Training and Development

Occidental strives to provide employees at all levels with access to training and educational resources to enhance their professional development. Our Learning Management System delivers and tracks technical, Health, Environment and Safety (HES), business, and other personal development training for our plant, field and support employees. In 2015, more than 417,000 training records were completed across the company, averaging 42 hours of training per employee. 

Examples of our training and development programs include:

  • Foundations of Management (FOM)– A four-day course designed to help newly promoted supervisors transition into leadership roles. FOM hones leadership skills including coaching, motivating, influencing, communicating, and informs participants about compliance, finance, human resources, and various Occidental business overviews. The session is interactive and allows time for the participants to network with each other and spend time with senior leadership. 

  • Leadership Skills Workshops – Occidental offers a variety of workshops that aim to enhance leadership skills for all levels of management. Workshops use classroom-based training, case studies, videos, simulations, practice exercises and real-work applications. In addition to strengthening our employees' managerial skills, these workshops provide peer learning and networking opportunities to expand connections with other Occidental leaders.

  •  Employee Open Enrollment Courses – A variety of online and instructor-led courses are offered to develop skills and knowledge for employees of all levels. A sampling of courses includes, Introduction to the Petroleum Industry, Presentation Skills, Crucial Communications, and Managing Priorities. 

  •  Women of Occidental Network (WON) Development Sessions –  A series of development sessions are offered to members of the WON. Topics in 2015 included a leadership and State of Occidental keynote presentation by President and CEO Vicki Hollub, and overviews of the Government Relations and Finance functions.

  •  Early Career Network (ECN) – The ECN’s mission is to develop, inspire and unite the future leaders of Occidental.  In 2015, the ECN held multiple networking sessions and meetings with various company leaders to learn about leadership skills and how positivity can influence successful results.

  • Mentor Program – Occidental offers mentoring to employees who would benefit from additional technical or functional expertise to meet challenges they face in a new role.

Employee development at Occidental is a collaborative process in which employees and managers share responsibility to align individual development needs and career opportunities with the company's business requirements and growth targets. Occidental's employees receive regular performance and career development reviews, where they discuss annual work goals, training objectives and development needs.

In addition to the programs listed above, many of Occidental's international operations have established comprehensive training and education programs specifically designed to transfer professional and technical skills to the local workforce, helping to increase national employment.

Considered one of the top companies in Qatar for its efforts to hire and retain national employees, Occidental Qatar has initiated several programs to support the development of its Qatari personnel. These programs enable Qatari staff to develop their skills and knowledge and encourage their professional growth within the company. A noteworthy example is the company's Qatarization Succession Planning Program which supports Qatari staff members who demonstrate high potential. As preparation, each member of the program receives a personalized development plan, mentoring and technical and management training. To broaden their experience, the program also provides opportunities for some of Qatari national employees to work at other Occidental business units around the world.

In addition, Occidental Qatar creates Individual Development Plans, tailored to meet the development needs and objectives of each young Qatari graduate or professional who joins the company. The development plans are prepared in collaboration with each employee, his or her manager and Occidental Qatar's in-house Qatari Development Counselor. To ensure the development plans remain relevant and effective for each individual employee, they are regularly reviewed to monitor progress.

Initiatives such as these build diversity within our organization, increase national employment and create long-lasting economic and social benefits in the areas where Occidental operates.

In late 2015, Occidental opened its new, world-class training facility in Midland, Texas.  The Midland Technical Training Center offers courses with "blended learning solutions," a curriculum that combines classroom instruction, simulation, and hands-on, skill-based training for a real-world training environment.  This approach helps to ensure our employees and contractors not only understand the "how" but also the "why" of what is required on the job, further drives operational excellence, consistency and safe work practices. The training center offers: 

  • Classrooms, including a computer lab
  • Mechanical and electrical labs equipped with Lab Volt process trainers
  • Simulation batteries, which include a complete battery mock-up
  • Collaboration rooms
  • Café

Making the training center a reality has been a true example of cross-functional collaboration with contributions from teams from senior management, security, IT, Real Estate, Facilities, HR, Supply Chain, HES, domestic business unit leadership, and oil and gas operations.