Learning During the Pandemic

Nov 18, 2020 | Learning, Featured

Overview: Personalized learning to employee connect to need for enhanced communication. Watch the conversation between Jaswanth Sharanarthy, Head – L&D, Talent and OD, Cavinkare and Bharat Jain, AVP – Sales, Learning Technology as they discuss the role of learning in keeping employees motivated and maintaining product excellence.

Bharat Jain: Hello viewers, welcome to HCMguru. That’s a portal for industry speakers to share their views and thoughts. 

Allow me to welcome on today’s session, Mr Jaswanth Sharanarthy. He himself is an engineer and brings a lot of experience in learning and development industry. At present, Mr Sharanarthy is heading learning and development, organization development, as well as talent development in one of the very known organization, CavinKare. Welcome, Mr Sharanarthy.

Thanks for joining in, we’re very happy and glad to have you with us on HCMguru. 

Jaswanth Sharanarthy: Thanks, Bharat. Thank you, firstly, to be invited, I’m humbled and honored to be invited by GCube. 

So, I’m glad to be invited, again to speak about what we think as part of the industry. 

Bharat Jain: So today, we all are talking about how employees’ motivation in a remote working environment post pandemic situation, I believe, being a learning and development expert, we always talk about learning as one of the important factors to keep employees motivated. Please share your views how learning and development plays a critical role in keeping employees motivated in a remote working environment. 

Jaswanth Sharanarthy: Thanks Bharat. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to share you know, the insights from my own organization I think that will help viewers as well as you know people you know, industry veterans who are looking at this video. So, very glad to say that you know, we were digital ready even before the lockdown started. So, that’s one advantage which we have. Call it as a boon. The reason is because you know, the open culture which organization has and the flexibility of making the right decision at the right time and making sure with less of a hierarchy. It was a flat organization of structure in the organization, so, all these things helped us in creating a digital ready organization, especially with respect to learning at a very, very early stage. Earlier than when COVID happened. 

So fortunately, we were kind of digital ready in respect to the learning space all put together. So, we had things in place, we had platforms in place, we had processes in place, we had systems in place, because of which, you know, we were easily adapted to the situation in which COVID forced us to. 

Coming to how learning really helped the employees to be motivated with respect to their remote working. So, like I said, we onboarded a learning experience platform quite well before the COVID started. I’m sure most of the veterans in the learning and development arena already know what it is all about. 

So, it’s kind of an evolution like choosing our own learning path, individualized or, you know, very specific learning paths that each and every one of us, regardless of where you belong to and what you belong to. So, it gives a very clear learning path for each and everybody, depending on the competency gaps, what you are, what you have or where we arrived at – for each and every individual. So, of course, that is helping them in terms of motivating themselves by creating their own personalized learning and then going through their learning so that the competency gaps are closed. 

From the LXP we also have very detailed calendar which manages VILT, which is virtual instructor led training. Apart from that we also have couple of initiatives like Mindflix. CKMindFlix, which is where a person can share their learnings – of what he or she is learning over the LXP or over VLIT. Anything that is matter to the close-knit for the members of the community organization. So, this is how we create the power of shared brains which comes in, so that there is a compelling and good amount of knowledge which is imbibed by people who listen,and also people who share.

Bharat Jain: Great, thank you, Mr Jaswanth for sharing your thoughts and you rightly mentioned, features and strategies like giving personalized learning having systems and applications in place to do what’s your onboarding swift, as well as recognizing people through mechanisms like RNR, or gamification. LXP where people get certain suggestions around definitely keeps every individual every employee stick to their training interventions. So, thank you so much for sharing those views.

And definitely, the way you have added a lot of interesting strategies, making employees motivated through this remote working is really commendable. Now, let’s talk about FMCG industry, since CavinKare is one of the known organizations and brands when it comes to FMCG. When we typically think about any FMCG organization or related products, quality is something which comes on top of our mind.

Jaswanth Sharanarthy: Okay, so this, again, this goes back quite a time back, when we went along to do with the visionary exercise to come out with a new vision of the organization, mission of the organization, goal of the organization. So, one piece which very evidently came out, as you know, for us to work out on our manufacturing excellence, and excellence obviously stuck with the quality as the forefront and as the centerpiece of it.

So, we are looking at various quality systems to be up-ticked and, you know, bring back, bring in a lot of processes in terms of how we make our end products, as well as manufacturing excellence to be in a much, much better space is something which we’re looking at Bharat. 

Bharat Jain: And yes, I completely understand and agree with you that quality is the is the most, most important aspect when it comes to any FMCG industry. Now, we, our viewers would also like to know about what are the trends? We’re sitting in 2020 and typically, we talk about learning experience platforms coming in place or learning management systems are going towards more performance driven learning. 

So, according to you, what are those trending insights, where learning industry is going towards, and we can see in next five years within the sphere of a learning and development industry, when it comes to learning technologies, self-paced learning, performance driven learning and so on and so forth. 

Jaswanth Saranarthy: Which is predominantly coming up these days which I think you already quoted, which has more to do with personalized learning, because, each and every individual is quite unique by themself right. 

So, obviously, one individual is completely different from another individual right? So, the ability to gather knowledge or skill for that matter, or attitude, whatever we take an example of – communication skills or anything for that matter and just taking a basic skill of a person, which is communication skill. So, it completely differs from you know, what I am to what you are Bharat, so obviously the input should match to the requirement of the gap of each and every individual. 

So, obviously, personalized learning paths are making a very revolutionary thought process within the learning arena. So, definitely, you know, that’s something which everybody needs to harp on, because that is going to give a kind of a solution to the needs of the employees, the true needs of the employees – is what I think.

The second thing is how digital is going to transform the culture of the overall arena of training, and we all train people and things like that, so, we all take a lot of cues from 80% of the body language more than the actual word. Lot of organizations are promising that they are going to go permanently work from home. So, we as trainers should look at the 80% percent of then on-verbal communication as a cue in terms of how we moderate our learning, how we should moderate our design of training, how we should start delivering training.  

So, these are certain things which are completely missing at this point of time with respect to training. So, in case some practical research is done on that and if we get some solutions for that, I think that’s going to be a game changing in, the training and development arena Bharat. 

Bharat Jain: Interesting! you have touched a very interesting point. And in fact, a lot of industry speakers industry people are talking about, while we transform the complete training methodology from our face to face intervention to virtual learning, or virtual classroom trainings, where an important aspect comes from, what is my motivation level, what is my interest level on the other side.  

So, some technology should be our next big thing, will we be able to look at the motivation level of the learner while on a virtual environment. So that’s a very interesting topic to talk about. 

So we keep talking about these strategies, these motivation levels in a virtual environment, what you want to share for your peers of other organizations specific to FMCG industry, and what has worked well for you, in last six to eight months during the pandemic situation, which they might want to incorporate and might be helpful for your colleagues working in other organization, what would be that two or three mantras or points that you want to share from your experience? 

Jaswanth Sharanarthy: The first one, I’m sure most of you will be doing this, the first one is a very intricate and a very intimate employee connect, which we are trying to create within the organization. So that’s very, very important, because then the emotions are literally high for the employees owing to their personal situation, owing to professional situation, owing to the distance which has been created. Though we also see each other. 

So, it’s a beautiful world you know, you’re sitting where you are, me sitting wherever I am, but we are communicating each other. I think that’s a beautiful word which has gotten to this level of technology, easiness in terms of technology. So, definitely it’s a boon, but of course, it’s created a lot of distance between people to people. 

So how do we create that connect and give them the complete feel that, you know, everything is fine. That’s what we’re trying to do that we are attempting to get that straightened up for our employees, definitely. 

Second point is, you know, how easily do we even understand with respect to time, you know.If you get a product or if we look at any kind oftool to make sure that time is maintained or time which is taken for employees to work. Well we should make understand that this has nothing to do with policing the employees or making them fear about what is going to happen next if they found something not right with my way of working the strategy. But it’s about making sure how employees work and how we distribute the resources and we can distribute the workforce or we can distribute the time, everything you know, so that there is an equilibrium which gets maintained across the organization.

That’s the second point and the third point is obviously, how we can give them the comfort of handling new technologies. Because, obviously with the days to come we are going to come up with a lot of new technologies to make sure that the distance, be it in the virtual world they’re working to make it very, very close. So, when coming up with a new technology, what we need to understand is that this technology is to make sure that it creates a process between the employee and the management or for that matter, the HR and the employees or peer to peer. So, how do we create that communication? So, communication is the important piece.

Bharat Jain: So, you have touched base on employee connect, your touch base on communication and how technology brings hands on environment for people to do better and definitely in this virtual environment, trust, trusting your employees is another very important aspect of how an organization can help keeping their employees motivated in virtual environment. On this note, I would like to thank you, Mr. Jaswanth Saranarthy for your time and views to share with all our viewers. Please keep in touch and keep sharing. Keep learning. Thank you once again for your time.

Key Takeaway:-

  • Being digital ready is very important for an organization in the current world.
  • Employee connect keeps them motivated which can be achieved through learning.
  • L&D leaders should think about ways to make up for the lack of face to face interaction. 
  • Time management enhances performance and productivity.