More than ever, businesses are witnessing an accelerated need to nurture lifelong learning mindsets and boost digital, analytical, and technical skills. In the next two years, by 2022, around 42% of the core skills required to perform existing jobs are expected to change. These new jobs require new skills for surviving and thriving in the future of work. Hence companies that continue to invest in training and offer learning opportunities for their talent will emerge as winners on the other side of this crisis.
What are these new workplace learning paradigms that COVID-19 has pushed into the spotlight – from learning to staying relevant? What does the role of L&D leaders looks like in the era of the pandemic and beyond it? How can they build resilience for enduring learning and form an improved learning culture in their organizations?
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Raghu Chandrashekar, HR Head, Siemens Healthineers India sheds light on these efforts. Siemens Healthineers views India as an important destination for the expansion of its R&D development efforts globally. To achieve this goal, Siemens Healthineers India co-located its manufacturing and R&D center at Bengaluru last year, a significant step in the company’s vision for transforming the Future of Healthcare in India. It believes in continuous learning and improvement and has recently been recognized among the 5 best workplaces in Healthcare in India by the Great Place to Work 2020.
With the new normal defining the future of work and India being a key hub, the company has re-imagined the workplace with employee’s safety and digital skilling as the core along with innovating technologies for the MedTech sector.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview-
The pandemic has also brought back the importance of reskilling and upskilling of resources as part of the larger business transformation in the wake of the crisis. What do you think are some of the trends around reskilling and upskilling post-COVID-19?
The upskilling and reskilling needs of people vary from the kind of work and role that they hold. From an employee, it is adapting to new business tools, manage stakeholders virtually and continue creating value. From a manager’s perspective, managing virtual teams is surely an area of development.
A huge focus will be on enabling ‘Sales’ to aggressively adopt ‘Onsite to Online’ theme. In R&D, digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, ML are picking up pace. There is a lot of data generated in the healthcare industry and it’s important for us to use this data to advance healthcare. In other design areas, topics like virtual collaboration, design thinking are gaining importance. A trend can also be seen in the way the organizations are going about skilling the employees. Learning experience platforms are increasingly getting leveraged in most organizations supported by virtual instructor-led interventions.
How do you think reskilling needs to change in the healthcare industry post-COVID-19?
The healthcare industry operates in a rapidly changing environment. Consequently, one of the most important assets is the ability to transform, while ensuring people remain healthy and safe.
In the healthcare industry, organizations need to focus on developing their ecosystem, employees, customers, vendor partners, and others. The overall reskilling effort needs to be holistic. It is no longer just training on some technical aspects. However, an integrated approach – behavior, domain, functional, technical, and leadership. Aspects like mental health, emotional wellbeing have become more important than ever.
Companies that continue to invest in training and offer learning opportunities for their talent will emerge as winners on the other side of this crisis. What are some of the L&D initiatives initiated by Siemens Healthineers in this pandemic?
At Siemens Healthineers, we have always been committed to enabling the learning and development of our people. Recently, we introduced many new learning interventions and initiatives, which are getting a lot of traction from our teams. But we firmly believe that online platforms cannot completely replace the personalized learning offerings.
Some of the steps we have taken are:
- Curating programs to develop soft skills and digital capabilities
- Replacing face to face programs with virtual instructor lead programs
- Personalized learning journeys with blended learning programs
- Inviting industry experts to virtually interact with our people on topics such as resilience and innovation
- Gamified learning experience for learners’ in some key programs
- Introducing programs that address topics such as mental health, emotional wellbeing, and mindfulness
The pandemic also highlights the need to reskill and upskill workers towards stronger data science skills, a better understanding of artificial intelligence, and to expand digital literacy overall. What is Siemens Healthineers doing in that direction?
As a MedTech leader, we are committed to ‘Digitalizing Healthcare’ and have set-up focus teams globally and locally to drive this. These teams act as catalysts and ambassadors to develop our people. The crisis has created more thrust in the direction of digitalization. Some of the steps we have taken are:
• We have created a platform where employees can identify and learn digital skills of their interest
• We have enabled employees learning through digital programs that are just a few clicks away
• Competency mapping exercise to identify the skills already available in the organization vis a vis what is needed in the organization
• We have also enabled peer learning to leverage each other’s strengths
• Finally, Siemens Healthineers is preparing to launch reverse mentoring programs for leaders to stay abreast to changes in the digital landscape
What steps can L&D leaders take to build resilience for enduring learning and development and for improving learning culture in their organizations?
L&D leaders should enable employees to orient toward the ‘purpose’ of the organization. Learning interventions should reinforce our values and principles.
Involve people in identifying their learning needs and give ownership for their learning.
In the current times, the need is for creating a platform that enables inspiration and introspection in leaders. For one, at Healthineers, we created a platform called leadership huddle, where we invite leaders and industry experts to interact with our people. They spoke on topics like resilience, business acumen/outlook, leadership effectiveness, and communication.