European IT services company Steria has launched the first of four international training and development programmes in India, designed to create a single culture across its global workforce.
Twelve of the 58 participants are from the UK, and all expect to gain leadership qualifications at the Steria Academy based in Chennai. The course will largely be conducted online over the next eight months.
Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth, Steria’s new group HR director, said the programme would help train senior managers to better deal with international clients.
“We have lots of international clients, so it’s essential we train our employees to deal with them,” Hughes-D’Aeth told Personnel Today. “Our HR teams will continue to deliver training locally, but these senior modules will be run across national boundaries.”
She said the benefit of the web-based programme was that it allowed the participants to work from their home countries, but receive the same training as their counterparts in the 15 other countries that Steria operates in. “I think this is quite unique to have a global programme like this that is a true blend of both face-to-face and multimedia,” she said.
Other academies for sales, consultancy and programme management will be launched in the next 12 months, and Hughes-D’Aeth said the choice to use flexible learning was crucial.
“On the whole it’s quite beneficial,” she said. “Our staff are all in different time-zones, and constant travel is quite costly, so this programme gives them the ability to work when they want.”
Steria acquired UK technology firm Xansa in July 2007. The new group employs more than 19,000 staff, including 5,000 in India.