Learning as a discipline has evolved over centuries. One of the great mediums has been learning by hearing or “Shruti” for passing on the wisdom of our ancient scriptures across generations. However, with time this process evolved like everything else. Learning and Development in corporate organizations have also witnessed tumultuous changes, particularly over the last two decades or so. The trend now is leaning more towards creating a robust philosophy of learning for organizations which amalgamates the following concepts:
- Learning output which is quantifiable
- A shift from the traditionally restricted medium of knowledge transfer to an experience-based platform that deploys individual & community learning in a bite-size format. The learning which is user-choice based & co-created rather than being prescriptive
- Focus on measuring the learning value and not the volume of learning
- L&D, primarily focused and planned basis business needs beyond priorities (Man-hours etc.)
Learning is not just an activity in corporates but has manifested in their culture as an indicator of successful organizations. The leaders need to define and communicate a vision for learning & transformation, which is clearly linked with the organizational objectives. organizations must periodically evaluate current systems for knowledge management & learning. They also need to check whether dialogues, challenges and reflections are embedded into their approach. If not, then consider how reflection and feedback (coaching & mentoring) can be encouraged as a part of day-to-day activities.
Learning in the times of Crisis: Taking steps towards building digital and agile learning culture
L&D is an important aspect especially during a crisis, helping companies to train and enable employees to be better prepared for the drastically evolving needs at the workplace. Today, there is a need for organizations to constantly help employees adopt new skills and continuously re-innovate themselves. Building sustainable, stronger online learning programmes (blended digital learning journeys with ILT –Instructor Led trainings & App) and learning capabilities (tying up global management institutes for senior management & individual contributors) aligned with the business is the need of the hour.
It is also crucial to reframe the learning frameworks (e.g.: 70-20-10 model developed by CCL) and deploy resources to stay relevant in terms of technology & content in learning.
Work requirements keep transforming, hence the learning in an organization must evolve to keep up and progress in the competitive business environment. In today’s ever-changing environment, organizations are seeking to align their workforces with the demands of rapidly changing work by maximizing the skills and capabilities of their employees. While formal & informal learning is key for organizations to adapt, individual learning is not the norm in every organization & businesses do not always support it. However, it is imperative that we now encourage individual learning so that employees feel secure about their job relevance with the evolving times and at the same time benefit the organization with a contextual workforce. Individual learning dovetailed in a social learning set up would be a great strategy to enhance the efficacy of learning in organizations – e.g. learning paths for individuals need to be chalked out / created in conjunction with the employee and put in a social learning environment (Learning experience platforms, simulation based games).
Training leaders for a better understanding of mental health and wellbeing
We are living in uncertain times. The pandemic has created havoc in mental health across the globe and today there is a need to reduce the stigma around mental health issues and create an environment that is nurturing and supportive. It is important for an organization to create a value-based culture where employees are constantly motivated, engaged & supported. Through various interventions like health workshops, Employee Assistance Program and Communication Forums. We are constantly making efforts to create genuine awareness about the importance of mental health & wellbeing. To stay relevant, coaching and mentoring leaders, access to digital learning and innovative L&D programs is a necessity in this highly digital environment.
L&D emerges as one of the most important disciplines in the current scenario, with companies deploying multiple initiatives or programs on work from home, wellbeing, mental health and building positive thinking to keep the ball rolling. Hence, investment and innovation in this space to help reskill employees is imperative for any organization with the intent of staying relevant in this VUCA world.