•   Article   •   3 mins

Engaging Deskless Workers: Ecopetrol Builds Winning Learning Habits with Degreed

When learning leaders at Ecopetrol rolled out Degreed, they were surprised to find people in operations and maintenance roles — not only desk jobs — were some of the biggest early adopters. This engagement from frontline workers, who almost immediately began checking out a wide range of learning content, outpaced anything the 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.”

Finding new ways to engage — or re-engage — your deskless workers can boost their job satisfaction, keep the backbone of your business running smoothly and empower teams to take your organization in helpful new directions, according to Training Industry.

But engaging the deskless is often overlooked. L&D can play a big role in fixing that. 

“Although frontline workers are largely responsible for putting the company’s broader goals and values into action, they often lack the digital tools and solutions needed to do so,” Training Industry noted.

Indeed, a Forrester study commissioned by Microsoft found only 23% of frontline workers have 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. 

In March, the Harvard Business Review explored why frontline workers are quitting despite a 7% to 10% wage increase since the onset of COVID-19, laying the blame on poor relationships with managers. Among other remedies, the publication urged companies to boost learning opportunities: “Even outstanding frontline management may not be enough to keep all workers happy and engaged if other critical HR systems or structures are lacking. Companies must also invest in onboarding and skill-building programs and give workers time to utilize them.”

In our latest Degreed case study, we explore how Ecopetrol uses Degreed to engage workers like Luis Giovanny Barbosa Arias at the Barrancabermeja Refinery, who’s easily accessed videos, documents and short articles to focus his learning, interact with colleagues and share new knowledge. Called Genius (inspired by the “G” and “E” in Grupo Ecopetrol, the company’s name in Spanish), the Degreed-powered platform is available to all employees. And it’s a critical part of the organization’s efforts to prepare its workforce for global industry changes shifting production away from hydrocarbons toward low-carbon alternatives.

Check out our case study to see how Ecopetrol uses Degreed to:

  • Engage deskless workers
  • Quickly give managers the learning content they need
  • Inspire people to own their own development
  • Support innovation and long-term strategic business goals 

“We wanted to connect through emotions,” said Jorge Rojas Aldana, Learning Planning and Management Coordinator. “We sent a lot of messages about the importance of reskilling and upskilling. The underlying message was ‘If you love your job and you love this company, you can stay here. But don’t be left behind.’”

Read the Full Story

Download the case study to learn more about how Ecopetrol aligned learning with business objectives.

Or reach out to a Degreed representative to learn how you can advance learning at your organization.

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