Symco Training – the Trainer behind the Winner

AM Awards 2016 – Best Training and Development Programme – John Clark Motor Group


The AM Awards matter in the Automotive industry – demarking the best of the best and rewarding industry leaders. 2016, saw John Clark Motor Group take home the prize for the Best Training and Development Programme. Behind the scenes is Symco Training.

John Clark Motor Group is a family run and owned car dealership business spanning from coast to coast in Scotland with over 28 businesses and 1184 staff. Training these staff has been a logistical headache. Yet dealerships rely heavily on their talent. Train them in the traditional way – out of the dealership for a day or two – and you lose them on the ground for minimal return. John Clark realised there had to be a better way.

In January 2015, the Scottish dealer group launched its development centre with more than 30 in-house programmes catering for every role from director to driver. This was a holistic approach that sought to integrate training in to the everyday, around the actual daily tasks of the workforce.

Over the course of 2015, John Clark ran 95 internal courses delivering 2.1 training days per staff member for over 1200 people. A further 2.8 training days per person was provided via manufacturer schemes. It sounds like a nightmare for lost man hours – but not when you realise this was the Symco approach to training that recognises that traditional learning simply doesn’t work for distributors, dealers and owners.

Under the new John Clark training scheme, from the day they start, all staff can access learning resources on an intranet. For service advisers and sales executives there is a ‘first 90 days’ programme, with training tips emailed daily. All new staff go through an induction, during which they sign up to training courses and assessments. Suppliers also give them product awareness courses.

These courses are invaluable because they divide the training up in to daily manageable chunks of 15 minutes delivered directly to the delegate’s inbox. Modules can be repeated until the individual is confident in the technique, assessment is integral to how it works. The nature of this training delivery style means that training fits around the job as well as being role-specific, and the small chunks of learning optimises the skills learnt and the retention of information. Whether the employee is working through the First 90 Says programme, or the Sales Fitness Course, this type of training for car dealerships works. As John Clark Motor Group have discovered.

Symco has John Clark’s training covered. We understand the Automotive business and the unique nature of training requirements within the industry and we seek to meet those needs. We’re proud that John Clark won the AM Award 2016 for the Best Training and Development Programme – they deserve recognition of their success. Symco Training are proud to be behind them.

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