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Intelligent Learning through Integrated Technologies

By Rituraj Sar, Vice President and Head - Global Learning & Organisation Development, Lupin Limited | Tuesday, 31 Oct 2017, 13:20 IST

Technology works best when it brings people together” -----Matt Mullenweg. Amidst the rising evolution of social media and thrust on organization’s drive towards promoting peer-group learning, organizations across industries have started adopting platforms integrating employee (Learners). Institutionalizing such systems need a strong foundation of learning interventions with groups of employees having unique backgrounds with an exposure to uniform development inputs. Another important driver is having the complete employee development life cycle integrated into a Learning Management System enabling all key stakeholders in multifold ways.

At present, organizations have access to various technology platforms but harmonization is the key improvement opportunity.  A core team with representation from all key functions is where it all begins followed by a planned approach towards educating employees on the possible use of available technology and providing learning on the Go! It is not rare to see companies investing heavily in latest technology resources and the fact that none of these technologies is utilized to its best is also not surprising. Based on my experience, this is a process of evolution and the only way possible is to take things up in a gradual yet action oriented manner with impact experienced on ground. A lot at one go will not only affect the implementation but the adoption will not be sustainable.

When People with Passion come together & drive this effort with Patience, results are expected to be Powerful!- Pharma Industry is one of the most promising industries in the current economy in view of the latest health trends & lifestyle patterns. The compliance driven environment & the regulated market demand talent to be on the toes at all times. There is volatility in the talent across various verticals like Research, Manufacturing & Sales wherein competitors are always in the look-out for skilled & committed employees. Employees with diverse backgrounds & unique skill sets come to the workplace with aspirations to make it BIG & I believe there lies the real opportunity for any HR or Learning Team!

Anytime Anywhere Learning is the key driver for various interventions; at the core of this philosophy is our employee who is the key to our success - There are a whole spread of IT resources which are being utilized to support learning initiatives, few to mention are Skype, Yammer, OneDrive, SharePoint (Microsoft Office 365 Suite).

“Yammer” has been implemented with a goal of promoting peer-group learning within employee groups. It is called as “The Learning Club” wherein dedicated groups of employees under different training programs are connected on Yammer platform to share success stories, seek support when facing challenges, and appreciates others for their work or contribution, post ideas or suggestions and many more. The aim is to build this momentum further & harness the capabilities of social learning by encouraging employees to learn through sharing. This application is downloadable on mobiles & therefore there has been some success in its usage since employees can utilize this forum after their working hours anytime anywhere.

There are various programs in which employees work on implementation projects after undergoing a training program, these projects need regular review sessions from technical experts based in other locations.  Skype has added value on this front by saving on travel cost of the reviewers wherever required & enabling scale in terms of frequency of review sessions & no. of projects being reviewed. Skype has strengthened our Coaching programs by giving an opportunity to employees to maintain continuity between their consecutive coaching sessions by having interim Skype coaching sessions. Coaches have also found such technologies helpful in adding more value to the coaching process.

A lot has been done and a lot more can be done with the available technology itself; sometimes integration emerges as a key concern since what we do on one system is not accessible on another. On top of it, extent of regulations prevalent in our industry mandates a strong IT security policy framework wherein employees have a monitored access to company information & resources outside the organization premises. Based on our experience, one takeaway is that we cannot wait till everything gets harmonized & keep our people waiting. What has worked for us is to kick start an activity. Over time, one action has led to another & we have seen new ideas emerging from our action-driven mindset. Waiting for systems to get integrated will have a huge opportunity cost in terms of employees not getting access to wonderful learning platforms of peer-group idea and information exchange.

Clarity of goals for both HR & IT has opened possibilities of mutual alignment amongst the two teams - This might appear to be simple yet the reality is that implementing an organization wide Tech-enabled Learning involves more inhibitors than enablers. Moreover, it’s a process of evolution for individuals, departments & the organization!

Rituraj Sar

He has 25 years of exposure in Sales, Marketing, and Performance Development & HR.  He uses the business and people insights to impact the business bottom line by diagnosing organizational development needs through business imperatives, enabling variety of resources to design and implement structured (Process Driven) solution ensuring smooth and result-oriented execution.

 

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