Eight Key Elements of Training Programs

Work place training safety manual.

So where to start? Creating an effective When an incident occurs, the corrective action is often training, more training, and still more training. We spend a fortune on training every year and in every industry. The Conference Board of Canada estimates companies spent $800 per employee on staff training in 2014-15. The question remains: If training is the answer, what does an effective training program look like?

Training program involves an eight-step process.

STEP 1: Make a Business Case

Conducting a cost-benefit analysis or developing a formal business case to determine the financial benefit of conducting training is a must.

STEP 2: Develop Objectives and Learning Outcomes

The training objectives and learning outcomes should be aligned with an employee’s position competency profile and, at the high level, with the organization’s business goals and mission.

STEP 3: Develop Content and Instructional Design

The most effective education and training methods for a particular situation need to be used.  This may include classroom instruction, on-line and on the job training, video conferencing, webinars, etc.

STEP 4: Access Internal and External Resources

Delivery of the training can be provided using in-house resources or an external consultant.

STEP 5: Develop Education and Training Materials

The education and training materials developed for the course must be carefully aligned with the objectives and learning outcomes.

STEP 6: Transfer Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The learner must have the opportunity to promptly apply the knowledge and skills gained in the workplace and demonstrate new abilities.

STEP 7: Evaluate Effectiveness

That which gets measured gets done. Evaluating the effectiveness of the education and training is critical.

STEP 8: Undertake Continuous Improvement

The findings from the evaluation process need to be used to make meaningful changes to the objectives and learning outcomes, content, and instructional design.

Imperial can help you with training around sales, operations and marketing.  Reach out to your Business Advisor or Operations Advisor for more information.

Esso 3 Star winners recognized

The Esso 3 Star recognition programs – one for excellence in sales and the other in operations – exist to celebrate the accomplishments of branded reseller businesses and specific individuals within those organizations. After Tuesday’s dinner, Colin Cochran took the opportunity to highlight several recent 3 Star winners.

Two 2018 sales winners recognized

The 3 Star Sales program salutes individuals who develop and apply their sales skills in a consistent and ongoing fashion. Colin first recognized Jason Cooper from Dowler-Karn: “Jason is super-passionate about growing the business and pushing the boundaries,” he said. “His use of our sales training and tools has helped make him an excellent salesperson.”

Colin also recognized the performance of Craig Bannister with McDougall Energy. “Craig’s disciplined focus helped him grow his annual sales by 10 percent in one year,” Colin said. Craig joins five other McDougall sales professionals – Rob Ambeau, Glen Johnston, Barb McCormick, Sean Meghen, and Dexter Outridge – who have previously earned 3 Star Sales recognition. (Sheldon Brannen and Owen Johnsen from Pepco Atlantic are also earlier 3 Star Sales recipients.)

Individual 3 Star winners receive a limited-edition lapel pin, certificate and branded jacket to recognize their achievement.

Colin concluded by saying:  “The 3 Star programs are truly important in acknowledging the standout behaviour of those who help our business lead the way in the industry.”

ExxonMobil exec praises Canada’s branded reseller business

ExxonMobil’s Scott Howard compliments Canada’s success.

After dinner, ExxonMobil’s commercial sales manager for the Americas, Scott Howard, shared his admiration for Canada’s branded reseller business.  He expressed how impressed he was with the reseller network and the way the Esso Branded Resellers are strong brand ambassadors. Resellers have a strong, important connection with the local customers.  “You have a great reputation globally [within ExxonMobil], and this is a great model that we are now taking to other countries, beginning with Mexico and the U.S.”


Imperial’s CEO passionately promotes the energy industry

In his remarks before dinner at the Calgary Petroleum Club, Imperial’s chairman, president and CEO Rich Kruger pulled no punches about the importance of the oil industry to the Canadian economy.

Mr. Kruger talked about our role to provide safe, reliable, affordable and responsible energy to consumers. He went on to explain that the world will need more and more energy to fuel its economy, the standard of living and the quality of life that we take for granted.

Responsible oil sands development

“We’re in a noble profession,” says Imperial CEO Rich Kruger

Mr. Kruger pointed out that technology, patience and perseverance in the Canadian oil sands industry will lead to success. Canadians should be proud of our industry, and not apologize. “I think we’re in a very noble profession. I’m very proud of it.”



Imperial invests $150 million to $200 million per year in fundamental science and technology – year in and year out – regardless of the price of oil, he explained.

Kruger closed by commenting on the role of branded resellers. Imperial’s strategy, he said, is to do what we do really well, and then, through the reseller and distributor networks, reach customers such that their needs can be met on a reliable and cost-effective basis.

“Thank you for your partnership with us, for your growth plans, for your patience at times,” he said. “I can assure you that you have a partner committed to you, committed to the long-term, and committed to your strengthening your business in the same way we’re committed to our shareholders’ prosperity.”

Formula One champion shares lessons about teamwork and winning

David Coulthard spent 15 years as a Formula One racing car driver, the last four years with Red Bull Racing. He achieved 62 podium finishes, including twice winning the British and Monaco Grand Prix races. Today he continues to work for Aston-Martin Red Bull Racing, and enjoys a second career as a racing broadcaster. Here are some highlights from his interview with Imperial’s Luis Victoria.

You have a natural connection to the fuel delivery business, right?

D.C.: I grew up in southwest Scotland. Since 1916, my family has run a fuel haulage business, now the second-oldest haulage company in the United Kingdom. As a young boy, I was more likely to be a farmer or a truck driver, but I started carting at age 11. With great family support, I was able to pursue my dream of becoming a world-class driver.

Can you talk about what it takes to win?

D.C.: I was not the most successful F1 driver, but I had consistency and an ability to learn from my mistakes. You have to continually look for opportunities and ask yourself: ‘where can I get an edge over my competitors?’ There’s a natural tendency to become complacent, but if you’re naturally competitive, if you understand your market and your customers, if you’re out there asking questions and being open to people’s feedback, then you’re most likely to be successful.

For example, I witnessed my father getting a phone call at 11 p.m. about a problem with a truck in London. He’d get in the car and drive 400 miles so he’d be in the customer’s office at 8 a.m. the next morning to talk, face-to-face, about why there was an issue. It takes passion and a strong work ethic; you’ve got to be in it to win it.

Interview with F1 driver David Coulthard (right).

Why is teamwork so important?

D.C: At Red Bull Racing, there’s a team of about 850 people involved in designing and building and marketing, all to put two cars on the track. Everyone knows his role, and together, the team delivers incredible customer service in getting the car on track, and ensuring it’s quick and reliable. The pit crew is constantly rehearsing in the factory or the garage. There are 20 mechanics involved in doing a tire change that takes only 2.5 seconds. Its ordinary people, perfectly trained, doing extraordinary things.

As a driver, I had no idea how to design or build the car, but I understood the importance of spending time with the mechanics. You need to recognize their commitment, look them in the eye, and show that you care. After you’ve just crashed the car they’ve worked so hard to build and maintain, it’s your job to go back on the track and give it your 100 percent.

In today’s technology-driven world, I believe human interaction will never go out of fashion – within your own team, and with your customers. Yes, data is important, but you’ve got to listen to your gut instinct.

What’s the atmosphere like at Red Bull Racing?

D.C.: We have a strong work ethic. It’s not a ‘blame culture’ but a ‘responsibility culture.’ Inevitably there will be failures and errors. People are encouraged to put up their hand and say, ‘that was my fault.’ They weren’t fired for their mistakes; they were supported. Only by openly discussing the causes of failures can you uncover opportunities to improve. The only bad decision is indecision.

What’s the most important ingredient in leadership?

D.C.: Great leadership is all about empowerment. Don’t hire good people and them micromanage them; set the guidelines and then let them go out and do the job. Encourage your people to challenge and ask questions, because that’s how you get better. Spend time with your team; don’t send a generic email. You’ve got to look people in the eye. Yes, it’s time-consuming, but I believe that having a motivated staff is the best way to beat the competition.

2018 Branded Reseller Leadership Conference a Big Success

Branded Reseller Manager Colin Cochran (far right) shares a story with conference attendees.

From April 30-May 2, 2018, nearly 40 Esso Branded Reseller business leaders from across Canada, plus more than a dozen managers from Imperial and ExxonMobil, got together to learn about new industry trends, share ideas and network at the 2018 Branded Reseller Leadership Conference in Calgary.


Former F1 driver David Coulthard shares his views on leadership.

Leadership Theme

The theme of the conference was ‘Leading the way,’ and over the two days participants heard from Imperial presenters as well outside experts – all of whom shared strategies and best practices to help branded reseller businesses win in their local markets. The resellers who replied to the closing survey all indicated the event exceeded expectations.

The conference was kicked off with an interview with legendary Formula One racing car driver David Coulthard. Click here for the complete interview  The remaining Tuesday morning presentations featured the future of Canada’s fuels industry and an overview of Imperial’s innovative approaches to managing product supply in order to better serve customers and win in the marketplace.

Hal Eagletail delivers a traditional blessing before lunch.


Just before heading off to lunch, First Nation spiritual leader Hal Eagletail delivered a traditional blessing, setting the stage for the afternoon.





Jordan Nail (left) and Jezelle Zatorski from Imperial, and Aboriginal business leader JP Gladu, answer questions at the conclusion of Tuesday’s Indigenous Relations session.

Focused Indigenous Relations

The entire afternoon on Tuesday was devoted to the topic of Indigenous Relations. The first presentation, by Imperial’s Jezelle Zatorski, touched on the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada, and the opportunity to establish more respectful and mutually beneficial relationships in the future. Then, the CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, JP Gladu, spoke about the growing importance of the Indigenous marketplace in Canada, and the fact that incorporating Aboriginal businesses in supply-chain decisions can lead to winning outcomes for all. Third on the program was Imperial’s Jordan Nail, who shared some best practices for engaging with Indigenous businesses, and highlighted how two Esso Branded Resellers – Doak’s Bulk Fuels in northern Manitoba, and Fort McMurray’s Chinook Fuels – have successfully partnered with local Indigenous organizations. The three speakers then fielded questions from the audience. (View the Indigenous Relations toolkit here.)

Rich Kruger dinner remarks a highlight

Imperial Chairman, president and CEO passionately shares his views on the energy industry.

As usual, the conference provided various opportunities for networking and socializing, with the highlight being the Tuesday dinner at the Calgary Petroleum Club that featured opening comments from Imperial Chairman, President and CEO Rich Kruger (click here for the complete article).

Best Managed Lab Experience

Wednesday morning began with an insight-filled workshop called Best Managed Lab Experience offered by senior consultants from Deloitte. During the session, conference participants were divided into groups that took turns brainstorming best practice ideas in each of the four categories used in assessing Canadian businesses for the ‘Best Managed Companies’ program. (View the workshop report here.)

Resellers brainstorm best practices during Best Managed Lab Experience workshop.

Safety leadership session

Calgary-based safety consultant Glyn Jones shared insights and practices for developing a leadership culture related to safety and operations. (View presentation highlights here.)

Commercial Marketing and Innovation

ExxonMobil’s David Lunsford explains the ‘4 Ds’ of successful B2B marketing.

Wednesday afternoon began with a session on business-to-business marketing, led by ExxonMobil manager David Lunsford. The second part of this presentation featured Imperial’s Luis Victoria, who delivered a lively case study on the marketing strategy driving the success of Esso Diesel Efficient fuel. The day’s final presentation also came from ExxonMobil and showcased how the company is adopting leading-edge practices to transform the business for the digital age.


According to the closing survey, resellers all agreed the conference met expectations, was worth the investment to attend and provided good opportunities to network and connect. One participant wrote:  “Thank you for an informative, educating, entertaining and motivating agenda. Happy to have attended.”

We win together, says branded reseller manager Colin Cochran

After thanking the 19 Esso Branded Reseller businesses represented at the conference for their contribution to Imperial’s fuel sales performance and for being ambassadors for the brand, Colin Cochran spent a significant share of his presentation recognizing a number of important milestones across the network.

Reseller milestones saluted

Representatives of Dowler-Karn Ltd. – which is celebrating its 75th year in business in 2018 – poses with Imperial CEO Rich Kruger (fourth from right).

First, he saluted Dowler-Karn Ltd. – headquartered in St. Thomas in southwestern Ontario – which is celebrating its 75th year of association with the Esso brand. Similarly, he highlighted Harnois Groupe pétrolier from St. Thomas, Quebec, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018.


How resellers contribute to the community

Colin then gave examples of the many ways that branded resellers are making a difference in the community through their contributions to local hospitals, sponsorships of local sports, and by taking the Stop, Think and Act message to customers and the general public. He also cited examples of the investments various businesses are making to expand and improve their facilities and equipment to better serve customers and represent the Esso brand, and in particular, the new Esso Diesel Efficient fuel.

Finally, he explained his aggressive goal for the business – to significantly increase the network’s fuel volume and earnings by 2025 – and outlined the steps required to make this happen, together with the ways that Imperial is committed to helping branded resellers win.

“When [branded resellers] are successful and win in your marketplace, we win. The support that Imperial has given us to help grow your businesses is tremendous,” he said later. “We have a wonderful opportunity to win – together.”

(View highlights of his presentation here.)

Jeff Adam’s LinkedIn, Fuelex update

This Fuelex update is taken from Jeff Adam’s LinkedIn post from Feb 27, 2018 (with permission).  For more information on this project, follow Jeff on LinkedIn.

Three months ago I posted a picture of our most recent fuelling system and asked you to stay tuned for the installation. Well, as you can see the time has come and the Fuelex Energy / Western Global Fueling System has landed at the City of Burnaby works yard. It was designed as a plug and play system; pumps, dispensers, hoses and monitors were shipped in place. All that needs to be done on arrival is the high hose mast retrievers’ setup, power connected and a connection made to the client’s fuel management system. As you can see from the pictures it was a snowy day on Feb.  24, 2018. A special thanks goes out to New Hope Transport for getting the tank to Burnaby from Winnipeg on time through some of the heaviest snow we have seen in a while. Next up was XCaliber crane and rigging who did a phenomenal job off-loading and placing the tank in the exact spot the client requested. With great team work there is no project too big or small for Fuelex Energy, please think of us for all of your fueling, storage or pumping needs. I will be posting pictures in a few weeks after the earthquake restraints and high hose mast retrievers have been installed.

Recent fuel truck incidents

Four driving incidents involving fuel delivery trucks last fall are a reminder of the importance of safe driving behaviours.  Here’s an overview of each incident.

  • Sept. 13: A fuel truck catches fire on the Trans-Canada Hwy. near Winnipeg. There was no collision.
  • Nov. 1: Two fuel trucks caught fire in a multi-car pileup on Highway 400, north of Toronto, that killed three people.


  • Dec. 11: Two trucks involved in a fatal crash near the Canadian border. There was no fire, but the fuel truck was carrying 10,000 litres of fuels.
  • Dec. 28: A failed block heater is to blame for a jet fuel truck fire at the airport in Trail, B.C. Extensive damage, but no fire and no injuries.

Work involving fuel involves risk, and as these incidents show there can be serious consequences.

Suggested learnings

  • At the start of every day, perform your circle- Look, listen, smell and even touch to ensure your truck is ready to drive. If you observe anything of concern, report it; do not set off in a vehicle that’s not 100 percent safe.
  • Once you’re in the cab, get everything ready before you head out, including stowing your lunch box, turning on the GPS, adjusting your radio, and turning off the ringer on your cellphone
  • When you’re out on the road, follow the Smith System’s 5 safe driving principles:

1.  Aim high in steering (look at least 15 seconds ahead)

2.  Get the big picture (look for hazards)

3.  Keep your eyes moving (don’t stare; use your peripheral vision)

4.  Leave yourself an out (monitor the space cushion around you)

5.  Make sure they see you (use your signals; make eye contact)

Contact your Operations Advisor to access the on-line Smith Driver training for drivers available to all resellers.

Stop Think Act in action!


Sandy Miller of WSPS, Daphne Nicolle and Michelle Ruest test the selfie frame.

In November, Equine Guelph used Stop Think Act as the basis for its booth at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. Stop Think Act is an easy and fun way to get involved in your community.

Daphne trying to remember how to do hopscotch!


As you can see, we had fun at the fair.

Nobody Gets Hurt – Safety Management Systems (SMS)

Creating and sustaining a Safety Management System (SMS) is one of the most important steps taken to achieve the goals of “Operations Excellence” and “Nobody Gets Hurt.” So what is SMS? It’s a coordinated, methodical approach to identifying, assessing and controlling operational and safety risks in your workplace.

What does it take to make your SMS successful? It takes many things, including:

  • Ongoing leadership and commitment by management
  • A sufficient allocation of financial and human resources
  • A high level of employee engagement and participation

There are a number of ingredients in a robust management system and here are a few of them:

  • Management leadership and commitment: Like safety culture, a successful system starts at the top and has a clear policy statement and demonstrated commitment.
  • Hazard identification, assessment and control: It’s essential to know what hazards you face and how to control them.
  • Definition of safe work practices: Set expectations. Workers need to know what safe looks like and be trained in how to achieve it. They also need to be equipped with PPE and know how to use it.
  • Workplace inspections: Once your people know how to work safely, it’s important to periodically check that the established standards and policies are being followed. This includes checking tools and equipment for condition and undertaking job observation assessments.
  • Incident reporting and investigation: Should an incident occur, an SMS requires it be reported and investigated so future incidents can be prevented. It is also important to share learnings. .
  • Emergency Response Planning: Have a plan on how to respond to emergencies

Does your organization have a safety management system?  Is it up to date or is it sitting on a shelf waiting to be brought back to life?  Your operations advisor can help you with this, so book a planning session today.