Training to get people job ready...

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“You can change the behaviour of an organisation provided you treat training as a process rather than an event,”  Warren G Bennis had said. Training is an investment made by an organisation that not just prepares itself to face challenges but in a sense empowers the recipients in many ways. DH Avenues speaks to a cross section of corporates to get their take on what training entails.

The Mode

Training can be in the form of classroom sessions and/or on the job. Usually most organisations prefer a combination of both such that it suits their specific requirement. Training starts with an induction program aimed at giving an insight to the company values and policies. This is followed by specific training to make one job ready for the chosen role. “We take a particular role in the industry and then map the competencies required for that role. Each competence is broken into skills and sub-skills. The skill areas include technical, functional (tools/products) as well as organisational skills,” explains PurpleLeap CEO Amit Bansal. Again training in most organisations is a continual process. So whether it is behavioural training programmes or functional programmes, product training or soft skills training this is an ongoing exercise. A full spectrum of training resources includes reading material, assignments, case studies and quizzes.

According to Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Senior Vice-President Sale & Management Development Training Anand Dewan “At Kotak Life Insurance, we have life cycle based approach where trainees are mapped at various levels of knowledge, skill and competence required and participants are trained on the basis of their task maturity which is judged by his/her duration of association and volume of business.”

The Connections

Several companies have a trend to associate with colleges and universities and tie-up with them to offer training to their employees. BD has a virtual university called BDU, which designs world-class programs on various areas, including Managing Performance Excellence, Coaching for Impact, Selecting the Best etc, which are delivered through the BD concept of Leaders as Teachers. Analog Devices has been associated with several reputed universities and colleges in India for several years now. “Apart from our long time association with the IIT Chennai, Tenet group we have also setup a ‘DSP Learning Center’ at the IIT campus in Chennai,” says Analog Devices India Human Resources Director Joe Lazar. “To ensure an overall growth and career development for our employees we have set up the WNS Learning Academy which imparts professional development training to the employees in the areas of leadership development, soft skills, language training among others. We have also tied up with educational institutes such as Harvard Business Publishing, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, CIMA - Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and Symbiosis among others to offer customized programmes to our employees across all levels,” adds Kartik Sarma –— CPO & Gautam Bhushan - Learning & Development Academy Head.

The Significance

At McDonald’s training starts as soon as an employee joins the company and is a hand on training across all departments. “Every McDonald’s employee from crew to senior most levels goes through extensive induction and training which is a combination of product / soft skills as well as robust functional training. Every restaurant manager stands a chance to go to the Hamburger University, Australia to obtain a degree in Hamburgerolgy,” says Seema Arora Nambiar, Director Training & People’s Resources McDonald’s India (West & South).Investing in training time is seen as important as it helps employees upgrade their skills to meet corporate expectations. Says Neha Bajaj, Manager –— Training, @home by Nilkamal Limited, “training helps to develop and improve the organisational health culture and effectiveness. Not only that but it also builds a positive perception and feeling about the organisation. This in turn results in an improved quality of work and morale of the employees.” For any organisation skilled employees are a valued asset and is what makes the difference between two similar organisations in terms of one having the competitive edge over the other. “Training is the tool to develop these assets. Training also helps employees to develop their life skills and understand/create their own career path,” says Patrick David - Executive Vice President Global Human Resource / Corporate Communication / Marketing, Hinduja Global Solutions Limited. Training helps in optimising the utilisation of human resource that further helps the employee to achieve the organisational goals as well as their individual goals.

“It provides an opportunity and broad structure for the development of human resources’ technical and behavioural skills in an organisation. It helps to expand the horizons of human intellect and an overall personality of the employees,” adds Pallab Bandyopadhyay, Vice President & Head Human Resources - Asia Pacific, Perot Systems.

The efficacy of training is measured by the ability of an individual to start working at a workplace. Effectiveness is also measured by taking continuous feedback from managers, participants and by conducting random customer satisfaction surveys. Feedback is extremely important as it helps individuals focus on their strengths and address areas that require improvement. Several organisations follow a standard Kirk Patrick model for evaluation. This model works in four levels i.e. how did participants react to the training, to what extent the participants have shown interest in learning, to what extent the participants changed in their behaviour and how organisation is getting resulted / benefited out of this. K Venkataraman, Director, Cognizant says, “we have always viewed training and professional development as a key lever of business performance. We have an elaborate skills measurement system in place, as also tracking metrics that measure the impact of learning on key business performance parameters.” Adds Dhananjay Bansod, Chief People Officer, Deloitte India,  “effectiveness is measured through assessment of on the job performance.

A periodic review is taken up to assess the level next for performance as wells as those areas which need periodic reinforcement and necessary training content is developed for delivery.” HDFC Standard Life has developed a mechanism of measuring effectiveness of Sales Training by hand holding in the initial phase for front line managers. “We are currently in the implementation stage and we are encouraged by the results and the rigour the process has brought in,” says Sharad Gangal, General Manager and Head - Human Resources, HDFC Standard Insurance. However with the global slowdown, the mode of training has seen a change.

Intelligent organisations have continued their training plans but have shifted to blended training. Organisations have judiciously cut down on people travel for training. “Technology like converged communications, usage of video conferencing, and Teleprompters to teach have in combination with ILT played a huge role in brining down training costs and thereby allowed a continuous training program to be enabled,” says Muralidhar Rao, President & COO, NIS Sparta. “Competition due to globalization is a significant business challenge, thus bringing focus on the importance of global mindset. These trends and business challenges have created the need for strategic approaches to training and development,” says Dr. Yasho V. Verma, Director, HR&MS, LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. In all training continues to be a key human recourse function and training budgets a key focus area.

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