Talent Development is seldom a work, it is a passion

Tips for a budding HR/L&D professional?

Talent Development is seldom a work, it is a passion! It requires strong orientation towards making others better.

The first step towards this, is to know our audience well, develop a vice like grip over their scope of work and identify opportunities in them for improvement, making their lives better through optimization & innovation, weighed upon emerging challenges or opportunities thrown by the industry, as such.

It requires us, as talent development professionals, to keep our eyes and ears open to our environment, to perceive emerging technologies and skills, which would form potential opportunities for us towards skill development.

Talent Development, like other sectors, is also in the cusp of massive digital revolution. Opportunities galore in this space!. The opportunity statement is pretty apparent- “Go Digital!…Deliver a better experience and efficacy!…Achieve results!”. Hence, it has become imperative upon talent development professionals, to go deep into this “fourth estate of L&D” through use of AI, VR/AR and other technologies in the learning experiences that they design, to provide room for offering enriching experience to the learners. The use of chatbots as learning aids in a learning management system could be a simple use case to try!

Experiential learning is also about delight and fun!… This is where one can hit the double whammy! . Introducing game-based learning elements using rapid authoring tools, and also making the overall learning experience itself gamified, by introducing points, leader-boards and build an ecosystem of competitive motivation, would definitely act as a driving force towards learning.

“Evolution starts at home!”. Setting achievable , SMART and incremental goals for oneself, and working steadfast in an agile manner, would go a long way in moulding towards a successful talent development professional.

Your personal achievement as an HR professional?

The joy of making others better and that creating a definitive business impact and reflecting in bottom line of the organization, gives me, as a Talent Development professional, much of happiness. But, behind the happiness, is a realization, that learning is a journey which needs to be sustained, which is when it is construed as a success.

For me, personally, institutionalising a multi-touch learning model with specific focus on on-the-job skill translation and sustenance in all my learning solutions, which ultimately led to positively influence on key business parameters, is what I regard as my greatest personal achievement.

How can an HR contribute strategically to the organization?

The advent of digital transformation has seen a definitive shift in the way organizations look at Talent Development. It is no more viewed as a cost center, but a futuristic investment towards structured skill development.

Building a sustained talent pipeline to quickly address the challenges and grab the opportunities that this emerging ecosystem throws up, should be pivotal to the way a talent development organization could contribute to the larger strategic goals.

Laying a structured approach towards talent consulting, by dissecting the organization, evolving a competency and skill glossary based on current and forecasted skill requirements for the various roles and leveraging/evolving best-of-the breed learning solutions to address them would form the basis of any successful Talent Development function.

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

Not perceiving learning as an event but rather a multi-touch point journey, has been a practice that I have inculcated in all the learning offerings that I develop.

Building “Learning Stacks” has been my core focus. A Learning stack would typically consist of skill specific, sequenced collection of learning solutions packed with job aids, game-based learning elements and assessments that collectively address the larger skill requirements of associates.

These learning solutions intrinsically can be a hybrid of internal contextualized knowledge sources & best practices, apart from a rich library of knowledge sources & practices available in the external world.

This germinates into a new thought process of building “Internal MOOCs” in organizations, with internal knowledge management marts as well as industry best practices as its primary constructs.

Do you think robots can replace HR/L&D professionals in the coming decade?

The advent of automation has definitively made this question appear more prudent in today’s world. However, the reality lies somewhere in the middle. After all it is the human mind that heralded the automation journey in first place!. Not everything can be achieved through automation!. There are aspects that require strong judgemental capacity and innovation which craves for human intervention. But the message is loud and clear, “evolve or perish!”- There is a strong need, than ever before, to reinvent ourselves, imbibe the culture of innovation and make ourselves better, to stay relevant in this fast evolving world. That would certainly open the door for man and machine to symbiotically coexist.

How do you create a buy-in for trainings at workplace?

“Passion to learn emerges from the heart!…People seldom learn without a purpose”. Making learning “specific” and “outcome driven” with an element of “delight” should be the strong conviction that every talent development professional should carry. Making people realize how the learning is tied to organizational results, and acts as a catalyst in making oneself better, would go a long way towards getting a buy-in.

“Doing is believing!” – Build your learning solutions which not only creates on-the floor delight but acts as a bridge towards sustained skill development of the individual and help translate to on-the-job performance. Once people start seeing and perceiving the results, there would not be much of impediment or resistance to learning.

Disclaimer: The responses to the questions are solely the views of the interviewee as a professional and do not reflect that of the Organisation he/she works for.

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