BW People in interaction with Suresh Kumar C, Director of People Team at Vuram pondering and discussing on the transition from conventional to digital setting and importance of virtual presence.
How efficiently are you tackling the COVID situation at your organization?
All our people are working from home from the month of March. We have regular interactions with everyone. The senior team is given a task to talk to people and ensure all our people are highly motivated.
We have fun sessions every Saturday evening for all our people and their family members. We’ve had interesting learning sessions, pizza-making lessons by a celebrity chef, stand-up comedy by external people, and have taken several other initiatives to keep people happy and engaged. We celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries jointly online every weekend. We also have bell ringing sessions to announce/share the success stories of our people and project success.
We continue to onboard new hires virtually; induction and training too have gone virtual. Apart from this, our people from various departments have the opportunity to attend online courses at their convenience that have been structured and facilitated by the Center of Delivery Excellence team. This helps our People in upskilling.
As a company, we have weekly Continuous Learning Programme (CLPs) every Tuesday where both technical and non-technical subjects are discussed. Apart from this, we also have weekly learning and sharing sessions where different teams share their learning from the previous week and share best practices and tips.
Why is virtual training important across the organization at different levels?
Learning and development are now shifting from the traditional methods of training to a Virtual format. This helps people learn things faster anytime, anywhere with lesser dependency on others. The course structure and duration are quite planned and run uninterrupted as there is minimal to no intervention. Nowadays, everyone is juggling multiple roles and don’t find the time for training. But no matter how busy or what the situation, training should never be stopped and it’s necessary to make it a continuous process in an organization. There are a lot of technological advancements and with these, many companies with high engagements have instituted new learning methodologies for their people. The old methodology of sitting with a training manager and learning needs a lot of time. Learning virtually, completing the task independently, and then being critiqued is the new trend. With this, people learn faster and they put more effort into learning. A lot of people also carry out self-study with the material they have and keep the learning phase more interesting and faster.
Virtual training is very important at various levels. As mentioned earlier, it’s a continuous process and when the learning is stopped, both individual and company growth are also curtailed. That’s why training has to be carried out in a balanced way for all categories accordingly. Virtual training can also be of help to small and medium companies as they may be short on resources.
Virtual learning consists of web-based learning, blended learning (a mixture of various options per course), rapid E-learning ( quick Online learning), Mobile learning (Accessible anywhere, any time). This helps the organization and the learner as they need not wait for anyone or a specific time to learn and they can get started based on their convenience and conditions. Learning can always be done in smaller doses when it’s done virtually, and the pace can also be defined by the learner.
Why is upskilling important during and post lockdown?
The complete industry is going to set a new trend and post lockdown there is going to be a rapid change in the economy and the business. Lockdown warrants multitasking and learning new skills for us to survive in the industry. Employees who are challenged to develop and grow are often the happiest ones at an organization. Upskilling after the lockdown instills confidence in people and they feel that they are secured and ready to face any challenges in the market. Upskilling will be the need as many companies are forced to streamline their workforce after lockdown. Upskilling makes us flexible and prepared to accept new tasks with confidence and capability.
How will it help students and professionals to be work-ready?
In order to remain competitive in the job market, upskilling is very important at this point in time. The industry is going through a major change and so is technology. Students and professionals who are not engaged in any work during the lockdown have to upskill or learn new skills at this time. They need to engage themselves in some
learning else they will fall behind as the market is going to be a lot more competitive further. Taking the time that you’ve been gifted and making something of it will be the right way forward. Students right now have no classes, so this is the ideal time for them to learn something which they have always been interested in. Every one of us would have had some interest, and we would have always felt that we do not have enough time to focus on that. So, this is the time to learn something interesting and useful.
Upskilling also helps the students in career progression and expands their professional network. In the future there may be a lot of opportunities, as the entire industry must act fast to acquire whatever it has lost during the COVID pandemic, therefore the chances for people with good skills will be greater. The industry will look for innovative and talented people, so those who have upskilled will have more opportunities and a better advantage.
How HR can come up with new strategies to continue the operations post lockdown.
All these days work from home has been a perk for people, but the COVID period has completely changed that and proved that it’s going to be the ‘normal’ company culture. Everyone has taken this challenge as an opportunity and taken the necessary steps to make sure that their deliverables are not getting affected because of this. What you now need is a good Laptop with a high-speed internet connection and a work table – and you can work from anywhere.
Companies will look at ways to reduce/control the fixed cost, undertake productivity measures, and will try to keep their employees highly motivated. Offices and workstations are no more going to be an asset rather they are going to be a liability for companies. Flexible working hours will be one of the strategies many organizations will deploy post lockdown.
The interaction levels have to increase with everyone in the company as they should not feel isolated working from home. Lots of fun events, celebrations, engagements activities should happen virtually to keep the people positive and energy levels high.
One to one sessions to be increased to make sure that people are comfortable and they are taken care of. People have to undergo a lot of training to keep their mind fresh and happy. Trusting your people plays a vital role; organizations need to come to a mindset that your people will work efficiently wherever they are.
– Interview by BW People – Business World. Read interview here.