Today we are geared up for a discussion on how learning has been evolving especially during this new normal. We have a diverse panel and participants from across the industry to share their perspectives

Our Speakers

Dr. D Prasanth Nair

Advisory Board Member at ZingHR 

Mr. Anurag Sharma

Head – Learning & Development at Dixcy Textiles Pvt Ltd  

Ms. Monika Mehra

Training Head at LifeStyle Stores (North)

Mr. Naga Siddharth

Head – People and Culture at Supr Daily

Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

Head of Human Resources at Modern Foods  

Mr. Ravi Kikan

Growth and Marketing Head at ZingHR


D Prasanth Nair

Dr. D Prasanth Nair

Advisory Board Member at ZingHR

Work, Workplace, and Workforce are changing. Business model needs to be changed. Jobs will have to change. The skillset for every job will need to change. We need to emphasize on 3 dimensions:
Why, What and How things are changing?
Effects on organization culture, collaboration & cohesion.
Are the training programs using the technology effectively?
In my opinion 4 important skill-sets are:
• Cognitive Intelligence
• Collaboration & Coaching
• Creativity
• Consciousness

Anurag Sharma

Mr. Anurag Sharma

Head – Learning & Development at Dixcy Textiles Pvt Ltd

Whether work from home can be a new norm or not is a question. Sectors like textile, are dependent on B and C terms, where a broadband connection is still an issue. Technology adoption is still nascent. The core challenge is how to get investment into L&D and it’s ROI. Will the business be patient for ROI? L&D needs to start talking business language without losing translation. Sustaining the Business is the need of the hour.

Monika Mehra

Ms. Monika Mehra

Training Head at LifeStyle Stores (North)

L&D is not just a strategic arm, but a business partner who needs to provide effective solutions to business problems.
Two points we need to consider are:
Why and Whom are we training?
What is the need and how much is the investment?
Organizations need to have a central content repository. Bandwidth needs to be checked upon for getting this done.
Internal small learning communities need to be created.

 Naga Siddharth

Mr. Naga Siddharth

Head – People and Culture at Supr Daily

This is where we were 6 months ago, and then we had the big Covid ball coming and knocking us. It is important for us to understand remote empathy. There is a need to go beyond tools.
As L&D professionals, we need to start working on Human Resource Designs, start looking out for things where there is will of leadership to do it. Right now, the human element is more important than the tech element.

Sonal Kapur Sinha

Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

Head of Human Resources at Modern Foods

I’m part of an organization that cannot have 80% of the workforce working from home.
In the current situation, there is a need to resort to creative ways when making content to ensure that the learners are engaged.
Like, Modern Foods had to resort to art and theatre for demonstrating the importance of sanitization.
Another important point is, the pace of learning needs to be every day. It’s like habit-changing; we cannot achieve it in a day.

Questions

Big L&D challenge is how to prove direct relation to top line and bottom line. Do we have specific metrics that work better than others?
– Ms. Ketaki Ogale – Co-founder (BHyve)

 Prasanth Nair
Dr. D Prasanth Nair

L&D should not be islolated as a good to have function. L&D has it’s own reason for being there.
Three metrics can be followed:
One , that is same as the Business Metrics.
Second, you can use ratio of internal hires to external hires in any organization. Are you able to promote the employees to any required role based on their skills and competencies?
Third, are you able to give ROI, and the denominator remains investment, numerator can be top line, bottom line, cash-flow or valuation in stock market.

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

The need needs to come from business and we need to facilitate that. Major concern is how do we tactically put this into practice? How many L&D people actually discuss about cashflow or how programs can be designed around it? Strategically it looks great, but how to tactically put it into practice, needs to be looked at minutely.

Monika Mehra
Ms. Monika Mehra

Investment in learning is an important aspect. ROI needs to be proved; if we are not adding any ROI then it’s a problem.

Learning is a slow process, results can be seen in phases.

Example, Weekly Net Promoter score helps in understanding how the employees are performing and what are customer expectations and problem areas in the retail industry.

Sonal Kapur Sinha
Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

Every meeting, whether that discuss people or not gives us a whip of where the business is leading. We need to stop pitching L&D as budget, but competencies and business impacts. As business partners, we need to understand business.
ROI and Training is like love, if it’s there, it shows.

With digital learning becoming the need of the time, how important is the gamification of learning?. My question is not only for kids education but for professional learning as well.
-Question to Mr.Naga Siddharth from Mr. Ramesh Ambastha (Technical Architect)-SmartBear

Naga Siddharth
Mr. Naga Siddharth

Gamification at a deeper level is about playfulness, fine with making mistakes and learning. All L&D needs to have a touch of gamification, it will definetly help people in learning better. It will increase a person’s risk appetite and make the experience more effective.
There is a child inside every one of us.

What is the future of AI?
-Question from Mr. Ramesh Ambastha (Technical Architect)-SmartBear For L&D online

Monika Mehra
Ms. Monika Mehra

If we need to measure ROI of L&D, than the answer is AI. AI is data. When we talk about improving employee efficiency, understanding their needs and competencies than we need to look into data. A good LMS is essential, which gives the data of all employees. Using this we will be able to understand learning needs, design curative programs and get results. Next step would be to understand the employees learning from the program; and if he is able to demonstrate it in his workspace. Blended solutions can be used to measure knowledge & skill-set and the actual on-floor performance. AI plays a crucial role in this.

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

Once we get access to the relevant datasets, employee behaviors can be validated. That will be one phenomenal use of AI. AI will also play an important role in training identification for a business, rather than leaders voicing it, if data speaks for itself it will be a classic problem solver. We need to convert subjective problems into objective ones and find solutions.

Prasanth Nair
Dr. D Prasanth Nair

AI gives us tools to predict and classify outcomes. This predictive nature can be used in capturing the need and designing a program uniquely for every individual. It will majorly help in capturing, designing, delivering and measuring the outcomes.

Sonal Kapur Sinha
Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

We need to understand that AI predictability is the result of data that has gone into the machine. So more the data that goes into it over the period, better the predictability. Right now in my opinion, humanness of the decision is extremely important and over & above AI.

You spoke about not just having proficiency in the current role but to acquire a new skill. How does an Organization’s L&D plan to help the employees to orient towards this new expectation/approach?
-Mr. Navneet Singh’s question to Monika

Monika Mehra
Ms. Monika Mehra

It’s a new skill that the employee will have to invest in. Going ahead, organizations will have less but multi-skilled manpower. Going by this situation, one will have to be better equipped with multiple skills, else his growth will stagnate. Organizations are always willing to invest in people’s potential.

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

Post-covid, for most organizations, the clear cut job dimensions will be blurred. Radius will need to become bigger. We need to get into the flux and thrive into it. There will be retrenchment, less number of jobs. Some sectors like travel will be critically affected, others like pharma might thrive. Businesses and people need to get more flexible.

Sonal Kapur Sinha
Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

Rather than predicting what skills would be needed years down the line, I will prefer making my people think on what is it that they would want to push themselves into. If the ask of the new skill comes from employee, it is faster taken. For skills at behavioral level, I would like to make our people more agile learners.

Prasanth Nair
Dr. D Prasanth Nair

‘Ekla Chalo re’ should be your motto. Every individual needs to take responsibility for individual learning without depending on the organization. You need to up-skill yourself and focus on your development.

Being in this Pandemic situation, where businesses are not doing to their full potentials and almost all the departments facing budget issues – what strategy should be used by L&D for investment in new training needs.
– Mr. Nitin

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

I can speak for my business. We cannot afford investing into any new methodology, we will continue with tried and tested models for at least next 1.5 – 2 years, depending on the cash in-flow. We need to look at what can be done more efficiently, without needing budget.
Many organizations are working at zero budget staffing.

Sonal Kapur Sinha
Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

‘We are not in the same boat, we are in same storm’.
Everyone is trying to save their own boat from sinking. Minds are already stressed.
It’s a business driven acumen right now. We need to be more reactive and less proactive.
Have the infrastructure in place, so we are ready when we do need to deliver. When will that happen, let the business decide that.

Monika Mehra
Ms. Monika Mehra

It is during this lockdown period, when stores are having zero revenue; L&D has come in forefront in keeping all the employees engaged. This was possible only because our organization had invested in correct platforms at the right time. Not everyone will be willing to invest in external learning methodologies. In this case, we can always harness the internal resources. Take support of SMEs and build internal learning communities.

Naga Siddharth
Mr. Naga Siddharth

Even with zero budgets, if we are creative enough, cutting edge L&D can be delivered today. There are so many free applications, sites available. Another approach is challenging the fact that what I would have otherwise normally done, am I able to do that ? vs. What the business wants me to do?.
It’s a paradox. Measuring metric of impact is essential.

A zero budget L&D is possible, and we required a pandemic like Covid to come and make us realize that. So why were asking for L&D budget all these years and why L&D budget post Covid?
– Question from Mr. Anurag Sharma to Mr. Naga Siddharth:

Naga Siddharth
Mr. Naga Siddharth

When pushed to a corner, my best comes out.

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

Agreed, so let’s deliver a top cutting edge LnD this year, and we may or may not need any budgets in the coming year.

Naga Siddharth
Mr. Naga Siddharth

We are mainly burning out budgets on external faculties. If business wants to send employees to Howard or IIM Calcutta than ofcourse I need a budget, but to drive effectivess and impact on ground, a very large budget is not essential. Typically L&D teams are capable and functionally qualified; it’s an opportunity for them to look at enriching and enlarging their role.

Mr. Ravi Kikan

There are multiple questions on what are the products that ZingHr is pushing across in the learning management space and otherwise.

We are posting the link to our website; you can take a look at products which might be useful for you
https://www.zinghr.com

Closing Notes

Anurag Sharma

Mr. Anurag Sharma
Head – Learning & Development at Dixcy Textiles Pvt Ltd

This was an amazing discussion to stimulate our brains on sustaining business in these times.

It’s very essential to have a fully functional L&D and L&D needs to adapt to the business, nothing needs to be lost in the transmission amongst both.

Monika Mehra

Ms. Monika Mehra
Training Head – Lifestyle Stores (North)

We need to work very closely with the business and understand their budding problem for the year and accordingly design the strategies.

Work effectively with or without the budgets.

Sonal Kapur Sinha

Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha
Head of Human Resources – Modern Foods

Be more active; look at now fairly closely, what business needs and not what we have done in the past. There’s a lot to pick from; on how we can gamify, make engagements more interesting.

I think our fraternity is going to live most in this time when our businesses really need us.

Naga Siddharth

Mr. Naga Siddharth
Head – People & Culture at Supr Daily

Location or position of some units needs to change from consulting or partnering to actually being of service. Depute people to work on frontline, which will give us enough challenges that we will need to solve to have an impact on business. Truth is out there.

 Prasanth Nair

Dr. D Prasanth Nair Advisory Board Member at ZingHR

Every individual and organization needs to be on the learning curve. We need to Relearn, Unlearn, and Learn continuously. L&D will play a huge role in this.

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