Perpetual Learning is the secret mantra for a Successful HR Professional

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

Keep Learning. As an L&D professional, upskilling yourself continuously is extremely important. While learning about basics like Experience API is required, also get some insights about the usage of AI, VR and AR in learning. Game-based learning and Microlearning are the buzz words of the industry. Stay updated.

Technological disruptions will certainly create the biggest leaps in learning. Always remember, every master was once a beginner.  

b) How can you upskill?

  • Interact with your colleagues and understand their project needs.
  • Connect and interact with people from L&D. LinkedIn is an excellent platform to learn.
  • Subscribe to eLearning blogs and websites.
  • Participate in the eLearning Challenge hosted by Articulate.

c) Your personal achievement as an HR professional?

I volunteer at an NGO that works in the education sector. Back in 2014, the NGO was facing a challenge – people were extremely reluctant to go to villages for a full-time job. I believe every L&D professional has been asked this question at least once: What training modality would you use to impart training in different geographies? Yes, the answer is a Web-based Training. However, there was one additional challenge: lack of internet accessibility posed a serious concern about assessment and tracking. So, we decided to create short explainer videos and packed them with printed assessments. The local staffs were asked to courier those printed assessments back to the central committee for evaluation. The program was a hit. 

Last year, we had 27 students receiving 10 CGPA in CBSE Class 10th exams from that school. I would consider that as an achievement. 

d) How can an HR/L&D contribute strategically to the organisation?

I think L&D has moved far from just being a support organization. It helps the organization to bridge the gap between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’. L&D department can play a critical role in making people future-ready, especially when the workforce is evolving, making the business landscape increasingly competitive. As Nick van Dam in “25 Best Practices in Learning & Talent Development” says L&D strategically contributes to these five development areas: 

  • Talent Retention
  • Capability Development
  • Value-based culture creation
  • Employee Motivation
  • Brand Development

e) One HR/L&D practice that has always worked for you as an HR

Innovate and Experiment. It is always appreciated and well-received. 

I was developing training for an oil and gas company based out of US. They wanted to create a compliance course for their employees. Instead of suggesting a standard learning path through a WBT, we suggested a game. The plot was an employee violated one of the compliance rules that triggered a series of events which finally led to the shutdown of the company. The employee was supposed to go back in time to correct the mistake and revive the company. We interacted with several employees and included real-life scenarios in the game. 

The training went on to receive the prestigious Brandon Hall Gold Award. 

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

Humans tend to remember things if they are associated with strong emotions. That’s how the concept of experiential learning was evolved. A very prevalent example is the way the school curriculum has evolved. Instead of just asking the students to memorize A for Apple, the teacher gives each student an apple so that they can feel it. This example can be replicated in corporate scenarios as well. A real-life simulation or a hands-on-training creates a better impact and leads to enhanced retention than standard Instructor-led training.

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

I follow a three-step approach:

  • Analysing the Gap: It is important to understand the problem statement. Participation will always be more if the participants see a clear path for their problem resolution.
  • Communicating Regularly: Mailers, roadshows and short videos are the key ingredients for retention.
  • Making it Stick: Tailor your training based on the audience’s need. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. That’s the key to make a training stick.

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