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Oil firm turns employees into decision-makers

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Engineers and others who work for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in The Woodlands, Texas, are expected to make decisions that will help the company profit and grow. Not all of them are used to that.

So when any of its 3,500 employ­­ees expresses a lack of confidence about reaching beyond his or her comfort zone, the organization teaches the would-be decision-maker how.

That might mean sending a petroleum engineer to classes to learn economics and business management, for example. The company covers all the costs.

The oil exploration firm reimburses qualified employees up to $7,500 a year for college courses and textbooks. And its flexible hours help employees squeeze the classes into their schedules.

CEO Al Walker told the Houston Chronicle that the company empowers employees to make decisions and “reward[s] folks who innovate.”

He points out that incentives that are tied to the company’s bottom line.

Contact: Al Walker of Anadarko Petroleum, (832) 636-1000.

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