Beyond Manuals: A Glimpse into Friendly Fire's Digital Training for Gen Z Employees
May 24, 2023
Discover how Friendly Fire revolutionized its training methods to engage the Gen Z workforce in our gaming cafe franchise. This post explores our shift from dense manuals to immersive, bite-sized video content, redefining employee onboarding for a more productive and customer-focused environment.
Greetings, fellow gamers and gaming cafe enthusiasts! I’m David, the founder of Friendly Fire. In this blog post, I’d like to discuss the seismic shift we’ve made in how we approach employee training, specifically catering to our Gen Z team members.
The Tradition of Training
Let's take a step back and look at our original methodology. Like many franchises, we relied heavily on franchise manuals, operation standards, comprehensive documents, and the like. This was the traditional approach, creating detailed documents filled with excellent content that could serve as a guide for anyone new to our team.
The intention was to deliver a resource that held every possible answer to the myriad of questions that may arise during day-to-day operations. It was a good system in theory but, in practice, it wasn't resonating with our Gen Z team members.
We found ourselves facing an issue that wasn’t related to the quality of the content we were providing, but rather how it was presented. Long documents, filled with essential information but devoid of the visual stimulation that Gen Z employees are accustomed to, were falling flat. They simply weren't engaging with these lengthy, text-heavy documents.
The Adaptation Phase
Once we realized our employees wouldn’t wade through hundreds of pages of text, we understood the need for change. Instead of stubbornly persisting with our existing approach, we decided to change our game plan. This marked the beginning of our journey towards a new, innovative approach to training.
In the spirit of pivoting, we set our hefty manuals aside, and instead asked ourselves a fundamental question: "What could we create that would genuinely capture the interest of our team and provide them with the knowledge they need?"
Making Learning Fun
Our answer? An impressive collection of more than 100 short format videos. These clips, each around two minutes long, are brimming with engaging lessons that our employees need to excel at Friendly Fire. We realized that if we wanted to get through to our Gen Z employees, we needed to speak their language, hence, we turned our traditional manuals into vibrant, bite-sized clips, akin to TikTok and Instagram Reels.
The content of these videos spans across a broad range of topics, from basic introductions that cater to newcomers, to detailed and specific guides for our managers and owners. Whether it's technical aspects, operation standards, or fun tips and tricks, we have it all covered.
An Inside Look
These aren’t your average training videos, though. They offer real, hands-on experience captured from the heart of our gaming cafes. We wanted our employees to not just read about the tasks, but to visually experience them. The idea was to give them an inside look at the working of our café, making them feel a part of the team even before they officially started.
To make these videos truly interactive, we supplemented them with engaging narration, added subtitles for clarity, and stitched together scenes straight out of our Friendly Fire locations. This ensured that the content was engaging and held the viewer’s interest throughout.
Training Managers with a Gen Z Twist
Let’s delve a little deeper into an example of this innovative learning approach in action. A common struggle we identified was that of first-time managers, especially those from Gen Z, in understanding how to manage and control their team effectively.
We decided to break down this seemingly complex process into digestible chunks, crafting a series of videos that demonstrate the process of managing and controlling employees at Friendly Fire. These visually rich and easy-to-understand videos have made it much simpler for our managers to grasp the concept and apply it in real-time.
The Learning Never Stops
In addition to the videos, we implemented quizzes post each video to ensure that the employees truly understood the material. Moreover, this step doubles as a great way to stimulate their interest and keep them engaged with the learning process.
We divided the videos into various categories, creating a smooth and well-structured learning curve for our employees. Some were marked as essential "Day One" videos, while others could be consumed leisurely once the employees had familiarized themselves with the Friendly Fire environment.
The Friendly Fire Impact
As you might have already guessed, this radical revamp in our training approach has borne impressive results. Gone are the days when our employees would skim through, or even completely ignore, our well-intentioned but ill-fitting manuals. Now, they're actively engaging with our training content from the get-go. The first day at Friendly Fire isn't a daunting leap into the unknown anymore - our team members arrive with a clear understanding of their basic tasks and an eagerness to learn more.
But the benefits of this new system don't just stop at the initial engagement. The fascinating video format has sparked curiosity among our team members, enticing them to explore further and learn more about Friendly Fire. The training is no longer viewed as a mandatory chore; instead, it has turned into a fun and exciting process, enhancing productivity and efficiency.
With the new system, we have access to precise metrics that highlight the effectiveness of the training. We can monitor the consumption patterns of these videos and adapt them based on the feedback and engagement we receive. This data-driven approach allows us to continuously refine our training system and keep it aligned with the needs and preferences of our Gen Z employees.
Ultimately, the reinvention of our training system was driven by our goal to improve the customer experience. By catering to the learning preferences of our Gen Z employees, we've created a more engaged, knowledgeable, and efficient workforce that's better equipped to deliver top-notch service to our customers.
In the process, we've discovered that breaking away from traditional methods and embracing innovation can lead to remarkable outcomes. The adaptation and reinvention of our training approach are testaments to our commitment to continuously evolve and enhance the Friendly Fire experience, not just for our customers, but for our valuable team members as well.
It's clear that the key to effective training lies in understanding and addressing the unique learning styles of our team. By leveraging technology and contemporary content formats, we've successfully transformed our training process into an engaging, effective, and fun learning experience that resonates with our Gen Z team. With this new system in place, we're looking forward to nurturing a highly skilled and motivated workforce, ready to take Friendly Fire to new heights.
This experience has been an enlightening journey, a testament to the adaptability and innovative spirit at the heart of Friendly Fire. We're excited to continue building on this, improving and growing with every step we take. After all, change is the only constant, and we're ready to embrace it wholeheartedly.
To all our team members, old and new, and everyone looking to join the Friendly Fire family - thank you for being a part of our story. Let's continue to learn, grow, and blaze trails together! Here’s to creating unforgettable experiences at Friendly Fire, every single day.