In 2019 and beyond, India Inc must look at investing in corporate training that can deliver tech-enabled blended learning solutions
Change, agility, speed are no longer associated with sports; they are the norm in today’s dynamic organisations. Markets and consumers alike demand innovation at breakneck speed. To keep up, businesses must implement certain changes. Here a crucial role is played by a company’s employees, since they directly contribute to organisations’ competitiveness. Traditionally, large companies have had a complete HR policy framework in place to accommodate training interventions for their human capital aimed at optimising and further enhancing their skills base; they also acknowledge the fact that strategic learning and development interventions directly impact business outcomes.
Case in point are Silicon Valley companies that regularly undertake training interventions towards their prized human resources. Corporate training modules like XLG, team building, behavioural training, sales and process training are undertaken to bring incongruent strategic business units together for change management without cohesively affecting business outcomes or employee morale. The result is formal hierarchies are broken and organisations become agile and more flattened.
Closer home, a flip side to such training interventions is that managements tend to consider the cost-benefit analysis, since traditional L&D methods demand large investments, which the management may feel could be spent on other business operations that yield better RoI. But with the globalisation of best practices in corporate training and advancement in technology, e-learning has become a sound investment. Organisation are adopting blended training approach by digitisation of some part of corporate training to give the best to their employees, in order to maximise their output. A blended approach maximises effectiveness of instructor-led and virtual instructor-led training modules in a format that is scalable and measurable. This type of blended model caters to the needs of outstation employees. The connection between learners and trainers is never lost in digitised corporate trainings even after the workshop is over.
Corporate trainings can be attended on a cloud-based framework that works on tablets and smartphones. Pre-workshop online material can be shared with learners before the training session, and trainer and participants have ongoing access to material during and post the workshop. The option of assessing one’s learning through performance assessments makes these sessions all the more fruitful. Chatbots that are AI-enabled play a crucial role, as they take the job of the trainer when he or she is not around. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)-based training simulators are being used to deliver trainings.
VR is widely being used by manufacturing companies to train workers in shop floor safety. AR and simulation-based trainings have been employed by car companies to explain off-road functionalities of SUVs inside a showroom itself, so that the sales staff can understand key features without spending on an outbound training intervention. The future workforce of corporate India is young and dynamic. It is, therefore, imperative for India Inc to invest in such corporate training that can deliver technology-enabled blended learning solutions that provide a win-win for organisations as well as employees.
The author is CEO & MD, Centum Learning