In an era defined by rapid technological advancement and an ever-evolving global landscape, the imperative to upskill and reskill has become the cornerstone of a thriving workforce. As organisations embrace this ethos, they not only enhance productivity but also fortify their ability to engage and retain their most valuable asset—their workforce. The synergy between cutting-edge learning tools and a forward-looking approach to skill development lays the foundation for a globally competitive workforce all geared to thrive in the challenges of today and the uncertainties of tomorrow.
In conversation with Manoj Shikarkhane, CHRO at LTIMindtree, we gain exclusive insights on how they are driving communication and collaboration globally, how they design agile and future-forward learning programmes and more.
Here are some excerpts.
How can better learning tools help improve productivity and engagement in today’s global workforce?
The workforce across the globe is looking for self-paced, personalised, short & interesting formats and flexible learning programmes which can be catered to very well, through good learning tools. This empowers employees to upskill and reskill at their own pace, anytime and anywhere.
Learning tools with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities help provide relevant, personalised and targeted learning programs for employees. When organisations promote a culture of continuous learning and provide employees with the right resources and opportunities to acquire and upgrade their skills in relevant, future-focused areas, it goes a long way in engaging and retaining their employees.
How are you revamping collaboration among your globally distributed teams?
Given the revolution of remote and hybrid work, we have adopted a comprehensive and a deep-layered approach of communication and collaboration with our global workforce. The shift to remote work has transformed traditional work dynamics, making improved communication tools and practices crucial. Additionally, generational diversity which brings in distinct work styles and preferences, requires tailored communication channels to accommodate everyone’s needs.
We have invested in a robust and wide-ranging collaboration tool which covers all our communication requirements ranging from formal channels for leadership and organisation communications, collaboration channels for work-related requirements and an internal social media platform for open expression and interaction. The social media platform also serves as an excellent mechanism to listen and understand employee emotions and sentiments. Additionally, it acts as a platform to gauge their feedback on ongoing improvement and adaptation.
Our approach also involves acknowledging cultural sensitivity and inclusivity, promoting emotional intelligence, and facilitating virtual team-building activities to strengthen remote team bonds.
We have also introduced several additional layers above these communication channels, the most effective one being our differentiated ‘Quarterly leadership connect program’ in which our CXOs are available live on virtual video conferencing mode to answer wide-ranging questions from employees across the globe.
How have your learning programmes evolved in the past few years to better address the need to develop soft skills such as collaboration?
We have revamped the content of our programmes to adapt to the changing work environment, thus emphasising on a fresher perspective on the communication and collaboration requirements. For instance, our MPower program focuses on teaching project management from an innovative perspective, tailored to the challenges of remote working. It aims to help project managers navigate the future of work successfully.
Additionally, our learning programmes are now powered by artificial intelligence and integrated with our performance appraisal systems to enable identification of skill gaps and to steer employees towards targeted learning programmes.
We are also revamping our well-established ‘My Career My Growth’ programme which focuses on providing systemic guidance on career pathways and learning journeys to employees to expand and enhance the competency and proficiency of their skillset.
What are some best practices that you suggest HR leaders should follow while implementing personalised learning programmes across a global workforce?
My advice to HR leaders would be to focus more on experiential learning. While traditional learning methods and technology-based tools can be valuable complements to education; experiential learning stands out for its ability to create profound, lasting, and practical learning experiences that stay with individuals through their personal and professional journeys. It offers a powerful and irreplaceable approach to learning that leads to holistic development.
LTIMindtree’s Simulation Lab, established in 2019, uses a unique participatory training model which is enabled by an automated production simulation platform. Simulation Lab offers hands-on experiential learning for technical abilities and client-specific process awareness and aids in the development of soft skills. It gives a 360-degree exposure through the platform where the associates are placed in a live virtual environment in which scenarios are created to resemble the actual work environment.
Another approach to providing experiential learning to employees is by providing actual work requirements through an internal Gig platform. With this intent, we recently launched our internal Gig platform, GigSpace, which is gaining excellent traction from both projects and our enthusiastic workforce.