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Sport Clips

With nearly 1,900 locations across the United States and Canada, Sport Clips sought a learning partner that understands the unique challenges of training in a franchise organization. 





Sport Clips Success Story - Featured Image





  • Retail
  • Use Case
  • Compliance Training
  • Employee Development
  • Franchise Training
  • Frontline Worker Training
  • A Cut Above – Designing a Superior Workplace Experience

    Since 1993, Sport Clips Haircuts has been on a mission to provide championship haircut experiences for men and boys in an exciting sports environment. Forbes has even recognized the company as a “Top Ten Best Franchise.”

    Founded by a former U.S. Air Force Aircraft Commander, Gordon Logan, Sport Clips infuses strength, camaraderie, and sportsmanship into everything they do. And the company partners with vendors they trust to bring these inherent values to life. 

    Jonathan Sorber, Learning Development Manager at Sport Clips, knew it was time to upgrade the company’s learning management system (LMS) so everyone across the business could work more effectively. 

    With nearly 1,900 locations across the United States and Canada, Jonathan and his team sought a learning partner that understands the unique challenges of training in a franchise organization. 

    While Sport Clips does not mandate franchise employees complete the training provided, they want to ensure franchisees have access to all their learning and development resources and encourage them to leverage every resource available to them.

    Designing a Training Makeover  

    L&D teams at organizations like Sport Clips benefit from learning management solutions that automatically track activity, provide reporting, and support compliance. Ideally, skills mapping and learner engagement tools are also available to achieve the best results. 

    What should have been straightforward with the right LMS was previously a nightmare for the team at Sport Clips due to paper records, disparate filing systems, and outdated software. It was often nearly impossible to gauge whether training was completed or communication between corporate offices, regional management, and individual franchise stores was often ineffective. 

    Sport Clips’ previous LMS wasn’t fully integrated with other key software in the company, which meant it could not automate essential user management functions such as adding and removing users, avoiding duplicate accounts, and setting user permissions. This required the L&D team to update the system manually with each change across every franchise. 

    “Our biggest win is being able to track all of our training activity. It was a nightmare without Schoox.”

    Jonathan Sorber, Learning Development Manager at Sport Clips

    The situation caused administrative overload and increased the risk of security and quality control issues. Sport Clips wanted a powerful learning solution to unify its disjointed tech stack and entirely replace outdated systems wherever possible.

    Quick Learning for Staff on the Go 

    Most employees at Sport Clips locations are deskless and on their feet all day, making the lack of mobile learning capabilities one of the most significant limitations of the company’s previous LMS. The company sought a solution to make training more accessible within the flow of work and available to anyone within the company—anywhere, anytime, and through their own device. 

    Ultimately, Sport Clips selected Schoox as its learning and talent development platform for its unique combination of mobile readiness, configurable learning features and functionalities, and powerful tools to enable learner engagement and talent development across all parts of the organization. 

    With Schoox, the company also leverages the power of microlearning to deliver bite-sized training content through its native mobile app, to make for a genuinely authentic Sport Clips experience.

    “We’ve found that the best content for our learners is mobile, quick, and fun.”

    Jonathan Sorber, Learning Development Manager at Sport Clips

    Employees can log in to refer to training materials on the salon floor, at home, or even on the go. “When it comes to learning content, the shorter the better. Rather than using one long course, we try separating it into ten bite-sized ‘microlessons,’” shared Jonathan. For an optimal learner experience, the L&D team strives to limit content pieces to seven minutes maximum and aims to make even shorter content moving forward.

    Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

    While Sport Clips doesn’t directly employ most learners, the company believes in actively investing in each individual’s growth and development. 

    Providing adequate training for managers helps the company ensure consistency across all locations. While some franchise owners are heavily involved in the daily operations of their stores, others prefer that their managers run the show. Regardless of a specific owner’s protocol, all store managers must take managerial training to encourage uniformity in service and operational standards. 

    Real learning, however, should go beyond checking boxes, and Sport Clips wanted to provide more value than typical mandated training.

    “With the right tools, I believe almost anyone can be developed into a good manager.”

    Jonathan Sorber, Learning Development Manager at Sport Clips

    The team found managers want to be trained, while also preparing for further progress in their careers. So, he and other support team members formed a council with representatives from various franchise locations to create their flagship Manager Development Program, which they managed using Schoox. “Retention is tough in any service environment,” said Jonathan. “Burnout is real. People are more likely to feel burned out when they aren’t growing, so we want to keep our managers engaged.”

    In addition to mandated live training sessions for business operations and logistics, Sport Clips offers each Store Manager opportunities to engage in personalized learning to sharpen specific skills, prepare for advanced roles, and become better leaders. 

    Whether managers are interested in climbing up the corporate ladder, becoming experts in their specific roles, or exploring an entirely different career path, Sport Clips is dedicated to providing learning experiences that focus on the goals and interests of each individual. As a result—and benefit to the enterprise—franchise managers are often selected for regional and corporate leadership roles.

    Put Me in, Coach

    Once enrolled in the Manager Development Program, many staff become “coaches” to other managers. Coaches at Sport Clips are licensed cosmetologists and barbers who progress from Coordinators or Stylists to regional educators for their designated territories. They provide support to 20 – 25 stores and work one-on-one with managers at each location to provide in-person training and personalized support to help each store succeed. 

    With Schoox, coaches can track progress from each one-on-one session, add notes, provide supplemental training resources, and more.

    “We see better retention rates, 7% better on average, with our managers when they are properly trained and actively engaged in professional development.”

    Jonathan Sorber, Learning Development Manager at Sport Clips

    Jonathan and his team can analyze data in Schoox to determine which locations need additional support and develop targeted training programs for sites without certified managers. Coaches are often deployed to these locations within their region to resolve specific managerial opportunities and help each franchise “level up.” 

    The company promotes nearly all managers and trainers from within thanks to their innovative training approach to prepare people for success. Sport Clips was even named a “Best Company for Career Growth” by Comparably.

    Building Community and Impact 

    In their search for a new LMS, one of the most important considerations for the Sport Clips team was that it should be powerful enough to replace several outdated and disjointed tools the company previously used. 

    “Anyone familiar with franchise environments knows how difficult it is to communicate with team members at stores that aren’t company-owned,” said Jonathan. “We knew we needed an LMS that could be leveraged as a communication channel.”

    With Schoox, the L&D team can post messages on “the wall,” which is visible to all learners. They frequently share company news, updates about learning and development, and information about the company’s many corporate and social responsibility initiatives, including:

    • Sober Pros: The company utilizes groups in Schoox to support Team Members on an addiction recovery journey. 
    • Support Programs: From an internal relief fund (financial support when tragedy strikes) to SupporLinc (free mental health & other services for team members) to THNKS (a gratitude and rewards program for individual franchise locations) and more, Sport Clips offers an array of support programs for all team members.
    • Haircuts with Heart: Giving back to local communities is important to the brand and through its Haircuts with Heart programs, Sport Clips supports four national charitable programs that offer veteran scholarships, funding for childhood cancer research, blood donations, and once-in-a-lifetime bi-plane experience for senior veterans. Jonathan and his team leverage communication tools in Schoox to quickly spread the word about available opportunities.

    “We love the communication enabled by Schoox,” said Jonathan. “As the franchisor, we can’t require learners to engage. Still, we know we have a better chance for participation if we communicate directly with team members about the resources available.” 

    Team members across all stores also have access to open group chats where everyone can interact, provide support, and connect. 

    Making it Fun

    Everything at Sport Clips has a sports or game theme – and learning and development are no exception. And with a platform like Schoox, which offers gamification to make learning fun, there are no limits to the creative ideas the Sport Clips team can serve up.

    “Our team members enjoy healthy competition, earning badges, and receiving recognition for training they’ve completed.”

    Jonathan Sorber, Learning Development Manager at Sport Clips

    For example, they developed a “level up” system where team members can participate in training activities to earn badges at five levels. These badges can be customized; the fifth level marks an individual as a “certified manager.”

    The Final Score

    Schoox helped Sport Clips modernize, track, and future-proof its training programs, effectively replacing its intranet and other disjointed systems. It also seamlessly integrates with essential platforms in the Sport Clips technology stack, enabling the L&D team to compare data from each to see how training impacts learner and franchise performance. 

    Schoox empowers Sport Clips to:

    • Deliver effective learning that addresses business needs in a range of modalities that resonate with different learners
    • Consult data to determine which franchises need support
    • Create personalized learning experiences that keep employees engaged 
    • Offer talent development opportunities that prepare leaders to drive the business forward

    In just one year, Sport Clips saw a 4x increase in Academy Learners and Active Users, primarily via mobile, plus a 9x Increase in Course Completions. 

    Next, the retail enterprise plans to roll out “career paths” in Schoox, which will guide Stylists and Coordinators interested in advancement.


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