In order to motivate the employees to acquire new competencies, they should be convinced that the firm is poised for growth
The slowdown of the economy experienced by the Indian industry in the recent times is now seemingly bottoming out and this time next year, we should be well on our way to a growth rate of 7-7.5% per annum. Hence, as we commence the new year, we should shed the pessimism that has crept into some quarters leading to a conservative approach to business and start planning to take advantage of opportunities that would come in the wake of growth.
Many businesses have put a hold on investments for expansion and particularly the spend earmarked for digital-led growth has been cautious and lukewarm so far. As we prepare for the next wave of growth, it is clear that digital would play a key role to enable businesses to transform themselves to scale new heights of success. One of the key factors that would determine success or failure for the business would be the quality and competencies of its human resources to help create a distinctive advantage in the market place. What would transformation mean to employees and how should organisations be strategising to ensure adequate readiness with the talent?
Infusion of digital capabilities would be at the top of the list for most organisations. Investment to build capability in this area would definitely not go waste and organisations need to pick specific areas such as analytics, IoT or robotics or others that are likely to be the ones that they would like to bet upon. At the same time, in order to motivate the employees to acquire new competencies, they should be convinced the organisation is poised for growth and there has to be alignment of business goals and the aspirations of the individuals.
Unlike in the past, in the digital era, career development trajectory should be built around not just domain expertise and useful experiences. Talent development programmes should be centred around emerging roles and skills required to be successful. This would require organisations to define roles and map the current skills available with the workforce, identify the skills gap and thereafter develop the skills enhancement or development programmes.
Traditional method of one-time training of employees for specific skills needs to be replaced with ongoing coaching and on-the-job learning with weightages assigned to each dimension. Thus, multi-dimensional learning would become the DNA of the organisation. Since technology, markets and processes would continue to evolve, skills would get outdated at short intervals and no one individual would have all the required skills to perform their roles.
In such a scenario, design thinking based understanding of how customer journeys would play out would help determine what changes need to be introduced using technology and processes and what would be the resultant alignment of capabilities of employees. In this context, detailed mapping of skill sets coupled with tracking of micro skills of individuals would help the organisation to bridge the gaps.
In order to put in place a plan for talent transformation as outlined above, use of digital learning platform would be necessary to set up the learning agenda in advance and provide access to quality and appropriate content from multiple sources. The learning platform should eventually get integrated with other HR systems such as the performance assessment system, the learning management system and HRMIS. It is the early start and forward planning for skilling and analytics of metrics determining learner progress that would put the businesses firmly on the path to success.
The writer is chairperson, Global Talent Track, a corporate training solutions company