Morning Tea with Bharat Express: Let The Employees Spread Wings

An Innovation much needed

Learning leaders at Ecopetrol rolled out a learning experience platform (LXP), they were surprised to find people in operations and maintenance roles not only desk jobs among the biggest early adopters. This engagement from frontline workers outpaced anything the award-winning L&D team at the Colombian national oil and Gas Company expected.

“They were looking for subjects related to their jobs but not exactly their positions, It was a huge insight,” said Monica Santos, Ecopetrol Schools Leader.

“There were some things that were mandatory, and they were doing those. But they were also exploring. Some of them did it during shifts at night because there’s less activity in the plant.”

Exploring new ways to engage or re-engage deskless workers can boost job satisfaction. It will also help in keeping the backbone of a business running smoothly, and take an organization in helpful new directions, according to Training Industry.

And while engaging the deskless worker is often overlooked, L&D can play a big role in fixing that.

Market research study commissioned by Microsoft found only 23 % of frontline workers has access to the technologies they need to do their jobs. Even when they do have access, they’re often not trained on how to use those tools.

The Harvard Business Review explored why frontline workers are quitting despite a 7 %to 10 % wage increase since the onset of COVID-19. Among other remedies, the publication urged companies to boost learning opportunities: “Invest in on-boarding and skill-building programs and give workers time to utilize them.”

Companies up skilling and deploying talent effectively are emphasizing internal rather than external resources. They invest in data, tools, and processes that prioritize skills and opportunity. It requires taking inventory of talent and compiling a complete picture of the skills and experiences of all their people. The next step is figuring out future skills needs.

Researches show that most employees know the skills they need to perform better in their current roles and advance their careers. Organizations enable this by being nimble and democratic with learning opportunities.

A global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipes, Tenaris SA, gave its 22,000 employees across 30 countries more ownership of their learning and career mobility and saw immediate benefits to engagement and skill development.

Adidas trained a couple thousand frontline retail employees on how to think like business innovators. Adidas solicited their ideas. The company then developed thousands of ideas, sharing them in open meetings. For some employees, it was the first time they were excited and inspired at work.


And remember: Successful upskilling requires doing. People need a chance to practice and master skills on the job.