Article (May-2021)


Staying relevant

Anil Kaushik

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By the time Business world was gearing up to make shift  to pre covid life and back to normal, resurge of covid in India has  again created the clouds of fear and uncertainty. It seems that covid refuses to abate. What could not happen in decades, has happened in just one year about how business operates. When we understand this happening from L&D point of view, it is in the process of a seismic change towards an evolutionary shift. It also becomes apparent that this crisis has thrown a bigger challenge to L&D professionals to stay relevant by not merely functioning in silo in organisation as custodian of learning as a separate department but to develop a mindset of learning culture at individual and organisation level and see how L&D can be fully integrated with other functions to contribute in business growth. Digital transformation and automation at workplace in organisations is compelling the business leaders to change the way L&D is perceived and acted.

The crisis has underlined the utmost need of re-skilling and up-skilling the workforce to take care of the changing job role demands which is more pressing than ever. It is not only for current and future job roles, it also helps in overall development and retention of employees. Organisation need people who are receptive to continuous up-skilling. Since technology has gained ground in accelerated manner in all processes, L&D has to make best use of it. In person class room training has to move to virtual trainings in remote working setup. Hybrid workplace culture brings more challenges to L&D as they have to develop innovative delivery methods to be used on digital platforms for creating effective learning by delivering short, impactful interactive modules. What was perceived as luxury function in big organisations, is now become a necessity for mid and small size organisations also. Learning now is not about technical skill only; it is also needed for increasing collaboration, flexibility and adaptability across all employees.

L&D has to focus on skill assessment, improvement and measurement to draw a clear line between the out of training interventions and business metrics to stay relevant. It has to be more responsible than earlier, more result oriented than earlier and more integrated than earlier.

May 2021 edition cover story about Repositioning L&D is an attempt to understand the intricacies, challenges, and possible way out to function and focus on issues in uncertainties and ambiguities through the wisdom of training experts.