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Corporate Training - Merits & Fallacies

By Vishal Chhiber, VP - Human Resource, NTT

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Vishal Chhiber, VP - Human Resource, NTT

Holding an MBA in HR from University of Mysore, Vishal, in his 18-years long career, has worked across an array of companies that include VAPS, IonIdea, and Ererio.

Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death’ – Albert Einstein. Nothing could be truer about training in the corporate world of today than what Einstein said in the last century. Learning is now a lifelong expectation from any corporate being right from the birth in the corporate world as a fresher till the last day you are serving the organisation and even beyond as the concept of retiring is a thin line which is fast fading.

Employee Perspective

To add to the lifelong learning paradigm, employees have to keep pace with the changing work world and related client expectations by upgrading their skillsets on a real-time basis. The options they have is either taking time, effort and money from their own resources to do so or rely on their organisation to drive it for them. We all know the reliance by default is on the latter option. Some employees still on their own initiative drive this themselves but they are not many and understandably so given the demands of today’s corporate world that the employees withstand. Hence organisations need to step in and be seen as the enabler and facilitator from an employees’ perspective.

Challenges in Corporate Training

The best of organisations need to evolve constantly to meet the changing landscape of the learning and development domain. No longer is the content prepared a year back still relevant. Most of the organisations are not internally equipped to keep pace with the fast changing world outside. Hence they need dedicated team to work on the training needs analysis, finalise the learning topics, keep the internal training material live and relevant and also reach-out to new external facilitators to constantly keep in pace with the market offerings.

Traditional Learning vs. Digital Learning

Tradition learning concepts and methodologies are fast becoming obsolete and organisation needs to understand and migrate to digital learning soon if not already there. What this means is that the traditional classroom teaching and hard copy bound training manuals may no longer work with the new generations of millennials and even the Gen-X workforce as the attention spans are shorter than ever before and digital interface through smartphones is part of parcel of everyday life, including for gaining information and learning.

“Data analysis and artificial intelligence built into online learning helps suggest appropriate courses and material based on individual skills profiling and competence levels”

Digital Learning – Pros & Cons

Digital disruption happened a decade ago in the learning space wherein the content went digital and became available to everyone. The flip side to it was that even though accessible to all easily, the engagement levels went down due to a every shortening attention span. The courses though available to everyone on their fingertips did not really translate into they being completed as per planned schedule as a learners pace was at best slow given the stick ability of the content and low engagement due to distractions around. There are studies which indicate that digital learning has not met the intended objectives of skill acquisition and does have minimal impact on change in behavior.

The Future – Learning 2.0

The future of corporate learning is now driven by our experience of the digital learning phase and further building on it to address the built-in fallacies. Corporate learning has now moved to a mobile, individualised, experiential and tailored learning mode. This applied to all the content which now goes beyond the training material alone but stretches to online assessment and real-time tracking of progress made.

Data analysis and artificial intelligence built into online learning helps suggest appropriate courses and material based on individual skills profiling and competence levels. The organisation, manager, HR are no longer passive but active players in the learning process and can keep track of the progress of the employee in order to offer meaningful intervention and guidance whenever required.

Way Forward

Corporates need to move fast into the active learning phase whereby they need to have digital learning as a part of parcel of their training experience to the employees. What will not change though is the traditional collaboration and sharing of ideas and experiences to encourage deeper thought and create a meaningful experience for the learners.

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