With more than 11,000 people, working across 50 countries, and a history dating back to 1871, mining technology company the Weir Group sees digital transformation as simply the next stage of their evolution.
Keith Bryan, Head of Employee Communications, Information Systems & Technology, at Weir tells us: “Weir is a business born out of innovation, change and adapting to the changing world in which it operates. A business which, 150 years ago, revolutionised the steam ship industry with its boiler feed pumps and has evolved to support the needs of customers, communities and cultures across the world. From house building and desalination plants to specialist oil and gas equipment and now market leading equipment for the mining industry, Weir has never stood still or rested on its laurels.”
The scale and spread of the business have presented some challenges when it comes to digital upskilling. Keith says: “The key to the business’ success is its people and the diverse range of skills they bring to each part of what we do. From colleagues on the shop floor who manufacture our product, to the Chief Information Officer, who creates and shapes the IT strategy for the whole organisation, and everybody has a crucial role to play, but equally, this means there exists a wide range of digital understanding, confidence and appetite.”
Weir’s digital transformation and digital capability programs are progressing well and joining the FutureDotNow coalition has been key to helping them shape their approach to this work.
Kirsteen Scott, People and OD Partner says: “The FutureDotNow Playbook and the Hidden Middle Report have proved absolutely key. It was really important that we had real, up to date information on the societal levels of digital literacy in the UK. We’re a global business and we need to think globally, but if we can start with robust data and insights for one of the regions we operate in, we can build learning models for the rest of the business from that.
“I’m really excited about working with FutureDotNow and having the opportunity to connect with other global organisations across the coalition that are as curious as we are to understand what principles and approaches work well across a diverse, large business.
“The models in the Hidden Middle Report and the digital skills framework have helped solidify our thinking about what learning is required, what support our colleagues need and how the technologies can be used. It has also enabled us to be clear about what our learning outcomes could be based on the fact that we want our people to be able to engage with technology in a way that works for them, for the business and for their role.”
Collaboration is already a big part of how Weir is approaching implementation of digital capabilities across the business, leveraging the influence of senior leaders and the enthusiasm of those keen to learn.
Kirsteen continues: “We’ve been learning from others both internally and externally, and will continue to do so. We are collaborating with a similar large organisation and building a partnership which allows us to see what has worked well for them, what approaches they’ve applied and understanding how they’ve shaped their programme has been inspiring. We’ve also started to think about how we build our learning journeys for the different digital personas we’ve identified. We’ve got some really exciting things in the pipeline including a Leadership Masterclass for our top 100 leaders in the business on Digital Fitness and what that means for Weir and them.
“Of course, we want to engage as many as possible in the business in this fundamental change, and we’re still at the early stages in our journey. I think of it like a ‘Couch to 5K’ to marathon journey and we’re probably just getting a lot of people off the couch. But we really want people to get excited about the potential of digitalisation and future ways of working, which is why we want to give them as much support and access to great materials as possible, so they have the confidence to put on their training shoes and get going!”