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An inside look at the BT Academy

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A firm believer of the 70:20:10 model for learning and development, Usha Baidya, HR VP for Asia, Middle East and Africa at BT, thinks there is a lot of room for talent to learn in an informal environment.

To cater for the training needs of a 17,000-strong global organisation, with talent spread across five different generations, the company launched BT Academy – a new learning management system- in 2015.

“With the academy, we are investing in our people and giving them the opportunity to achieve an agile way of learning,” she said.

The academy does more than just gather and deliver relevant training materials, it is a platform for opinion leaders in their respective fields to share best practices and for employees to interact.

“The academy is BT’s new approach to learning and is based on the world’s best thinking,” she said.

“It’s a way for people to continuously develop their skills and careers and it provides tools, programmes and communities to help us learn, share and collaborate. Employees can make use of the platform to talk to colleagues across the organisation.”

Currently the academy offers training materials across 29 professions. Employees in similar fields are able to find out who else is in their respective professions and talk to other people who are interested in topics in their fields. Within BT, there are subject specialists who are keen to share insights on different topics with co-workers of the same profession.

One of the common ways for colleagues across regions to learn from each other is through the sharing of success stories so that colleagues from around the world who might encounter similar situations are able to learn the best practices.

Colleagues can also start a discussion on a work-related issue to get input from people within the organisation.
“The collaboration is not limited to peers from the same profession. I remember there was an amazing masterclass on Excel which drew more than 5000 participants.”

Two years after the launch of the BT Academy, Baidya thinks it’s still too early to evaluate its impact, but noted the number of monthly users was going up and colleagues keep returning to the academy.


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