For Peet's Coffee, Oracle Taleo Learn leads to fun training

When seeking a new learning management system, Peet's Coffee and Tea zeroed in on the customization features and role definitions available in Oracle Taleo Learn.

Six years ago, Peet's Coffee and Tea began to grow rapidly on a national level and needed to change the way it...

trained its employees.

To accomplish this goal, Peet's decided to go with a learning management system (LMS). The specialty coffee chain, based in Emeryville, Calif., sent out a request for proposal for an LMS, took presentations from three companies and then chose Oracle -- its first time doing business with high-tech giant.

Amanda Aymar, learning and development operations partner at Peet's, explained that it was customizability that sold the coffee chain on Oracle Taleo Learn. "We wanted it to look and feel like Peet's," she said of the LMS. "Employee branding was really important."

SearchOracle spoke with Aymar at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

Taleo Learn sets up job roles

The transition to Taleo Learn was, Aymar said, "a really big change," and not one all employees were enthusiastic about. "Previous to [Oracle Taleo Learn], we had binders," she added. Employee education came from large, expensive-to-print manuals shared by all employees. With Taleo Learn, Aymar replaced the binders with e-courses, videos and assessments.

With Oracle Taleo Learn, Peet's Coffee replaced paper training binders with e-courses, videos and assessments.

Peet's Coffee and Tea has four roles defined in Oracle Taleo Learn: barista, shift leader, assistant manager and manager. The LMS has separate modules for each employee roll.

The company first developed the assistant manager role, then the manager role, and, more recently, modules for the barista and shift leader. These modules cover areas such as compliance, workplace harassment and food safety, as well as what Aymar calls "fun product knowledge." The modules let store managers see who has taken the training.

LMS goal: Training that's fun

Aymar's goal was to make employee training not only necessary, but interesting. "We'd really like to take training out of a 'have to' into a 'get to,'" she said. For that notion to work, she wanted to make the learning experience more interactive with videos instead of clicking through a series of slides.

She introduced Peet's employees to training designed to be fun -- for example, a short video on how to steam milk for a great espresso. Aymar said that she learns how to do things, such as repair her sink, from YouTube instructional videos, and she wanted to harness that kind of interaction with Oracle Taleo Learn.

Peet's is considering an LMS redesign to take advantage of more of Oracle Taleo Learn's features. Aymar wants to make the site more like YouTube or Amazon, such that employees can "shop for learning," rather than look at a to-do list of training. Her ultimate hope with Oracle Taleo Learn is to get employees to care about their jobs for more than just the paycheck, and instead get them invested in Peet's products and customer service. "I'm really passionate about the employee experience," she said.

Aymar is leaving Peet's Coffee and Tea to become a freelance administrator, and she wants to keep working with people who use Oracle Taleo Learn. In the meantime, she is training her co-workers to manage the Peet's LMS.

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