Keith Grimes, director of human resources development for Halliburton’s Energy Services Group, said that there are about 35,000 people in the group that he and his colleagues are responsible for training. Most of this training ranges from computer applications training to field-based job training. In addition, they are responsible for leadership and management development training and functional programs like HR development. Grimes said that Halliburton’s training mission could be stated in many different ways depending on which part of the company and which country you’re asking about, but he added that lifelong learning is a general goal for the company. “Our general goal is to make learning a career habit, instead of something you just do in your first year of employment,” he said.
Mike Saidy, Interwise project manager for Halliburton, added that one of the company’s visions is to provide real-time knowledge management for its workforce.
Halliburton’s team also believes that learning and development contribute directly to the overall productivity of the workforce. “We believe there’s a direct link between what people know and their productivity in the field,” said Rick Hansen, manager of business applications learning and development for the Energy Services Group. “The quicker our people become knowledgeable, the quicker they’re able to produce for our customers.”
Halliburton recently implemented the Web conferencing technology offered by Interwise in order to meet a stringent training need surrounding a rollout of SAP. Faced with implementing SAP on a global scale, the company had to train thousands of its employees in just a few months. Traditional training methods would have required employees to fly from remote locations and miss valuable time on the job. Through Interwise, Halliburton was able to save those travel costs as well as the lost opportunity costs associated with losing productivity in the field.
With operations spread across so many countries, Grimes said that Halliburton’s biggest challenge is being able to communicate on a global scale. The various phone systems and other barriers prevent smooth communication.
Hansen added that getting a consistent message out to employees can often be difficult due to the many languages and cultures represented across the company. “With Interwise,” he said, “the organization can easily tailor training and communications to meet local cultural and language needs.”
Halliburton offers all of its training courses via a company intranet, and it uses Interwise for live and pre-recorded training. “Interwise technology allows us to rapidly develop or capture in-house knowledge and distribute that knowledge worldwide via different means—via the Interwise system, via CDs, via Internet-based delivery,” said Saidy. This allows the company to have a backup plan.
Overall, offering training through Web conferencing technology has helped Halliburton increase the speed at which it gets information and knowledge out to a large number of employees, not just in a formal training setting, but also through less formal communications.
Saidy said that Halliburton is now working on integrating Interwise with its in-house LMS system in order to track live events.
“We’ve got a long way to go toward making Interwise more of a day-to-day tool,” said Grimes. He added that moving forward, Halliburton is trying to make learning a career habit for its employees. “We have a long way to go toward making our learning available to the entire workforce on much larger terms than it is now.”