Greyhound Lines, Inc. is the leading domestic provider of regular route interstate motor coach transportation. With nearly 5,000 drivers and $1.6 billion in annual revenues, the business is firmly established as the single source of affordable, long-distance ground passenger transportation in North America.
Greyhound set out to find and retain safe, courteous and responsible motor coach operators. Prior to engaging Avatar, the operator hiring and training process was costly ($8.2 million per year); and the high turnover rates (65 percent) were extremely disruptive to the operation. Thus, Greyhound needed to reduce costs, shorten the training period and improve safety and customer service results.
Avatar created completely new operator selection, orientation, training and education processes and eliminated two weeks of costly classroom time spent at distant locations. To do so, we developed a series of 40 self-directed courses that could be completed by new hires on their own time in their homes.
Knowledge mastery was verified through a series of on-line quizzes and a comprehensive final exam. Then, Greyhound gave successful candidates a $200 sign-on bonus and a ticket to bus driver training school.
Once at school, the focus was on safe driving and advanced customer service skills. Certified instructors taught these skills using a standardized syllabus based on comprehensive performance standards. The new, and much shorter, classroom sessions were supported by DVD presentations, a Facilitator Guide, Case Studies, Job Simulations and Group Exercises.
In the first year, Avatar reduced total annual training by $2.3 million. At the same time, operator turnover dropped from 65 to 30 percent. During the next two years, accident frequency among new operators fell by more than 20 percent.