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BW Businessworld

Training And Competitiveness: Building Small Businesses Into Learning Organizations

“If we see the workforce in the past used to be trained but the focus today has completely changed. We are facing the big challenge of reskilling our workforce as their core skills are becoming redundant and the other issue is of identifying the skills they need to be imparted with," said Kapil Mishra, MD, Columbus Global

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Building a strong community of committed employees is often a daunting task for companies. Amid newer challenges emerging in these disruptive times, organizations are often faced with the core issue of training and reskilling employees. Deliberating on this and other important issues and challenges, a panel of experts came together at BW Businessworld’s Growth Leadership Conclave & Awards to brood on how to build small businesses into learning organizations of today.

Talking about the change of discourse from training to skilling, Kapil Mishra, MD, Columbus Global stated, “If we see the workforce in the past used to be trained but the focus today has completely changed. We are facing the big challenge of reskilling our workforce as their core skills are becoming redundant and the other issue is of identifying the skills they need to be imparted with.”

Kunal Sen, MD, Korn Ferry Futurestep India affirmed, “The big question is how much we should invest on people as the readymade talent is not available and also, do we have the appetite to continuously keep investing in our employees? We need to find that optimal situation where we have to recognize as to have we invested enough in our employees. Also, learning is important. Finding that balance is vital. It is important that employees see themselves as work in progress rather than just finished products. They need to own their own learning and careers.”

Shubika Bilkha, Business Head, The Real Estate Management Institute- REMI, The Annet Group also said, “The young workforce these days are not looking at building their careers with an organization for the next 20 years. The new millennial workforce is coming into the system with a mindset of learning and the second important trait is resilience and staying relevant.”

Bobby Gada, Founder, Lost Society also said, “The key is to give employees some kind of recognition and give them a little training to build on their capacities. Retaining talent is a big challenge and also firing people at the right time is hard but needed. We need to focus on who is taking care of what.”

Talking about the cons of technology at workplaces and the challenge of keeping the employees motivated with the need for the organizations to have a framework for dealing with it, Manashi Kumar, HR Head, BARC India emphasized, “Young professionals open their phone a lot of times in a day’s time during their shift. Hence, they are interrupted a lot by technology. This is one reason why they are not looking at deep relationships at work as they are constantly connected with the world outside their workplace. Hence, their entire work-life balance is the challenge.”

With all these issues, and the new generation entering the workforce, young people bring in a different kind of challenge, thus, designing the skilling programmes and communities is important. The traditional metrics do not work anymore as people these days are looking at every opportunity of learning something new. Self-learning is vital.

Asserting on the need to do away with the traditional forms of learning and focusing more on structured programmes, Bilkha said, “Today our repository of knowledge is google, live classrooms are redefining the way students learn. Hence, creating a competitive framework is the need of the hour and the need to move away from the traditional ways of learning is all the more important today.”

Talking about the technological aspect and how to build a competitive workforce around it, Gada affirmed, “Technology has penetrated in peoples’ lives in a big way today. It is important to entrust people with responsibilities and not deadlines.”


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