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). To reach as broad an audience as possible, surveys were sent to additional training participants for their input and observations.

TrainSMART Solution

From the onset of the project, the client stressed that the audit was the first step in a multi-year re-design of its training program. In order of priorities, the client wanted recommendations on how to make the existing instructor-led training more interactive and secondly recommendations on how to reduce the time participants spent in instructor-led classrooms.

The report identified areas where interaction could be included. It was understood from the beginning that the internal training group would take the recommendation and create their own interactive activities. By adding these interactions, the company could introduce a refresh of the training material without doing a complete revamp.

The second part of the report provided an analysis of how to reduce the time trainees spent in the classroom. A myriad of recommendations was made including webinars, podcasts, and eLearning modules.

For each recommendation, a low-cost and higher-cost solution were provided—allowing the client to mix and match solutions based on budgetary requirements.


The company is now in the process of revamping its training to include more interaction. In the next year, they will begin looking at transitioning to a blended learning approach for their training.