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Schlumberger Careers

Nourishing a Culture of Learning and Development

Discover how we moved from providing training to enabling learning in response to COVID-19

Headshot of Sonia Badilla, Learning and Competency Development Manager

As a technology company, our success is determined by our people–their technical expertise and drive to continuously strive for excellence. Since our early days the company has consistently invested in training and development, while continually cultivating our learning mindset to adapt to a changing world and evolving technologies.

Sonia Badilla, Learning and Competency Development Manager, describes our most recent learning journey and explains how we have moved from delivering traditional training classes, to a more blended learning experience designed to enhance employee performance, as well as their personal development.

What initially fueled the change in Schlumberger's learning approach?

At the beginning of the year, we watched the COVID-19 pandemic unfold around the world. With the implications of social distancing, and travel restrictions in sight, we immediately re-evaluated our global learning strategy. The reality was that a large portion of our key training courses took place in our learning centers—and with the word changing before our eyes—learning in Schlumberger was put to the test.

How did you go about adapting the current system?

It goes without saying that the health and safety of our people is our number one priority. Anticipating border closures, our first action was to plan how our employees studying at our global network of learning centers could return home safely. In parallel, we recognized that we needed to develop an approach where our employees could continue their learning journey and complete their qualifications remotely.

Teamwork was fundamental to adapting the current system. Knowing that we had to work quickly, we began by re-evaluating and re-designing our existing classes. After assessing and selecting a platform to deliver classes virtually, we began the challenging task of converting our designated training modules that were previously in-person instructor led to virtual instructor led training. We ensured that we incorporated the latest educational best practices and developed new innovative ways to convey key topics. This would not have been possible without the collaboration of Schlumberger teams throughout the company—in locations all over the world. Everybody really pitched in!

"This would not have been possible without the collaboration of Schlumberger teams throughout the company—in locations all over the world. Everybody really pitched in!"

Are there any results that you can talk about?

To avoid exposure to COVID-19, we reduced travel for training purposes to near zero and instead thousands of employees were enrolled onto our virtual training program. This meant our trainees could continue their professional development by completing modules, tasks, and assignments from their homes.

Throughout the process, we tracked employee feedback which was overwhelmingly positive. We also closely monitored effectiveness, by analyzing a wide range of metrics, including a comparative analysis between virtual and instructor led training. It became clear that a significant part of the changes initially introduced as temporary measures during a time of crisis, will remain as we return to a ‘new normal.’ By embracing new challenges, we have been able to improve our employee’s learning experience. It’s really exciting!

What are some of the key factors of the new learning culture that particularly stand out?

This process has completely changed how we look at the concept of learning. We are now focusing much more on our employee’s journey of gathering knowledge and gaining insight, rather than on only fixed classes or events—in the past referred to as ‘training.’

Virtual instructor led courses are also central to our new blended learning program. However, further collaboration and ongoing research and analysis is necessary to ensure that we continue to deliver optimal solutions. Going forward, traditional courses in our learning centers will evolve as we permanently integrate virtual offerings into our structured training programs. The Schlumberger global network of learning centers as well as partnerships within the business were fundamental to helping us make this change.

As well as adapting our courses for employees working in operational, research, and commercial and business roles, we have also evolved our customer offerings. Our customer secondees have been successfully enrolled onto our virtual programs with all participants expected to graduate.

Learn more about Schlumberger and our commitment to learning and development here.