Instilling a culture of the ‘New Normal’ at our training centers
Courses, approach at industrial training centers prepares trainees for post-COVID world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to learn a lot and change our behaviors as Aramcons.
Aramco’s Industrial Training Department (ITD) has launched several programs and campaigns in this regard, equipping trainees with the latest information, approved protocols, and best practices to prevent and minimize COVID-19 impacts at work, at home, and across the entire Kingdom.
“As ITD prepares the company’s future workforce, it’s a top priority for us to sustain their health, safety, and well-being,” said Ahmed M. Aburas, acting ITD director.
Each Aramco Industrial Training Center (ITC) has championed a COVID-19 initiative to be shared with other centers. At the Southern Area Industrial Training Division (SAITD), “Instilling the Culture of a New Normal” helps Aramco trainees adapt to new lifestyles due to COVID-19, transforming their traditional thinking, habits, and daily behaviors for the “new normal.”
“We endeavor to reach full compliance from all trainees and staff to ensure that the new measures such as physical distancing, hygiene, and wearing masks become standard practice,” said Wajih B. Malibari, acting head of SAITD.
Every week, SAITD focuses on a topic related to COVID-19, from a trainee perspective, and is used as the main safety message and central theme of discussion in all classrooms and workshops, including popular apps used to fight the virus and proper precautionary measures to protect yourself, friends, and family.
“As we keep discussing one main topic for a whole week, the topic becomes a part of my routine, and I change my behaviors and even my beliefs, because of what I learn from the discussions,” said Dhidan K. Otipe, a Metal Training Unit trainee at the Mubarraz ITC.
Take the lesson learned home
Aramco trainees can be “change catalysts” in their communities. With this in mind, a real-life incident related to COVID-19 and lessons learned are shared every Thursday. In turn, trainees share them with families and friends outside Aramco to boost COVID-19 awareness in the larger community.
Every time I share the stories and lessons learned with my family members, they appreciate the keenness of my training center to not only take care of my health and safety, but also to educate my loved ones and enable them to lead a healthy life and avoid COVID-19.
—Saleh S. Alkhamis, a trainee from the Academic Training Unit at the Mubarraz ITC
Best COVID-19 warriors and influencers
SAITD also recognizes trainees and teachers who regularly inspire others to abide by COVID-19 measures both inside and outside of the ITC, unleashing their creativity. Top trainees are called “Best COVID-19 Warriors,” and instructors are called “Best Influencers.”
SAITD makes sure the messages stick by offering monthly virtual refresher sessions. In one, health professionals offered tips to stay safe and answered trainee questions.
And the learning goes on.
“As we are seeking long-term programs that ensure sustainability and continuity, I think that ‘Instilling the Culture of a New Normal’ is a well-designed program that can be utilized by any educational institute,” said Abdul Raheem M. Budair, assistant superintendent of Craft and Technical Training.
Mohammad A. Obaidallah, assistant superintendent for the Academic Training section in SAITD, agrees, noting the program is just one example the company has taken to keep people safe and secure during the pandemic.
“The major ambitious projects T&D has launched since the beginning of the COVID-19 situation have inspired us all, and helped to keep us moving forward during some of the most difficult months many of us have ever known,’’ he said.
By focusing on one topic a week from a trainee perspective, Aramco helps instill routines that will keep trainees operating in a safe manner.