To continue the delivery and enablement of the value-creating efforts, the industry leaders today have come up with various tactical steps with which they can upskill their employees through virtual live learning. These digital learning programs were already on surge before the pandemic struck and are continuing to make a mark even after the pandemic which many employees are embracing.
Kulveer Singh, Head Talent & Organization Development- UNO Minda Group, has close to 20+ years experience as L&D, Leadership Development & OD Head.
- How are you adapting to workplace learning in the Covid-19 situation?
The year 2020 was a great disruptor from the point of view of workplace learning as well. It has changed and challenged many learning paradigms at the workplace. New protocols, diminishing training budgets, and prime focus on saving lives forced companies to create innovative measures, processes, and strategies, including reimagining how employees would remain focused on their learning and developmental needs, across industries. We had no other choice than to shift almost all learning requirements from ILT to VILT(Virtually Instructor Lead Training), Day-long programs to Micro-Learning Lessons, Instructor to participants To Collaborative learning, and at last Fixed Time to Flexible learning solutions.
- How digitization has accelerated the process of learning initiatives in different business organizations?
It is not only the matter of “Acceleration” or giving “Impetus” to learning through “Digitization” rather “Digitization” was Hobson’s choice for all of us when it came to learning to survive during and post-pandemic times. Digitization helped in accelerating the process by covering more participants across the globe through a single program. As you know Minda has more than 70 manufacturing units in three hubs in India and 6 international locations. For major Leadership Interventions” we used to travel a lot. With digitization not only travel time was saved but doing various quizzes, surveys, and feedback collation besides training multi-location participants got sped up by many folds.
- What are some of the learning strategies applied by the businesses in their training program?
With steep cuts in the training budgets, changed sentiments of the employees, and challenged training modality innovative learning strategies emerged in various businesses.
- We experimented with Social Learning Methodologies for training purposes, just for example, we started having fast-paced collaborative learning sessions around a specific business challenge, where anyone can share a solution and that solution was challenged by other participants until a viable consensual solution emerged. For this only one moderator of that session was required not the facilitator.
- Other methods of learning were implemented, like stretched goals, multi-hatting, self-chosen business projects, teaching on the subject of my choice (and of course it should have business relevance), Reverse mentoring, etc.
- What are the essential components of the various learning and development programs in your business entity?
To make learning more engaging simulations, gamification, and break-out rooms for instructor lead discussions/case-study analysis were used extensively. The first time we started using the tools like Mentimeter & Mural. We also started exploring the combination of various collaborative tools like the use of Zoom along with Whatsapp to keep multichannel communication flow more smoothly. Of course, we started looking for more e-contents off-the-shelf and customized as well.
In a nutshell, essential components are e-learning, VILT, Projects, Textra, various Divergence and Convergence tools, etc.
Learning professionals have an opportunity in the disguise of this pandemic where we all L&D professionals can take a quantum leap, innovating training in alignment with our organization’s shifts in policies and to address gaps they were observed in 2020.