Well, I did something the other day for the first time: I took an I-CAR class online. I-CAR was gracious enough to allow me to take its production management role introductory class, which focuses on learning culture.
It was very easy to do. I typed in my username and password and then began the class, which was broken up into several different modules. I would watch a video, and then sometimes there were also infographics and questions I was asked to answer. Fortunately, I answered all of them correctly, got an “Excellent job!” and moved on.
At the end of the class, I had to take a comprehensive quiz, and if I didn’t get 70 percent of the answers right, I would have to take it again. Well, I got 92.9 percent! Whew.
It’s funny, I felt like I was back in school while taking the course, and like my school days, as I listened to the lecturer (in this case, former I-CAR Senior Director of Collision Repair and Field Operations Jeff Peevy), I found my attention drifting to other things such as golf and what my plans were for that night, etc. Some things never change!
I basically learned that shops that actively train and have a culture of learning have better Key Performance Indicators (cycle time, touch time, CSI) than shops that don’t. And that shops that “apologize” to their employees for putting them through training are really sending the wrong message.
I also learned that, in companies that have an “industrial age” mindset, employees are seen as nothing more than labor, whereas companies that have a “knowledge age” mindset view employees as “assets,” have low staff turnover and invest heavily in increasing staff knowledge and skills.
If you’ve never taken one of these tests, I encourage you to do so. They’re really fun! You’re never too old to learn. After 20 years in media, I like to say I know a lot but not everything yet. I think that’s a good attitude to have in any field!