Anie Chinarian

VP, Human Resources, Henley Enterprises

Supernova Award Category: 

Future of Work: Human Capital Management

The Organization: 

Henley Enterprises operates its car services across more than 170 locations in the United States, with a higher concentration of outlets in New England, California, the mid-Atlantic states and Florida. Led by founder Don Smith, the privately held enterprise is managed with an entrepreneurial, can-do philosophy, and it’s well regarded both in the car services and franchisee communities. The company specializes in oil changes and has been an operator of the Valvoline Instant Oil ChangeSM (VIOC) system for more than 30 years. Henley prides itself on its consulting and customer-first approach, with the goal of being an easy and convenient service provider for car services while refraining from the common high-pressure sales tactics seen in the industry. 

The Problem: 

In the service center environment, day-to-day management relies on the manager, who typically is very busy running the business, recruiting new talent, overseeing employee education and managing operations. Henley realized that it cannot rely on management to be the communication conduit between the operational employees and headquarters-based employee services, such as HR, benefits and training. Consequently, Henley began to look for a software solution that could reach the employees directly for these headquarters-based functions, with no or very little involvement from and burden on the service center manager.

Another challenge for Henley, as in all of retail, is turnover, especially right after a substantial early training investment into newly onboarded employees. Getting VIOC certified is a multimonth effort that not only takes time for the new employees but also requires heightened levels of supervision at service centers, with management monitoring training progress, providing practical implementation and coaching workers on new learning areas. At the core is the simple formula that two employees servicing one car for training and supervision needs are missing another car to be serviced, potentially making a customer wait for service. Losing a freshly trained and certified employee is the worst outcome as the cycle continues with the next hire at the service center.

The Solution: 

When Henley Enterprises identified the need for a better communications tool, UltiPro Perception landed on the short list. Using UltiPro Perception, Henley has successfully implemented the following surveys:

• Welcome Survey: Employees recieve support to remain positive and engaged in their early weeks. Feedback allows the company to spot developing service center trends.

• Check-In Survey: Employee morale and engagement can be fickle. Henley sends out a regular check-in survey, especially with new employees. Henley has an improved handle on employee morale, that is contained for the first time in a structured, common platform. 

• Culture Survey: HR leaders can test the value and effect of services and benefits, even before they are implemented.

• Post-Training: Henley has fine-tuned its training based on employee feedback provided by UltiPro Perception, without disrupting customer operations.

The Results: 

In daily practice, employees are notified via email that there is a new survey waiting for them. It is key to have mobile support because most employees prefer to respond to surveys on their smartphones.

Henley sees good participation rates for its surveys, with completion percentages as high as around 90 percent. Their approach of keeping surveys short ensures that employees motivated to complete the surveys. Moreover, Henley stays away from over-polling the employee base, targeting certain employee groups specifically with each survey.

User experience is crucial both for the survey respondents and the survey creators. Henley has seen high participation rates, almost no abandoned surveys and high survey creation productivity, all of which has contributed to making UltiPro Perception a successful product rollout.

Finally, Henley has been able to show the connection between UltiPro Perception and direct employee impact, the strongest motivation and success factor for survey tools. Employees know that their answers impacted the benefit offerings from which they can choose. UltiPro Perception also helped shaped the enhanced 2018 office and support staff vacation benefit, as well as enabling more paid time off with the introduction of personally designated holidays. By making the famous WIFM (“What’s in for me?”) equation work, Henley has set itself up for continued success with UltiPro Perception.

  • 10% reduced turnover lowers recruiting and training costs. Employee turnover is one of the major challenges in retail environments. Henley’s leadership has given a goal to the enterprise to reduce turnover by 10 percent. While no specific attributions can be made to use of UltiPro Perception, it is clear that the product was key to allowing the company to achieve its goal of 10 percent reduced turnover. Henley executives state that the use of UltiPro Perception along with implementing targeted compensation and benefits initiatives has been very instrumental in the company reaching this goal.
  • Increased training effectiveness enhances customer experience. Training employees is always connected with excessive cost for enterprises. Apart from the direct cost of training, there’s opportunity cost because the employee who is attending the training can’t be part of the value-creation chain. Therefore, evaluating training effectiveness is crucial to overall enterprise success. Henley started to survey the effectiveness of training with both participants and trainers, leading to better and fine-tuned training programs. This already has led to higher training effectiveness
The Technology: 

With the help of UltiPro Perception, Henley found a better benefit mix during the 2018 benefits enrollment cycle thanks to direct feedback and input from the workforce. Targeted benefits improve retention. Moreover, well-targeted benefits create a lower attrition rate in the workforce, something greatly important to Henley and all retail enterprises.

Disruptive Factor: 

Enterprises have substantial flexibility over how they construct their vacation policies. Henley was interested in understanding the importance of work/life balance and paid time-off policies for its corporate office and regional support staffs. It surveyed the employee workforce before changing its vacation policy and received valuable input. This allowed policymakers to develop a much-improved offering for the workforce, which helped create higher employee engagement and achieve lower attrition for this employee group.

Shining Moment: 

Like every new tool available to an enterprise, it’s tempting to use it for a lot of different topics that have been in the planning drawer for many years. It is crucial to look at what needs to be surveyed from an overall enterprise priority as well as a calendar perspective. Prioritization is critical for the success of a survey tool. In addition, finding the right balance between frequency and necessity is crucial for the success of any survey tool.

About Your Organization

Henley Enterprises is regarded as a premier oil change service provider and consistently ranks among the top performers in the Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchise system. Consistent growth has been a staple for the Henley companies, which formed to operate one of the first franchised Valvoline Instant Oil Change facilities in Somerville, MA in 1989.