Unlocking the Potential
Filled with a variety of programmes launched concurrently across the nation-wide network of factories and offices, the first ever Learning Month initiative at HCCB provided a new fillip to the movement to build a learning culture across HCCB.
“It was unprecedented.” Pat came the reply from Kedar Vashi, Director, Learning and Development when asked about the participation. And, he was not only referring to the number but also the scale and quality of engagement and involvement. An initiative that invariably in any entity involves vigorous persuasion and influencing, thankfully, evoked enthusiastic response.
People from across the organisation were willingly nominating themselves and their colleagues for different programmes. Such was the flurry of requests that three new programmes had to be eventually added to the original list of 18 to accommodate all. The buzz was real.
There was not a single working day during the month of August 2019, when a programme did not run in some or the other location. In the true spirit of inclusion, it offered something for everyone. From the staff to the CXOs, all participated on their own volition. On the last day of the month-long initiative, while the top 170 leaders were undergoing a training programme at the company’s headquarter in Bengaluru, a group of staff in one of the depots in Patna was attending a different workshop around the same time. In other words, the Learning Month was designed to be ‘inclusive’, one of the growth behaviours of the company. The impact was all pervasive.
Statistics also substantiate. The training man-hours in one month alone surpassed the 50 per cent of the total 2018 man-hours! More than 600 employees between them attended more than 6000 man-hours of training spread across more than 20 different kinds of programmes. Engagement level can be gauged from the fact that around 20 sessions over and above the 21 sessions arranged by L&D team were conducted by the employees themselves. The number of active users taking online digital courses increased by almost 5400 per cent from around 140 to 680 during the month itself. Besides, several quizzes and contests were conducted that drew a record participation of more than 400 respondents.
A lot, however, went behind the success. Every detail was meticulously planned and executed. Different methodologies were diligently designed and developed for different groups. The organisation for the first time used Design Thinking approach to create and customise programmes to maximise the business success. Built on the insights of work realities and needs of people working in those areas, the approach aimed to enhance learning experience and ensure effective implementation. The sentiment was aptly echoed by a participant who voiced it quite emphatically during one of the trainings, “I would have been a much better manager today if I had received this learning a few years ago.”
Gamification was another innovative methodology introduced during the month-long initiative. Designed to create ‘curiosity’, another growth behaviour, the approach is most suitable for those who want to learn in an interactive fun way. The gamification also encouraged learners to apply their learning on the job, by challenging them with real-life situations in a controlled environment.
Digital learning acquired a new dimension during the month. Reflecting on the renewed focus on creating a culture of continuous learning, Kedar informed, “We sent a personalised e-mail to more than 4900 employees giving them their individual licences for the prestigious Harvard ManageMentor online platform, one of the world’s best online learning portals.” Another striking feature of the initiative is that the digital initiative did not differentiate between the levels and grades of employees. As a rule, it provides equal opportunity of learning to all from staff to senior leaders. In what could be termed yet another initiative to promote ‘empowerment’ as one of the key growth behaviours, the online platform allows employees to customise their individual learning paths and learn at their own pace.
Evidently, success of the Learning Month only reaffirmed the company’s faith in its employees’ capabilities to blaze a new trail. The Learning and Development team is understandably upbeat. But the team members are not ready to rest on the laurels. As Kedar rightly reminded, “It’s just the beginning” before adding, “We need to constantly find a better way to make learning part of everyday work.” The approach is perfectly in sync with the company’s another growth behaviour of ‘1.0, 2.0, 3.0; push for progress, not perfection’.
For now, the efforts to unlock potential of people continues.