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Right at Home's Innovative New Mix of Virtual and In-Person Training Programs Sets Franchisees Up for Success

The leading in-home care and assistance franchise’s VP of strategic operations, Emily Undajon, explains how a new format for training—that is now partly virtual—is meeting franchisees’ needs for ongoing support.

By Helen Harris1851 Franchise Staff Writer
SPONSOREDUpdated 1:13PM 11/19/21

Right at Home, a leading in-home care and assistance franchise, has changed the way it trains new franchisees, which, in turn, will make a positive impact on the senior care franchise system and the success of each franchise owner. With 26 years of experience and more than 650 locations worldwide, Right at Home is one of the best investments for prospective franchisees in a booming industry that is only projected to grow more in the coming years. And with training now easier than ever, the time has never been more accommodating to come on board with Right at Home.

Emily Undajon, vice president of strategic operations at Right at Home, confirmed that the franchise has replaced its 100% in-person training model with a hybrid of both in-person and virtual training.

Undajon explained that the new RightStart Learning Path eliminates the need for a new owner to come to Right at Home’s global headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, and train in person for two consecutive weeks. Instead, this new model is a hybrid training plan that allows the new owner the ability to retain information longer by learning it in multiple ways. 

“With the business model getting even more sophisticated, the industry is shifting, and we're entering more into the health care continuum,” Undajon said. “Because there's so much that needs to be retained now, it's unrealistic to think that somebody sitting in Omaha during two solid weeks of in-person training is going to leave remembering everything.”

Now the curriculum is made up of four different phases, with each phase consisting of 25 hours. The training is led by Right at Home’s director of organizational learning, with more detailed content covered by individual subject matter experts.

How the Training Works

As far as the role virtual learning plays in the rollout of the new training, Undajon stated,

“The RightStart Learning Path begins with phase one’s self-study, which is completed via virtual learning through our Right at Home University; this phase is dedicated to really understanding the industry.”

Included in phase one, Zoom sessions allow franchisees to network with peers who are in similar phases of the startup model. In phase two, new owners move into more virtual, instructor-led learning.

The director of organizational learning leads trainees through discussions in phase two, assessing what they're retaining before they move to phase three, which takes place in person in Omaha.   

“That's when the subject matter experts teach them the keys to running the business successfully,” Undajon explained. “I call them our centers of excellence, which includes all facets of the business.”

During phase three, the marketing team discusses with the new franchisees how they can gain brand awareness and preference as they’re establishing themselves in the market both online and offline. New franchisees also hear from the sales team on how to make sales calls, which includes role playing in the classroom, and they learn how to work closely with the technology team.

Phase four gathers the new owners virtually again in the Zoom classroom, where they discuss what they learned before entering the market to launch their own businesses. In the last 30 minutes of the last Zoom meeting, the corporate team joins the new Right at Home owners to conduct a graduation celebration.

While not included in the four phases of training but certainly part of the onboarding process, a new owner will also go into the marketplace to shadow an existing owner. The existing franchisee will walk the new owner through a checklist so they see the “big picture” of running the business over the course of a few days: They'll manage payroll, watch an orientation and possibly go on a couple of sales calls to observe.

Undajon said this shadowing is meant to get the new owner to visualize what a day in the life of an owner is like, and it’s a great way to see a tenured owner in action, before the new owner opens their doors.

Enhanced Training Equals Higher-Quality Care

Besides the aforementioned transition to a hybrid model of training, the length of the program has changed from two to four weeks. The quality of owners Right at Home receives is top notch: These owners are committed to learning as much as possible to make their businesses thrive, and they are willing to train for nearly a month, both in person and virtually.

Right at Home’s unique method of training has upped the ante in quality within the senior care market by offering a one-of-a-kind experience for new owners.

Undajon stated that Right at Home is happy to utilize more tools and resources to bring real- time learning modules to new owners.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Right at Home had to figure out the best way to execute its training program given social distancing, the company decided to get feedback from graduates from the previous year about resources they wished they had had, what’s missing from the program, and what they liked.

It was the combination of gathering the “wish list” of existing owner feedback paired with how to regroup amid the pandemic that led to the new model of training.

Right at Home made it clear that they are always looking for franchisee feedback. There is always an opportunity to capitalize by making improvements from owner input. Right at Home has clearly accomplished this by developing an enhanced learning strategy and curriculum to better the success of its owners and their businesses.

“Right at Home’s culture is what sets us apart from others in the industry,” said Undajon. “We build our culture based on the people—and the people start with the franchisees we bring into our Right at Home family, and that, in turn, can have a great impact on the culture that is established in the marketplace to be the employer and provider of choice.”

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