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How BT’s leaders create ‘energy’ in the firm



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Usha Baidya, vice president, human resources, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), BT Global Services shares how the telecommunication giant grooms leadership from within.

Talent acquisition and retention are always a challenge for any organisations but the problem is particularly acute within the IT and telecom sector, where fast-paced innovation and transformation are the reality.

This is especially true in the booming region of Asia, where the pool of talent is limited and the competition for experienced and skilled professionals is very fierce.

As a recognised progressive employer managing 87,000 people across 170 countries, BT has been highly successful in grooming talents in the region, where we have over 5,500 staff. We’ve created a great place to work for employees and a rewarding environment for them to have opportunities to positively contribute, grow and succeed in their careers.

These “professions” bring BT people together, helping us exploit the things we have in common and therefore learn to innovate and develop together.

BT’s new approach to learning is based on the world’s best thinking. It’s a way for people to continuously develop their skills and careers, and we provide tools, programmes and communities to help them learn, share and collaborate.

We have the BT Academy, which is made up of four faculties: leadership, customer first, technical and business and 29 professions.

A “profession” is a group of people who have similar professional skills, capabilities and experiences. These “professions” bring BT people together, helping us exploit the things we have in common and therefore learn to innovate and develop together.

Through the BT Academy, we’re also helping leaders to understand the way they can help BT to grow by encouraging them to aim high, coach to succeed and create energy.

ALSO READ: Q&A with BT Global Services’ Usha Baidya

So far, over 5,000 of BT’s leaders have taken part in three major leadership development programs. BT’s “The leadership challenge” is a world-class learning experience for the senior leaders in the company and it is an important step in building on our existing leadership capability.

Through the BT Academy, we’re also helping leaders to understand the way they can help BT to grow by encouraging them to aim high, coach to succeed and create energy.

In addition, we have “challenging leadership in action”development programme for the leaders across our biggest teams, and we have pioneers programme, which is aimed at first line leaders in BT. The purpose of all three programmes are simple: to equip our leaders with the skills and behaviours to get the best out of our people and grow the business.

BT also fosters further cross-collaboration through the “BT challenge cup”, an annual competition that encourages employees from different departments to work together in devising the best solutions to specific business problems.

It’s all about our people’s passion, drive and determination to make things better for the business and of course our customers.The best teams are evaluated in a global final and one of the winning teams, for example, launched a video channel on YouTube that offered solutions to common customer problems.

It’s all about our people’s passion, drive and determination to make things better for the business and of course our customers.

We want BT to be a place where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, our people are coached for success and we recognise great performance.

Creating an environment that brings the best out of our people is what will make a difference to all of us, to the company, and ultimately to our customers.

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