The business ecosystem is becoming more competitive and with uncertain economic outlook and rapid technological disruption the challenges are further increasing. Amidst such competition and chaos, businesses need to see how they can not only survive and sustain but scale and excel in their space. For this they need to create a powerhouse of talent that helps them thrive.
The focus hence shifts to investing in learning and development of talent and building a high-impact learning culture. As a Bersin report pointed out, “The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization’s learning culture.” However, culture is easy to talk about, but implementation and promotion of one is an elusive and a challenging task.
Wiwik Wahyuni, Chief Human Resources Officer, Home Credit Indonesia, in a recent interaction with People Matters discusses the importance of investing in building a high-impact learning culture and shares some key elements required to build such a culture.
Wahyuni, an HR professional with more than 20 years of experience has been working with Home Credit Indonesia as CHRO since a year now. In this interaction, she also shares key initiatives that have been implemented in Home Credit Indonesia to drive a high-impact learning culture.
Here are excerpts of the interview:
Global and growth-oriented companies like Home Credit have to invest in building a high-impact learning culture to ensure they always stay ahead of the curve. Do you agree?
Absolutely. Our ability to scale well in business hinges on our ability to leverage our collective learning to tackle the ever-growing complexity of today’s world, where we can no longer find ‘best practices’ to tackle our problems. Rather, it demands that we respond to the problems as we go, where according to the Cynefin Framework, the relationship between cause and effect can only be perceived in hindsight. Our ability to respond and iterate timely is key to prepare for the future of work stay ahead of the curve.
What do you think takes to build such a culture? What are some key elements of a high-impact learning culture, according to you?
It is at times convenient to pretend that we have the magic bullet. But we don’t. However, I believe agility is the key element behind any organization’s sustainable business growth and success.
A culture that promotes agility allows the organization to open up to its fullest potential. As Josh Bersin once said, “Only when leadership and management is geared towards ability to learn, motivation to learn and acquisition + application of knowledge and skills can we, as an organization, sustain business outcomes from learning.”
Agility does exactly this!
As a lot of decisions and directions are made at team and product level, an agile culture in an organization empowers employees in three ways (as Daniel Pink suggests):
- Autonomy: People own their decisions
- Mastery: People feel they get better at what they do every day
- Purpose: People know what they’re doing serves much higher cause to benefit the world around them
Who has to own the responsibility of building a high-impact learning culture?
With the agile setup, there are multiple stakeholders. It is the entire team who has to own the responsibility of building a high-impact learning culture, with commitment shared among all the individuals in the team.
The team has to collectively ensure that the skills and competencies required are well tuned to the mission they have, while the leadership would provide support – strategic direction, time for mentorship and coaching, learning budget, and tools.
How can business leaders and HR teams work together to create a high-impact learning culture in their organizations?
Support and Guide!
Strategic direction: Create a clear sense of where the path the entire organization wishes to take, define what the business wishes to accomplish.
Coaching and mentoring: While this seems easy, it is actually hardest to do in reality. Beyond the rituals, we need to do much more to improve the quality of how we both coach and mentor, such that deep-seated concerns and feedback don’t remain deep-seated. The learning impact is both ways when truly done.
Learning budget: When objective and targets for key results are aligned, it would be a lot easier to justify learning costs – especially those around high-impact learning methods like experience-based (job rotation, learning exchange, overseas assignment) and exposure (job shadowing, on-the-job learning).
Learning Tools: With personalized learning becoming more prominent in this setup, ensuring the right tools for aligning team/product objectives, performance and learning becomes critical.
What are some key initiatives that you have implemented in Home Credit Indonesia to drive a high-impact learning culture?
The first initiative that we launched was an agile transformation drive for the entire organization.
We let this process grow organically with the agile transformation team facilitating the movement from the ground up. Recently we started the first Budgeting and Funding stream and more streams are to follow organically.
We also led a Leadership Learning Series for First Managers & Middle Managers to ensure that the critical leadership skills are built as the business scales. We also routinely invite thought leaders in the industry and beyond to come and inspire us – the last one being Hasnul Suhaimi, ex-CEO of XL Indonesia.
We also invest in tools and technologies to enable a high-impact learning culture: Jira is used to manage transparency in backlog, task and work processes across the streams and teams. Even for performance management we have gone digital and use Aspire, a tool created in-house teams to give our workforce full freedom to make adjustments to their targets and goals as they shift roles or priorities aligned with business needs.
What are some global trends shaping the nature of work for Home Credit Indonesia and the sector it belongs to? How are you preparing your workforce for these current and emerging trends?
Digitalization! Process Automation! Data Science!
For digitalization, we are focusing on doing interventions to stir behavior and mindset change. As we are in the process of automating most of our processes, it is absolutely critical that everyone in the organization are ready to adopt technology.
To bring in that change, we invite business leaders and HR teams to collaborate and understand both the business as well as talent needs. We also invest in upskilling our HR teams and ensure they are up-to-date with the recent trends in business as well as work space.
We’re also building academies dedicated to Data Science and Tech. There is another ProDIGI Tech Academy where we plan to have three batches (20-persons each) of Tech talent development program each year, aimed at Business Architecture, Develops and Business Intelligence. We’re now interviewing the 1st batch candidates. We also routinely conduct Tech Talk events for tech and data enthusiasts inside as well as outside the company to learn from one another.
Wiwik Wahyuni, Chief Human Resources Officer, Home Credit Indonesia also answered some candid questions for us in a rapid fire interview:
One thing that makes you passionate about HR: People transformation
One tech/innovation that will transform HR: Machine learning
One perception you wish to change about the HR function: HR is enabler function, and their work is ‘intangible’.
What's your learning mantra?: Relentless learning.
3 key talent priorities for Home Credit Indonesia, currently: 1) Agile readiness 2) Key talent retention through focused & accelerated development 3) Insight-driven talent decisioning
Gig Workers or Permanent Employees: Gig workers
Flexi work or 9 to 5?: Flexi
HR as a business partner or HR as a business driver: HR as a business driver
Self-paced learning or guided (organization-lead) learning: Self-paced learning
Appraisals based on rating or rating-less performance management: Rating-less performance management.
Tech for HR
Things HR professionals must keep in mind while implementing tech in any HR process
- Always put the customer perspectives into the development process – design thinking
- Technology is just tools; people behind it must be ready first
- Build clear vision and milestones; the speed and choices in technology can distract us from the right focus
Next big HR deployment Home Credit Indonesia is working around: Core HRIS with SAP, coupled with Robotic Process Automation to remove manual processes and paper (more than 200,000 of them annually by HR only, by the way)
Core HR competencies no technology can replace: High-touch advisory skills, especially around compliance, grievance handling, coaching & mentoring.
One must-read book for CHROs and HR leaders: Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux
One leader you closely follow and one hallmark of that leader: Budha - The mind is everything. What you think you become.
Your advice for aspiring HR professionals: HR is about business – present your case in the language of business so you (your idea) gets buy in.
In the fast-paced world full of disruptions and challenges, what keeps you going?: My strong spirits for a continuous improvement.
Best career advice you've ever got: It was given by my boss when I was a very young HR professional and was moving from an operational role to a more strategic one in the region – “ be comfortable to do nothing but sit back and think.”
What's your favorite holiday destination?: White sand beaches with pristine blue ocean (mostly around eastern part of Indonesia) or super white wonder winter land around Europe.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?: “I am in control” ☺
What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? Wimbledon Men’s Final 2019. I am a Roger Federer fanatic fan! ☺