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5 insider tips from bp’s immersive training integration journey, their "why" and what comes next!

As a global leader in energy delivery, bp is committed to re-imagining the role of energy in people's lives and the health of our planet. With ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions and champion transparency, health and safety remains foundational. It's not just a commitment; it's a responsibility.

As a global leader in energy delivery, bp is committed to re-imagining the role of energy in people's lives and the health of our planet. Their mission goes beyond providing heat, light, and mobility – we're dedicated to driving the transition to a lower carbon future. However, in our pursuit of progress, safety stands as an unwavering priority.

With ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions and champion transparency, safety remains foundational. It's not just a commitment; it's a responsibility.

The premise - “safety is at the core of bp. It’s fundamental to everything we do”

Safety isn't just a rulebook at bp; it's woven into the fabric of everything they do.

It's not about ticking boxes; it's about making sure everyone goes home unharmed, every single day. And the ramifications of that go well beyond physical safety;

Whilst reducing major incidents is key, it is empowering people to assess risks, make the right decision, or speak up that will make a lasting difference.

It will help foster a strong and positive safety culture, the impact of which can trickle further into mental well-being and a deep sense of feeling cared for.

“bp investing in my training as an employee makes me feel valued and I think it increases our safety culture, but also looks after our mental health because it shows us that they want us, as employees, to develop our learning capability, but also different abilities.”

Eirini Mavrantonaki - HSE&C Advisor at bp

And as the Industry world evolves and processes become more complex, so do the challenges faced by those on the frontlines, especially in high risk settings.

Furthermore, as safety protocols and controls of work become more embedded into workers’ daily tasks, junior frontline workers are, thankfully, less exposed to real-life safety incidents.

And although this is the ultimate goal, this lack of serious life-changing incident experience is at times taking away some really powerful learnings and hindering the younger workforce’s ability to appreciate risk.

“Showing people what can happen when things go wrong and we do not have the proper controls in place is so important. And making the emotional impact is so important because a lot of people have not experienced major safety incidents, which makes some people underestimate this risk.”

Hamed Al-ajmi - HSE&C Advisor at bp

And beyond the need to provide critical training to their workforce in a way that they can understand safety incidents without having experienced any, there is the acknowledgment that the power of any training will lie in its ability to be relevant across an entire industry; especially with a large proportion of bp’s workforce coming from a pool of contractors working across that industry.

The traditional way of doing training doesn’t cut it.
Time to make space for more engaging and purposeful solutions.

When the stakes are so high, the training solution has to align with the challenges and need for results. Workers need to build competency, they need to have confidence in their skills; they need to develop an ability to assess, respond, and ultimately control the risk they are facing on a daily basis. And they also need to feel empowered to speak up when risky situations arise.

Not only that, but those skills and competencies have to also be relevant and transferable as much within a large global organisation, but also across an entire industry; standardisation and scalability have to be a central focus of the solution.

So what does this reveal?

We must break away from the two-dimensional, dry, in-classroom, more traditional trainings; the necessity to have information stack, to make knowledge and training relevant and effective, and “to raise it above the noise”, as Graeme Lannigan puts it, has never been more crucial.

“I also think gamification is massive. I'm seeing a generational shift. People now expect a lot. They're used to great quality products, things that they can access in their personal life. And they expect the same in training. They expect it to be fun, engaging and effective. They're not going to be able to settle for what we've done in the past."

Graeme Lannigan - Global Learning Manager, HSSE at bp

Pixaera and bp have been partnering on creating training solutions that can help curb the shortcomings of traditional learning within the safety training space;

And they are paving the way towards a new era of safety education; one where dry presentations and dull manuals give way to dynamic, engaging, and immersive experiences. And there is a definite vision to make this type of training the norm in the not-so-distant future.

So beyond the evident generational shift and the need to adapt training to the new kind of learners, the training needs to have an impact in the way it builds confidence, capabilities, and competence.

Immersive training not only creates an emotional impact, which helps with knowledge retention; it is far more exciting and engaging.

➡︎ And this has led to learners literally lining up to take part in the training: a first for bp.

The powerful behaviour and culture shift

With any training solution and especially when dealing with people’s lives, physical and mental wellbeing, the true measure of success lies not only on hard data but also in a more subtle but yet truly powerful behaviour change and culture shift.

The data on one hand does not lie; it shows the impact the training has had on bp, especially around engagement and participation.

  • +3500% growth in yearly usage
  • 98% preferred immersive training

But it is also on the ground that they are seeing results; beyond engagement, there is a subtle but noticeable behaviour change in how the workforce approaches their tasks.

Despite being a slower shift, it is by far the most important impact as this will lead directly towards the ultimate aim: making sure people go home unharmed at the end of the day.

“Now, as we rolled out the pixaera training in the Khazzan gas field, we did see an attitude change towards safety training in general, for the first time ever, we had people lining up, people were actually eager to experience this training.
And then the other impact that we noticed is people's appreciation of risk. Now, the change was subtle because culture change usually takes time, but was noticeable. My younger, more junior colleagues on the frontline started to approach their tasks a bit more cautiously. They would take a minute before starting the task to look around them and make sure that they had assessed all risks before starting.”

Hamed Al-ajmi - HSE&C Advisorat bp

On integrating and deploying immersive training

When it came to implementing immersive training and integrating it into the learning management system, the process wasn’t as difficult as it may appear.

By starting small, taking a step by step approach, and focusing on what matters most when it comes to the training content, bp has been able to lay the groundwork for a more effective and engaging way of training.

For bp, it was about adopting a strategy of incremental progress, constantly evaluating each step of the training for improvement.

Starting small was pivotal.

  1. Start with desktop, then move to VR: While VR is seen as the future, starting with desktop or mobile is more practical. Deploying on desktop first allows for impactful training and easier scalability. Transitioning to VR at a later stage can only enhance the experience.

  2. Consider mobile learning: Surprisingly, there's high interest in mobile training solutions among learners. It fits their lifestyle and preferences, so integrating mobile options into the strategy is wise.

  3. Start small, expand gradually: Global deployment of immersive learning presents challenges, including technological and language barriers. Starting small with a focused group, overcoming obstacles, and gradually expanding is key to success.

  4. Integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS): Integrating immersive learning with the company's LMS is crucial for widespread deployment. While it's not as straightforward as traditional learning, modern technology makes integration easier.

  5. Translation and inclusivity: Translation of content, especially for critical topics like safety rules, is essential for inclusivity. Nowadays translations are more accessible and efficient, which was an important consideration for bp which is operating globally.

In summary, ease of deployment hinges on a deliberate, incremental approach that prioritises effectiveness, adaptability, and scalability. By starting small, focusing on critical objectives, and embracing emerging technologies.

A true partnership with a shared vision

Embracing immersive learning has represented a significant shift in bp’s approach to safety training, and is driven by the realisation that traditional methods have reached their limits when taking into account the stakes.

Pixaera and bp have become true partners in the creation of safety training solutions that were not only effective, but engaging, scalable, and transferable.

“We feel like we have a shared vision. They don't want to have any life changing incidents in the industry, and neither does bp. It's like a shared passion that we have.
As we've worked together, we've started to see opportunities. [...] there's lots of different things we want to move the dial on.”

Graeme Lannigan - Global Learning Manager, HSSE at bp

So this partnership will continue to evolve towards new ideas and initiatives, improved solutions, and new training products, leading the charge and shaping the future of safety training;

So what’s next?

Pixaera has been developing more solutions in collaboration with bp to continue on the path of elevating and strengthening safety culture as well as giving an opportunity to assess and refresh all the training contractors and team members have done so far.

These solutions represent two key areas where continued improvement are necessary to further the culture and behaviour shift, as well as target complacency.

From supporting team members with their communications and leadership skills (safety leaders) to providing essential refresher training to keep learnings and skills up to date (safety heroes), the goal remains unchanged: creating top-of-the-line engaging, immersive, and gamified training that people not only enjoy but seek out.

The future of immersive training in collaboration with bp is certainly bright!

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