iPad training streamlines process and keeps employees engaged.

With more than 1,200 stores in the United States, it’s crucial for Auntie Anne’s to keep its team up-to-date on training and recipes. Yet four years ago, the classic pretzel brand relied on a paper-based training system, making it difficult to ensure team members were reviewing updated recipes or procedures. Additionally, changing print materials was a never-ending battle.

“We sent a set of paper training manuals and DVDs to every store,” says Kevin Hostetter, director of training for the Auntie Anne’s brand. “Many times, manuals were out of date by the time they got to stores due to changes. We also weren’t confident materials were being used as intended, because sometimes we’d see that manuals were still shrink-wrapped when we visited stores.”

Hostetter says the training team realized that employees were becoming more technologically engaged. In order to streamline the training process, the Auntie Anne’s team looked to PlayerLync, a company that provides iPad-based video training tools.

Auntie Anne’s began testing PlayerLync in corporate stores and found that it was not only an intuitive app that teams quickly learned to use, but it also allowed the corporate team to seamlessly update training materials with a few clicks. After six months, Auntie Anne’s conducted a soft rollout to allow operators to choose between paper or digital copies of training materials, but now the brand requires the PlayerLync app to be used in each of its stores.

“Our goal is that it’s our go-to resource for anything and everything related to Auntie Anne’s,” Hostetter says. “We position it as a communication and a training tool for team members, managers, and franchisees.”

In addition to digitizing the brand’s training guide, Auntie Anne’s also uses PlayerLync for checklists, webinars, and short training videos

“Before PlayerLync we would create one 18–22-minute video to cover several topics, but we’ve learned that our current workforce has much shorter attention spans,” Hostetter says. “We now use a micro-learning strategy with 2–3-minute videos of focused content on a single topic.”

Though Hostetter says this means Auntie Anne’s has over 140 videos on the app, they take up less than 4 gigabytes of storage due to its compression capabilities. Additionally, because videos are stored directly on the device, WiFi outages don’t affect accessibility. Though such a large collection of videos may seem difficult to navigate, PlayerLync’s search capabilities make it easy for team members to find the right videos. Now, not only does PlayerLync give team members access to the right training at the right time, but the app’s tracking tools also give the Auntie Anne’s team confidence that employees are finishing training and are being taught procedures correctly.

“We know that our team is receiving first-generation training every time,” Hostetter says. “With peer training, one person could train someone incorrectly, and that mistake would be carried to the third or fourth generation. Now, we shoot a video in the corporate office and everyone views the same video, so they are trained the same way. PlayerLync has been a very effective communication and training tool for us.”

Learn more about how digital and video-based training can help your brand on the PlayerLync website.

By Peggy Carouthers

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