Article: Capgemini’s Gayathri Ramamurthy calls for career-focused learning to attract talent

Learning & Development

Capgemini’s Gayathri Ramamurthy calls for career-focused learning to attract talent

Intangible assets such as skilled employees, remarkable leaders, and knowledge have elevated the importance of the L&D function, says Gayathri Ramamurthy.
Capgemini’s Gayathri Ramamurthy calls for career-focused learning to attract talent

Gayathri Ramamurthy, India Learning Head, Capgemini believes that diversity is an inherent dimension in society and every individual needs to commit to inclusive practices. According to her, enabling employees to fulfill their aspirations by providing them with a clear and consistent path for their career growth provides them with various opportunities to help get the future they want.

With over a decade at Capgemini, how have you seen the approach to learning and development change over the years?

At Capgemini, we believe that learning and development play a vital role in helping one achieve their career goals – the aim is to instill lifelong and continuous learning. This ensures our future readiness!

Over the past decade, numerous factors such as the competitive business landscape, rising complexities, and digital revolution have reshaped the global workforce. Moreover, recent research has revealed that a very significant portion of market capitalisation in public companies is based on intangible assets such as skilled employees, remarkable leaders, and knowledge. These trends, in my opinion, have elevated the importance of the L&D function.

So, to enable our continuous-learning objective, we have a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI)-driven learning platform called Next. The platform recommends personalised and Capgemini-curated content sourced from renowned providers. This learning platform gives employees direct access to more than 250,000 courses, 3 million learning activities from 1,200 sources, and numerous external certifications.

A major initiative, Exceller Academia provides training to young professionals and makes them future-ready for project deployment. Through Exceller Academia, we provide training to young professionals, helping them gain experiential learning by leveraging digital platforms and getting the opportunity to work on real-life use cases. Here, we revamp the traditional training methods, and encourage the learner not only to get involved but to get engaged at all levels to harness an interactive learning experience.

OCEAN Competency Baselining is a transformation programme to drive skilling with role-based assessments. It is a unique initiative to enable our employees with their role-based up-skilling/ cross-skilling learning journey. Learners go through an extensive role-based assessment and are subsequently taken through a phase-wise learning journey, thus, propelling their competency-enhancement and career progression path. The programme name, OCEAN stands for Organisation is Committed to Educate, Assess & Nurture.

It enables employees to fulfill their aspirations by providing them with a clear and consistent path for their career growth and provides various opportunities to help them get the future they want. The programme helps build industry readiness and inspires people towards attaining immediate and long-term career goals.

The programme lays an emphasis on high-volume strategic technical skills and relevant business skills.

What are the top focus areas for you as an L&D leader in 2023 and why?

Our employees are recognised among the best in the field, and they are essential to our success. In 2023, our focus area will be people development as we strive to ensure that Capgemini’s learning experience is unique and tailored to the needs of every employee.

Our learning vision, mission and guiding principles are centered on the learner while we strive for business growth. We empower our employees to learn and grow every day to be future-ready. We foster an environment that enables the right learning, in the right way and at the right time. Our learning experience is based on these design principles – personalised, people-centric, practiced, partnered, preparing for the future.

According to the Linkedin 2023 Workplace Learning Report, skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25% since 2015. By 2027, this number is expected to double. How is Capgemini preparing to tackle the evolving requirements of skill sets?

When it comes to tackling the evolving business requirements in terms of skilled talent, I would like to quote Alvin Toffler, an American writer and futurist, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, relearn and unlearn.”

We always strive to imbibe a culture where we can constantly learn, unlearn and relearn! We prepare our talent to navigate this unavoidable reskilling process through carefully-crafted learning journeys and campuses.

  • Enhancing Core Skills: We have regular training and certifications made available to our talent to ensure that they can improve their core skills, stay abreast with the latest developments, and always be ready to showcase their skills.
  • Learning Adjacent Skills: Our talent is always provided with opportunities to expand their expertise to their near scape, horizontally or vertically. Continuous learning itself is a high-demand skill. Capgemini Next is a platform that is continuously updated to provide the latest courses and certifications for the world’s leading content providers and alliance partners. We provide various assessment opportunities and innovative hackathons to showcase their skills.
  • Get the Future You Want: We have initiatives that provide assessments to understand current proficiency in the desired domain/ skill and offer learning pathways to upskill and work up the proficiency levels – all the way to mastery. These learning opportunities are provided, both for technical and power skills.

Learning at Capgemini works in a collaborative and innovative ecosystem to support our talent and chart out a long-term roadmap.

How do L&D leaders invigorate the spirit of learning among employees in the era of hybrid work?

We aim to build capabilities that are future-focused, providing employees with a learning experience beyond what is available. Leveraging technology today to design a sustainable learning & development ecosystem should be a priority for all those involved in the process of enhancing their experience and influence in their career. This helps drive home the mindset of learn-unlearn-relearn and naturally creates curiosity among employees to learn and enhance their skill sets.

Do you think the best learning and development culture can help organisations win the great talent war?

Absolutely! We understand that a corporate entity with a career-focused learning culture plays a huge role in attracting and engaging talent.

A few of the actions implemented as a result of a strong and dynamic learning culture include:

  • Building Leadership Pipeline: We enable learning programmes and tie-up with leading educational institutes to provide certification and qualification. This ensures that our talent is continuously being groomed to take up bigger roles and responsibilities. We have a Reward & Recognition mechanism built into such programs – so successful learners are provided with opportunities ranging from stretch assignments, job/ project rotation, progression, high visibility projects, and more.
  • Self-directed Learning: Our employees have the liberty to design and get the future they want. This ideology is further strengthened through our AI-enabled learning platform, Next, which opens a world of learning for our talent. Apart from the learning pathways and academies created by the L&D team, the talent is free to browse the content by leading content providers of the world. The virtual academies created within Next include Cloud Campus, Data & AI Campus, Innovation Campus. We also run fun learning marathons based on various themes such as Innov-a-thon, promoting innovation and design thinking, Cloud-a-thon promoting loud content, and so on.

How can employees identify the culture of learning and development before joining a new organisation?

We understand how critical it is to know about an organisation’s culture before the talent joins us. While our numerous awards and accolades, including being awarded as a Great Place to Work three years in a row, say a lot about our learning. We also ensure our future talent gets to experience our learning culture. Additionally, we have been honoured with the globally recognised Brandon Hall awards and Future Ready Organisation award.

We have designed a unique version of our AI-driven Next platform, exclusively catering to our incoming talent. This audience comprises talent who will soon join Capgemini. With this version of the platform, the new talent can browse courses and pathways that allow them to deep dive into the culture and guiding principles of our organisation. 

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Topics: Learning & Development, Employee Engagement

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