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During lockdown, here’s how ONGC Academy has got creative with training staff

ONGC academy turned the COVID crisis into an opportunity by leveraging technology and imparting training to executives online

During lockdown, here’s how ONGC Academy has got creative with training staff
  • A total of 245 ONGCians across all work centres spread across the country attended the online training programme

  • Following the success of the programme, ONGC Academy developed a Standard Operating Procedure which was replicated at other institutes of ONGC

Dehradun: The crisis created by the Coronavirus pandemic and the social compulsion of staying at home also seems to have spurred creativity or so it seems is the case with ONGC Academy, the nodal agency of ONGC for training and development of executives and non-executives. Due to the restrictions placed in the wake of the nationwide lockdown, ONGC Academy had to suspend all the planned pieces of training scheduled for March. However, the academy turned the crisis into an opportunity by leveraging technology and imparting training to executives online for the very first time at ONGC. 

A total of 245 ONGCians across all work centres spread across the country attended this programme.

Stay safe at home – Get trained at home

Making the most of a motto given by Executive Director and head of ONGC Academy Manoj Barthwal — Stay safe at home – get trained at Home — ONGC Academy team, comprising of A Sreenivas, GGM (Mechanical) and Head Training, Arvind Bhatia GM (Production), Animesh Shukla SE (E&T), Parimal Paritosh, Shobha Negi, Sumit Joshi, Neeraj Kumar, Disha Tiwari and Sweeta Sahoo, set down to work and switched over to online mode to reach out to ONGC employees in their respective homes to impart training.

ONGC ED (HR) and ONGC Academy head Manoj Barthwal

This was achieved by automation of nomination and feedback process which facilitated the process at a rapid pace, thereby taking ONGC Online Learning Process to a totally new era and into uncharted territory. The new and dynamic online learning process ensured the success of reaching out to people in the quickest possible timeframe. The programme commenced on April 6 and three courses on ‘Maximising Your Productivity’ by training consultant Davis Abraham were conducted back to back during the month.

‘Initiative kept employees engaged and agile; resulted in cost savings’

"This helped in keeping employees fruitfully engaged, mentally agile, and kept them connected to the ONGC Community while keeping social distancing in mind. The initiative resulted in huge cost savings on travel and boarding expenses of faculty and participants. ONGC Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal and ONGC Academy head Manoj Barthwal also participated in the training,” said a source who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity.

Following the success of the programme, ONGC Academy developed a Standard Operating Procedure. The template was then replicated at other institutes of ONGC who rolled out similar online training programmes in their respective areas. 

And that set the ball rolling. Apart from training executives, the ONGC Academy also identified a wide gamut of online training courses offered by the likes of Harvard Business Review and Great Learning Academy, who already had a tie-up with ONGC, and extended free courses to its current and former employees. At least 600-700 people enrolled themselves in courses elsewhere to pick up new skills.

When ex-ONGC employees handed the baton to the next generation (online!)

Leveraging the wisdom that comes with grey hair, ONGC Academy also roped in its former employees by asking them to pen down a memoir, elaborating on their experience with ONGC. Another initiative was introduced, titled Case Study Contest, where regular ONGC employees compiled their valuable work experiences in order to help the next generation learn.

More recently, serving and retired veteran faculty have also been roped in and trained to conduct online training. “An e-get together was also organised for all the three batches of ‘Maximising Your Productivity’ to de-stress the employees during the lockdown. This web-based cultural programme saw huge participation from all across India, wherein participants came forward with songs, instrumental presentation, art gallery display and open discussion. The online get-together was supposed to last for an hour but it went on for two hours,” said the source.

‘A fruitful learning experience,’ say trainees

Commenting on the online training programme, Shubham Kumar Priyadarshi, a Geophysicist (Surface) based in Chennai, said, “It was indeed a very fruitful learning experience for me. Maximizing one’s productivity is the need of the hour, not just for an orgnaisation, but for oneself as well. With the advent of modern technologies, somewhere we have lost our belief in the potential that we as humans possess.  The ideas of deep work, identifying your calling, prioritising and planning your tasks are few of the key takeaways for me. Assignments during the course helped me think deeply and consider the changes that are required for sustaining myself and living to the fullest. Despite the fact that we were connected through the Internet, this was one of the most interactive training courses that I had attended ever.”

“All training sessions generated a lot of enthusiasm from Day 1... Sessions were enlightening with new concepts. And learning was further enhanced through the reference of videos and assignments on each day. The course content was relevant and had an important bearing in all areas of life,” said a Mumbai-based Executive Engineer (Production) at ONGC, Arijit Saha.