Learning and Development is the master key that will unlock the complex of corporate turnstiles in the modern world of work. Yet for it to persist and thrive, requires a fleeting culture.
A lot of meaning is associated with the word “culture” yet in the post-pandemic world of work, it currently is on the pedestal to kick-start a learning organisation. In a panel discussion chaired by Vinay Pradhan, Country Head - India & South Asia, Udemy at People Matters L&D conference, Atul Mathur, EVP HR & Head Learning & Development, Aditya Birla Capital, Carmistha Mitra, Group CLO, Axis Bank, Peter Kokkinos, Managing Director-APAC, Udemy weighs in on how to develop the learning culture in the organisation and sustain it for employees to thrive.
Correlation between Culture and Learning
Sustaining a culture is very critical as organisations plan to retain their employees and build the organisation of tomorrow. Atul Mathur emphasised that the “culture of connection" is prudent for organisations, especially post-pandemic changes when employees work remotely from all over the world.
Connecting HR line managers with a large employee base is a must for employers. It would support them in creating a forum to interact with each other. Here, the focus on mental wellness comes into play too as the new playbook doesn’t support a “one size fits all” approach.
“Think Digital” - It's the mindset that requires a shift, an idea echoed by Carmishtha and Peter Kokkinos. As organisations learn to adapt and appoint “stakeholders” to important aspects of the business, it becomes important to embalm them with the energy of a “custodian”.
Giving the employees a culture of responsibility through leader-led learning would enhance their sense of how impactful they can be in a setup. This would also create a culture of productivity.
VUCA is gone - BANI is here!
“Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity” i.e VUCA, is how the marketing gods termed the post-pandemic world as the employers and employees still dealt with COVID-19 lasting impressions. As Peter Kokkinos shared, the learning behaviour of the employee changed with the new perspectives that came across. The top talents felt to be at risk of learning burning out.
Almost every employee and even employer asked themselves - how to make myself more effective?
The think tanks churned their brains to find out the necessary skill sets for a leader to manage the business and the kind of employees required to manage the playbook. The process led to a lot of anxiety, transitioning to the current way of the world i.e “Brittle Anxious Non-linear Incomprehensible” i.e the BANI world.
Carmishtha emphasised that in the current state of learning, it is really important to alleviate the anxiety present, especially in those who look up to their leaders. The playbook requires an anti-agile method that can balance productivity but not at the cost of mental health. A lot of “compassion” and “emotional intelligence” is required from the team leaders which can be a constant for the employees.
Atul, Carmishtha and Peter agreed that technology will play a key role in re-culturing learning among employees and employers. AI-based learning roleplays involving system keywords based on empathy, trust and care as well as sentimental analysis would be an interesting aspect to adapt the organisations.
Also important is to onboard the financial leaders i.e CFOs to the learning initiatives, to utilise the company budget in the right way. Financial leaders would always ask difficult questions and their objectivity will enable the initiatives to work the right way. After all, adopting new ways of thinking also would expect the involvement of all the “custodians”.