Ice Cream Sundae

How to Create the Perfect Dairy Queen Swirl

As a teenager, my first job was working at a Dairy Queen making ice cream cones, sundaes and shakes. On my first day, my manager showed me how to make the famous DQ swirl that sits on top of all DQ cones. First, he showed me how to make a cone, identifying all the minor movements that need to be made to create the perfect ice cream cone. Then he handed the controls to me. The first few were sloppy and lopsided. He told me to keep practicing and practicing until I got it. And I did. Within a short while, I was able to create the signature swirl. Without giving it a name, my manager had me develop my skills to achieve the perfect DQ swirl by practicing and developing my skills on the job.

Job skills are pretty easy to develop on the job. For instance, managers, technical trainers and front line leaders show employees how to run a piece of equipment. They then have their employees practice until they can run the equipment at the required level of productivity and quality requirements. Yet, in a recent study from the Towards Maturity Benchmark Study 2012 – 2013, they found that while 94% of learning and development leaders seek to speed up the application of learning back into the workplace, only 23% believe they achieve this. It is much harder, though, to develop employees’ soft skills through on the job application.

Most learning and development professionals can quickly recite these statistics: “70% of development happens on the job; 20% through coaching and mentoring; and the final 10% through formal learning.” So this leads to the question, what are companies doing to develop their employees’ soft skills on the job? eLearning courses are a great tool for developing employee soft skills.

Vado takes the convenience and opportunity elearning provides even further and is the only off the shelf elearning courseware provider that helps the learner apply skills on the job. Each Vado course comes with a step-by-step Implementation Guide to help learners apply skills on the job, developing their behavior-based competencies. Each Implementation Guide helps the learner make the transition from the formal learning environment (the elearning course) to application by walking the learner through each step of the process to encourage development on the job and leverage the natural way a person develops.

Companies win because instead of having employees sit in an elearning course for long periods of time, over 95% of the development time of Vado’s courses is the application on the job. The results are accomplishing two goals at one time: development while doing work that needs to be done.

Vado Implementation Guide

Part of a Vado Implementation Guide

Cindy Pascale is the CEO and co-founder of Vado and has 16+ years of HR, Training & Development and OD leadership experience and 12 years running talent management, development and assessment companies. Vado is the e-learning courseware provider “changing the face of learning.”