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Special Operations Team Enhances Site's Operator Training, Resulting in Increase in Goals Achieved

The Challenge

To support the operation of a new grassroots facility, the client hired and trained over 100 new contract operators, all of which had minimal experience at a refinery. After a short period of operation and the facility not being able to achieve specific business goals, the site identified that the operator training program was ineffective. 

The Solution

Experienced operations specialists from our Special Operations Team were deployed to address the training problem. In order to understand the situation, team members first performed a training gap assessment and outlined responses to the key deficiencies into a gap closure plan for endorsement by the client. Primary gaps identified were reading and understanding P&IDs, hazard recognition, use of Nitrogen, proper LOTO, operation troubleshooting basics, and lack of organizational accountability.

Once endorsed, our specialist team worked diligently with client leadership to establish a comprehensive training plan that included authoring new procedures, updating deficient procedures, and delivering bilateral training on each procedure to the operations team — without impacting production. Highlights of our methodology on this project are:

  • The team established Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound (SMART) goals that the team could rally around.
  • Specific training courses were developed to address the identified gaps.
  • A training effectiveness QA survey was implemented to measure the impact of the program on the contract operations team.
  • To affect change on organizational accountability, a weekly cadence was established to enhance communications, feedback and ownership between the contract operations leaders, the client unit manager, and CruzAlta operation specialist. CruzAlta’s role in these sessions was to coach the contract operations team’s leaders on how to approach the daily operations issues and drive results through their team.

The Results

Results from the training effectiveness surveys showed an overall positive impact on the contract operations team. At the beginning of the project, the team’s self-assessment revealed that they were achieving 15% of their goals.

After 6 months of in-field, hands-on coaching and interacting on a regular cadence, the team assessed their goal achievement at 85%.

With the combination of specific training for the operators and coaching for the leadership team, the team adopted a sense of ownership and acceptance of their roles in a manner that had not been experienced before.