Change in technology has been significantly higher in the last decade compared to earlier. India is home to more than 400 million millennials, an era wherein the world around is pacing swiftly with a negligible margin for pausing. Each day is marked with a breathtaking innovation that progresses towards constant modification. To keep up the stride, the organizations are training their employees to upskill at every prospect. They are banking upon a balanced combination of observing, balancing and practising. Gen Y prefers engaging and interactive methods of learning as they grasp opportunities and imbibe learnings in a flash. Taking a cue from this, the companies are organizing experiential training like Q&A sessions, demonstrations, surveys, case studies and likewise to engage the employee. On-the-job training enhances strategic thinking and interpersonal skills through transparent means. Web-based training programs are also gaining popularity which includes various methods like webinars, video conferencing, audio conferencing and many more.
“Technology upskilling has been part of IT always but today when we speak of upskilling it’s not just technology upskilling but the way, how a technology worker thinks has to change. In addition, upskilling is not only for the workforce who produces but even for those who take it to the consumer. Rapid digitalization has changed consumer acquisition and retention patterns,” said Jagat Pal Singh, CTO, Cybage.
According to DD Mishra, Research Director, Gartner, companies have launched major initiatives to transform workforce by focused training, using cognitive technologies in providing training, self-learning and certifications. We see many IT companies are cultivating a continuous learning culture to enable talent-led career management, supporting constant upskilling, and offering dynamic, personalized work experience to all types of workers.
“As technology continues to shift and accelerate rapidly, we are driving talent re-skilling at scale for our own employees in the new areas of digital services. One of the most effective initiatives we have championed is our online training platform ‘Lex’ (externally known as Wingspan) which allows us to support all training goals of continuous learning for our employees. Lex is a highly scalable and modular learning platform that allows our employees to access learning content from anywhere, any device, at any time, and learn at a time convenient for them. Infosys believes in lifelong learning for its employees, and competency development continues to be a key area of strategic focus for us. Our Education, Training and Assessment (ETA) department is at the forefront of creating a culture of learning in the organization,” said Thirumala Arohi Mamunooru, Vice President and Head of Education, Training & Assessment, Infosys.
Importance of Training:
The skill gap is the largest inhibitor for adoption in digital technologies. The world has changed more rapidly than we anticipated and there is a huge gap in demand and supply. Analytics, IoT and AI-based technologies are already facing the heat of it. It is not just skills but organizations need to drive cultural change to deal with the situation.
As per a survey conducted by Deloitte, more than 50% of 8000 millennials said that the skills they learned in office were more useful than the ones learnt in school. This statistic clearly highlights the importance of training the employees in the office as it leads to their overall growth & development. Even besides work-related assistance, a person’s interpersonal skills and abilities also strengthen which are beneficial in the long run. “Even from an organization’s perspective, a well-read, well-aware employee will prove more productive than the one who isn’t. It is imperative to understand the basics and decipher the functionality of the company/product/service that one works upon. If the idea is to garner better results each time, training the employees is the core key,” said Sahil Chopra, CEO and Founder, iCubesWire.
“Many employee-centric organizations have duly acknowledged the importance of training and have successfully deployed customized smart solutions to enhance employee effectiveness, thereby impacting key business performance indicators. Here a blended learning approach maximizes the effectiveness of instructor-led and virtual training programs in a format that is highly scalable and measurable,” added Sanjay Bahl, CEO and MD, Centum Learning.
Training is a key to success for any organization, but it can’t be the goal. “As an industry, we all need to look and recognize why we are training users, whether it’s on new software, hardware or business processes. That may sound obvious, but too often training seems to be random rather than strategic. Forward-thinking companies need to make education a core component of what they do rather than just an add-on. Training isn’t just about educating people and getting them to perform better. It’s about building long-term viability that transcends any one employee or even any group,” added Shantanu Ghosh, Managing Director and Vice President, Rocket Software.
Mistakes Companies make while Training Their Employees
Training an employee is the indispensable part of an organization but if the former doesn’t comprehend what is taught, it becomes superfluous. Thus, a few considerations have to be kept in mind to pass on the learning in the most effective manner.
Precise strategy: The organization must well-strategize the process of training and evaluate the need to train employees. A clear-cut agenda is crucial as it defines the way ahead.
Segregating training as per departments: The training process shouldn’t be generalized instead should be department-oriented which facilitates smooth functioning of the work.
Staying focused on the objective: Throughout the training process, the organization shouldn’t defer from meeting the end goal which could differ from department and employee.
Addressing the 5W+H: While communicating, the trainer must address the 5W+H i.e., Why, Where, When, Who, What & How. If the idea has to be put across in a beneficial manner, then all the questions must be answered.
Neither rushing nor extending the learning process: Speeding up is necessary, but at the same time, feeding the employee with all the knowledge at the same time does more harm than good.
On the other hand, dragging the training process too much is also disadvantageous. It makes the learning process monotonous and the employees lose interest, said Sahil Chopra.
“For the organizations to be successful, the focus should be on creating the complete ecosystem of learning/training including Industry focused themes and associated skills needed, ability to provide safe environments for practising and leveraging enterprise knowledge management to help employees become ready for the emerging skills effectively,” added Thirumala Arohi Mamunooru, Vice President & Head of Education, Training & Assessment, Infosys.
Gurpreet Bhatia, SVP, HR, TalentSprint concludes by saying that investing in training and upskilling employees is extremely important. However, being very democratic about it or following metrics or broad-based objectives is not going to yield results. Identifying who to invest in and how to safeguard your investment to ensure that the company gets full value should be the top most priority.