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Continual learning to build social capital vital for business success: HR Professionals

May 25, 2018

Business and HR collaboration is the way forward: FICCI-Strat-Board Survey


NEW DELHI, 25 May 2018: Top HR professionals from the public and private sector today highlighted the critical importance of social capital and the imperative of continuous learning for the success of a business organisation.


Speaking at the conference organised by FICCI on 'Learning & Development' here, Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, Director (HR), Indian Oil Corporation, said, "Learning and Organisation Development (L&OD) is not a standalone concept. It has to be interwoven in the career planning and progression of the employees in a way that they become competitive, adaptive and are open to absorb change."


He further added that organisations must put humans in the loop and fundamentally change work architecture. "The key to success lies in keeping your talent updated, open to learning and skilling, upskilling and re-skilling them as changing goalposts in a fast-changing world has become the new norm", he said. 

Quoting a 2018 Deloitte study, he said that organizations are no longer assessed based only on traditional metrics such as financial performance, or the quality of their products or services. Today, they are judged on the basis of their relationships with their workers, customers, communities as well as their impact on the society at large-transforming them from business enterprises into social enterprises. In many ways, social capital is achieving a newfound status next to financial and physical capital in value.


Mr. Rajeev Bhadauria, Group Director (HR), Jindal Steel & Power Ltd., said, "Business development today is characterized by continual change, technology is redefining the algorithm of life and impacting the human mind. Therefore the challenge is to respond in real time. Delivery is all about speed, efficacy and probity without cutting corners, he said.


Mr. Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, said, "The people and organizational development through a process of continual learning was critical to tackle technological disruptions at the work place. The FICCI conference was an ideal platform for cross-learning and fertilization of ideas for application by industry leaders in their respective organization."


On this occasion, FICCI-Strat-Board survey on 'Learning Philosophies: India 2018 & Beyond - Rethinking L&D Fundamentals' was also released.


Mr. Ravi Kaklasaria, CEO and Founder, SpringPeople, said that for organizational development it was important to work pro-actively in tandem with business and HR. It was imperative to anticipate what change was coming up and proactively address the change in order to build organisational capability.


The FICCI-Strat-Board report points out that that the biggest dilemma for Organisation is: Where does L&D rightfully belong for them? The highlights of the findings are:


Personalisation of learning seems to be a priority:  On the job, experiential learning, peer-to-peer, coaching and mentoring take the preference over new age and digital formats. The wave towards consumerisation of learning and digital adoption is on its way with Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AL/ML), gamification and more, which is set to turn the tables.


Average structured learning hours have been on the rise: With over 55% organizations investing in more than four days of structured training/employee there is an emerging and sizeable faction of HR/L&D professionals who say this does not matter as a metric anymore, especially in the new world of asynchronous, anywhere, anytime learning.


Internal trainers have a larger share of the pie in overall training efforts, though the number varies widely amongst industries.


Share of online learning is at par with other learning formats mostly in larger organizations and this number is expected to rise further, across the board.


The speed of change is hugely impacting learning investments, with nearly half of them not being able to be utilised over a few years, with reduced shelf life. Greater emphasis therefore must be on learning architecture, which can adapt with changes and can yield greater continuity of impact.


Organizations have started on making learning journeys more self-led, self-paced and highly individualized.


For long, a lack of business understanding remains a concern for HR to be able to own up the Functional /Technical training agenda


Success of learning interventions can be amplified with line manager and learner co-owning the learning agendaThis seems the answer to all ROI dilemmas of investments made in learning.


For structured learning interventions, organisations tend to use at least three lines of input from business, line, individuals, talent and PMS. The use of market intelligence is not as popular with only 30% organizations using it.


The tech journeys of majority of the organisations are just about startingbut a good amount of work seems to be happening in on MOOCs / byte-size formats / simulations, etc., while the AI/ML in learning yet seems a longer term reality.


The road ahead, according to the survey, is strengthening the linkage of learning to business outcomes, sharpening the focus on learning RoI, creating shared ownership with all stakeholders and use of technology to host, blend and personalise learning.

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