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"Let me tell you why we went with the WIDS DACUM process."
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"Let me tell you why we went with the WIDS DACUM process."

At Teck Alaska Incorporated-Red Dog Operations, one of the world's largest zinc mines located in the northwest Arctic Borough of Alaska, the training and development team is finding that the power of the WIDS DACUM process that incorporates the development of integrated job training through knowledgeable and experienced consultants was the solution they had been looking for.  WIDS sat down with Jason Baca, HR Senior Training Manager, to get his perspective on the WIDS DACUM process, integrated training development and consulting model, why this is working so well at Red Dog and how it can benefit other organizations now and into the future.

WIDS:  What ultimately made you choose to work with WIDS? Was there an issue you were trying to solve? 

Jason:  We were looking for a model that would lead us to integrated training and we knew, from past experience, that the model needed to include the DACUM process. I like the way that WIDS does this; they use an efficient process that allows for flexibility while ensuring we are getting our needs met at many levels. We are now able to integrate training with a standard model (DACUM) and can build training off of that, as well as build standard job descriptions and job tasks.

WIDS:  What specific challenges are you addressing through the DACUM process? 

Jason:  We are ultimately looking for a business improvement process; having the proper job training process in place that is integrated into our day-to-day operations. This gives our managers the tools to better manage their people and possibly help to reduce attrition in many of our job areas. The DACUM process is a “team process”, so promotes buy-in from teams within the organization (not just coming from HR and management) as the team is developing the job tasks and the training together.

This DACUM and integrated development process for training is also tied to our mission here at Red Dog. From DACUM to delivery – starting with DACUM, to ultimately delivering quality, standardized training connects to the grand vision of Red Dog, Teck Incorporated, specific divisions and positions within our organization and most importantly the overall employee experience. 

WIDS:  What are key benefits of working with WIDS consultants using the DACUM process and developing integrated training? 

Jason:  The main benefit for us is standardization and a proven model that works. The process is very efficient for the number of jobs that we want to complete a job task analysis that lead to integrated training programs. The consultants are knowledgeable, easy to work with, bring a depth of experience and get the job done. We are hoping to work with WIDS well into the future.

WIDS:  How do you see this work helping your organization, your employees, and your larger community/stakeholders?

Jason:  From a business/organization perspective, we are trying to provide sustainability in our workforce and at the mine. With the amount of employee attrition we are predicting for the future, we have to have job tasks and training documented, so having a solid process in place is key.  We also need a systematic process for promotion to different levels within jobs and divisions across the organization. Using WIDS in this way is critical in helping us to capture the knowledge and the processes for all divisions at the site.

For our employees, it provides a way of knowing what is expected from your job and where you can go with your skills once you receive adequate training. It has already allowed us the opportunity to recognize employees for their skills and this in turn has boosted morale in all areas of the organization. We also are seeing an increase in ownership and pride by employees in their own progressions through training, because they now feel more valued as an employee and that there is a partnership with their supervisor and the company as a whole.

WIDS:  Would you recommend the WIDS DACUM model and process for subsequent training development to other organizations?

Every business sector across the nation is experiencing a skills gap with less workers to fill vacancies and Red Dog is not unique nor immune to this problem. All companies go through culture shifts, and they need a process to find their gaps and targets for improvement. The WIDS process can do all that and more from identifying job overlaps, efficiencies, and non-value-added tasks.  The return on investment for us with securing WIDS to help our organization with the aforementioned will benefit us and the future of our workforce for many years to come. 

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