As COVID-19 changes the realities of our lives, our businesses, and our jobs, it has become very clear that old skills and capabilities have to lead to the new for organizations to accelerate their transformation out of the downturn.
While we don’t know when the recovery will come, we know that organizations that will invest in capabilities to capture the emerging opportunities will have the best chance for a brighter future. Thus articulating critical skills for recovery, building the base of future digital skills, reimagining training at a scale in a distant world, and bringing on an experimentative mindset is the need of the hour.
It is in this direction that the People Matters L&D Conference 2020 coming to your screens from 21st-22nd October aims to bring the community together to help reflect and find collective answers to uncover a new roadmap to build the foundation of a capability-driven business strategy for growth.
Pramath Sinha, Founder & Chairman at Harappa Education, in an exclusive interaction with us, shares how we can reimagine learning in a distanced world rather than looking at the distance as a drawback or a burden.
The pandemic’s push on learning
Speaking on the trends around reskilling and upskilling post-COVID-19 that the pandemic has brought about, Pramath stated that businesses were already transforming and people were feeling the need to reskill; at an individual level also people were worried about furthering their careers. The pandemic has created a situation where we are feeling that pressure even more. One, because lots of companies have struggled and lots of sectors have gone topsy turvy. So people in these sectors have either lost jobs or worried about their future. People are reacting to the fact that these shocks can wreak havoc on your institution, or your company or your career. So it’s best to be prepared. And with that in mind, both companies and individuals have started to focus on the L&D, reskilling, and upskilling.
Secondly, many people also have more time on their hands now, which is why they are investing in learning. In addition, companies are engaging their employees through L&D so as to bind them together when they are working remotely.
Building a learning culture from the top
When it comes to the role of leaders in leading through these unprecedented times to build a continuous learning culture, Pramath believes that leaders have to lead from the front.
“Culture is kind of creating a behavior,” he averred and if as a leader, you have to set up a culture of learning, then you also have to demonstrate that you are also learning. And demonstrate that not only are you preaching to the others, but also doing it yourself as well as emphasizing the benefits of learning that you see as a leader will be motivating to the employees as well as the organizations.
And leaders should not be just doing it as lip service. Hence culture change has to start from the top.
Distance as an opportunity for learning than a burden
Deliberating on how we can cast this distance as an opportunity for learning, rather than a drawback or a burden, Pramath believes that we should not see this as a substitute for all of the other learning that was happening without distance or rather face to face. That will continue. But it also had its limitations as it was physical and face to face. So both methods will co-exist.
Suddenly you can reach out to many more people than you could in the classroom. But also, not all will benefit in the same way as they were learning in the classroom. Yet at the same time, people are getting motivated and looking out for many more things to learn.
So that’s what we have to focus on and that it is a different kind of learning. And one should not compare. It’s not the next best-it’s the other best.
Non-negotiables for improving learning culture
As leaders reimagine workplace learning, what are some of the non-negotiables for improving learning culture in their organizations? Pramath believes that a learning culture comes from a performance culture- a culture that demands performance from everyone. It is a meritocratic culture-a culture that looks constantly at how people are doing and how can they be enabled to do better. This culture of whether people are being enabled to give their best is the first non-negotiable of a learning culture. Secondly, you need to have a feedback and coaching culture to lead to a learning culture.
Hence the focus on performance and the focus on an individual to understand what kind of learning this person needs so that they can contribute are some of the non-negotiables for improving the learning culture.
Know more about the latest trends in the learning & development landscape at the People Matters L&D Conference 2020 coming to your screens from 21st-22nd October. Click here to register.