The pandemic brought into focus the holistic development of 'people' who have shown their adaptability during the most critical times of our era. Holistic development of people must be looked at from three dimensions, according to Krishnan Nilakantan Global Head - Learning & Development at Ness Digital Engineering, 'the first and foremost the scope of what we wanted to develop'.
Leaders namely Ness Digital’s Krishnan Nilakantan, Biocon India’s Srinivas KS and Axis Bank’s Carmistha Mitra came together at People Matters L&D 2021, India to discuss share insights on the recent developments in L&D across industries. The session was chaired by Sunita Arora, Former Head of Learning and Development, GE Electric.
Behavioural skills development
Beginning the session with a focus on holistic people development, Sunita Arora asked a question on the current context of work. To this, Nilakantan pointed out that the leaders have been looking at skill development in terms of technologies and innovation, but the era demands more attention towards the development of behavioural skills and building up a growth mindset.
“I want to start repositioning that and looking at it more as a mindset,” said Krishnan Nilakantan
Citing the crises caused by the pandemic, Srinivas KS, Lead Global Commercial Capability Development at Biocon Biologics India further took the opinions of Nilakantan ahead by emphasizing setting priority. 'Once you filter down everything based on the priorities that go into my action to spend it,' says Srinivas. As the changes have been affecting every stratum of the businesses adversely especially, during the initial days of the pandemic, the idea behind the adoption of every policy should be developing the business.
“I think prioritization of business development sets the agenda for holistic development,” said Srinivas KS.
Srinivas further pointed out that as we move forward with the new normal, digitization has gained a new position in the list of priorities. He stated that technical and digital learning wasn’t completely absent during the pre-covid days. The process of adoption of the process was a little slow. However, presently the dependence on digital training is about 50% more. Talking about the transferable skills Srinivas said that employees should feel that they can not only learn on a certain platform but also implement.
Sharing an example from the medical industry Srinivas mentioned that prior to COVID-19, like all the other industries this industry was also depending much on onsite checkups. But, due to lockdowns and the need for social distancing, the health industry is no exception to digitization whether for ordering medicines or for quick consultations.
Self-assessment and engagement
Adding to the conversation, Carmistha Mitra Senior VP HR and Chief Learning Officer at Axis Bank said, 'Roleplaying is last for me and it is all about solving those challenging situations.' Sharing an example from her company she mentioned that Axis Bank leadership has introduced such platforms where people can learn and assess themselves.
“We're deployed across the country to make our managers and managers of these frontline workers better coaches for better performance,” said Carmistha Mitra.
Mitra stressed that the policies undertaken by the Axis Bank management are very clearly linked to the growth strategy. “So, we have taken several imperatives for three years,” she added.
According to her, employers should also be able to see the impact of every decision on productivity and performance, also include measures to enhance the same. One such measure is working on the quality of hire. Mitra stresses the fact that learning doesn’t confine to attending classes and sessions anymore. It is important for the leaders to engage the learners in activities relevant to the skills imparted.
To this, Srinivas added the concluding statement. He said, “It's very important to be ready with the answers based on the knowledge of what organizations provide. And having that conversation in the short period of time digitally was a challenge.”