HR Professional can be Strategical Business Partner

L&D stands for Learning and Development and is a long-term process that is designed to keep individual skills and performance aligned with the organization’s goals and requirements. A subset of human resources, L&D is an ongoing process focused on helping employees learn new skills and keeping them motivated and productive.

a) Tips for a budding L&D/HR professional?

a) Earlier, employers used to provide phones and computers to staff; it was easier to control the learning content they accessed. Now, employees often have better technology at home and have ready access to knowledge and information.

b) It is this “learning panorama” that L&D professionals must work with.

c) More learning will be accessed through short videos on mobile devices, so it is worth developing succinct videos or pointing employees to ones that are already available.

d) And as employees look beyond content produced by organizations to help them in their jobs, L&D professionals should take on the role of guides.

e) They can also then point employees to experts – both in the organization and externally – so that they access the most relevant information and support.

b) Your personal achievement as an HR professional?

As a Manager I used to guide direct reports/others on the day-to-day tasks and also could help them chalk a career path for them in the near and long term and always actively worked towards identifying their strengths and found them satisfied realizing their full potential. The other dotted line reports, over  a period of time started getting inputs from me for the execution of tasks and it was possible only though commitment and influencing skills.

  • MBO implementation across segment and at all levels
  • Succession planning
  • Change management project within the organization 

c) How can an HR/L&D contribute strategically to the organization?

HR has an increasingly important role in developing new blueprints and in helping to implement change so that the right skills, behaviors, culture and leadership style are in place to increase organizational effectiveness and enhance business performance. Given that successful OD programs align strategy, people, processes and systems, here are three key ways you can make a positive impact.

1. Invest in those who will create the most value

Taking tough decisions about where to invest your learning and see how talent development resources can pay large dividends in supporting the overarching organizational strategy. You may need a shift in mindset in your organization, from closing today’s pressing skill gaps to directing budgets towards learning and talent initiatives that will create the most value for the organization in the longer-term.

Also, it is worth investing resources in trying to determine which individuals are going to be the most critical in helping your organization to execute growth strategies, as well as have the potential to create disproportionate value for your organization. Armed with this information, you will be able to prioritize resources towards developing, motivating and engaging these people.

2. Help organization prepare for the future

One of the most important areas where the business needs HR and L&D support is in preparing for future growth. Learning and talent development strategies need to be driven by and aligned with the long-term needs and strategic objectives of the organization. To develop a ‘people ready’ business that is capable of continuously adapting to changing market conditions, you will need a clear insight into how organizational structure needs to change to support the future.

Don’t just think about what skills your business needs in the short-term, think about the next five to 10 years. Make sure you have a clear understanding of whom your ‘high potential’ talent is: these individuals will become tomorrow’s leaders and need to be nurtured and developed accordingly.

3. Use technology for greater insight

The use of integrated technology systems can provide invaluable insights and business intelligence to support OD strategies. The trend towards integrated systems capable of providing an enterprise-wide view of critical information relating to talent continues to be driven by globalization and core processes being interlinked. This includes learning and development, performance management, succession planning and talent management.

They can help you to manage talent and change more effectively in today’s increasingly complex workplace, close skills gaps and prepare for the future as well as ensuring that training budgets are channeled where they are most needed. In addition to helping you retain your high performers, ultimately, they can improve performance, productivity and long-term growth – the holy grail of OD. With a long and steady economic upturn forecast, HR and L&D will continue to have a fundamental role to play in supporting business change, organizational agility and long-term growth. Those who support OD strategies by investing in the future will come out on top.

d) One HR/L&D practice that has always worked for you as an HR. (share an example)

Credibility: Unless and until the people cannot sense the credibility from HR, it is difficult to collaborate. In other words, once you start connecting with people, it is a lot easier to implement many programs and initiatives. Then, it turns in to employee participation, further the direct link to performance and revenues. So, in my earlier organization we could this because of the above factor.

e) Do you think experiential learning is more impactful? Give an example

As the name suggests, experiential learning is the process of learning through experience.  Experiential learning is how experiences influence the learning process.  Experiential learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combinations of grasping and transforming the experience. 

Experiential learning is becoming far more common in both multinational and local companies around the world. For example, some management training is cross cultural travelling to new regions each time. Employees can engage in experiential learning through activities such as international travel, cultural exchanges, and project-based learning.

f) How do you create a buy-in for training at workplace?

As a learning leader, you’ve seen the payoff of a solid training program. From general benefits like culture improvement to specific gains like increased task efficiency, there are countless reasons why training dramatically enhances team performance. In order for your new initiative to be a success, however, you need to communicate these benefits to the rest of the organization. Without employee buy-in, the training is starting at a disadvantage. Trepidation can hinder a team member’s willingness to be fully receptive to your solution, so it’s crucial to take steps to build excitement. Here are four ways you can move towards full employee buy-in for your training program.

1. Be Transparent About the “Why.”

Without knowing why you’re starting a new training initiative, employees have no reason to be on board with the approach you present. Make sure that the reasons for the training are laid out clearly and communicated effectively. One way is to create a short video to email to employees outlining your thoughts on why training can help the organization. From here, you can start a dialogue about these reasons and what specific training objectives are tied to them.

2. Explain the Process and the Reasons Behind It.

Every training initiative has a different process behind it. When employees know exactly what the training entails, they’re more likely to jump in enthusiastically. After all, achieving buy-in requires that participants know what it is that they’re buying into.

To achieve optimal buy-in, make sure to outline the modalities, timing, location and justification behind your given approach. This way, participants will feel more prepared for the training when it finally begins. This is another great opportunity to communicate with participants and hear their feedback around your approach. Maybe they’ll have some ideas you hadn’t thought of before or insights that you overlooked.

3. Emphasize Ideal Outcomes.

It’s one thing to understand why and how training is going to happen, but there’s no point to the training unless there is a set of ideal outcomes to measure progress against. Learners want to know that your training is going to end up benefitting their team, or it could feel like a tremendous waste of time. Are you trying to increase employee retention? Communicate the specific benefits of increased retention, such as increased morale, cost effectiveness and higher team performance. Are you looking to develop potential leaders within the organization? Let them know that you recognize their potential and want to help set them up for future career success.

One way to communicate ideal outcomes is to develop them with the participants themselves. This approach can be a great opportunity to discover where employees see room for improvement and whether or not your proposed goals align with the day-to-day functions of the organization.

4. Seek Feedback.

The most important step in achieving training buy-in is to seek feedback from participants. Understanding their needs and preferences is crucial to developing the best plan of action and is all but impossible unless you have a deep understanding of what they go through every day.

Make sure to schedule periodic meetings before and after training sessions where you ask specific questions about the effectiveness of the training. Do learners feel engaged and interested in the content? Are the chosen modalities working as well as you had envisioned? Come prepared with a list of questions, and leave room for them to speak their minds.

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