At This Juncture, Emotional Quotient And Virtual Quotient Are More Needed Than Intelligence Quotient: Avesh Kumar Jha, Hinduja Global Solutions

In the conversation with BW People, Avesh Kumar Jha, Senior VP, Organization Development, and Performance Management, Hinduja Global Solutions shares his insights discussing the future of training and Learning & Development; skill gap in the organization, and crucial values and skills for everyone to stay relevant.


What are the challenges you faced in shifting from the conventional setting of training employees to the digital setting?

One of the biggest challenges was in terms of providing the required IT infrastructure to all the employees in their homes and ensuring necessary continuity in operations with stable internet connectivity. The IT teams were always at the disposal of the employees to solve their issues at hand in the brick & mortar environment but in the remote working, resolutions were taking time due to various factors.

Another challenge was the technology readiness. People who are tech-savvy wouldn’t need the help of the IT teams to solve the slightest of the problems. These people themselves would troubleshoot the problems and solve them.

Then the challenge was regarding the home environment. Finding a suitable work corner within the house where there is enough privacy, power back-up, minimal noise, etc. where the employee can focus, was a bit of a challenge.

Do you think it is the right time to learn and attend training as everyone is struggling with a tense and unstable mindset?

Indeed, this is the best time. Presently, the entire world is battling against COVID-19. Not so pleasing news is coming from around the world such as no fall in the number of COVID-19 cases, the recession is likely to come, job losses, etc. Learning something new or reinforcing anything that you already know which is relevant today and tomorrow, keeps you engaged and away from these types of negative surroundings. It creates constructive values in you and also adds up to your knowledge and competencies. Moreover, it helps you to stay connected with your colleagues in meaningful discussions. Presently, most organizations have enabled work from home for their employees. This has saved the office commute time of the people which used to be significantly high especially in the metros. This time can be deployed into learning and professional development which will make you more skilled, resilient and relevant.

What is the future of learning and development or training?

Currently, everything and everyone is in an uncertain situation. We’re not sure if the world will go back to the brick and mortar environment or will completely change to the remote working environment. However, one thing is very clear that these two working models will co-exist albeit in different percentages. This makes it very clear that the learning and development (L&D) will have to cater to both working environments – brick & mortar and remote working. Therefore, usage of more digital platforms, self-paced learning, micro-byte learning and assessment of knowledge and its application, and using a combination of in-person and virtual tools would all find more prominence.

What challenges are you foreseeing for elder people to catch the same pace in technological advancement and innovation in AI? 

This has not so much to do with age rather it is about savviness to technology. To a large extent, it is dependent on the learning and unlearning quotient of the elderly population. If the elderly have both these quotients in place, it will not be so much of a struggle to adapt to the current situation and the emerging future from it. ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way, a lot of learning factor comes with the willingness of the person as well.

How are you addressing the skill gap at your organization?

Our skills and competencies in serving as a people manager don’t change too much but the only new variable on the plate is how to do all of these things remotely. Our focus is on keeping our workforce more engaged and involved in a remote environment through digital platforms.

At this juncture, the Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Virtual Quotient (VQ) are more needed than Intelligence Quotient (IQ). This doesn’t mean that Intelligent Quotient (IQ) be replaced but has its own importance. There has been a genuine improvement in the empathy skills being demonstrated by everyone at their workplace which increases the EQ demand. VQ essentially demonstrates effectively managing your stakeholders – people, clients, operations, and others – virtually hence the demand for this competency is certainly on the rise.

At HGS, we have our services providers through whom we conduct online assessments on EQ and VQ as needed.

According to you, what is the one most crucial value that employees or people must have to cope up with this disruption?

Trust! Trust that this will pass, COVID-19 is not going to last forever.

The organization needs to trust its employees that they will be focussing on the business, client matrix, etc. and therefore, not police them to an intrusive or intimidating extent.

The employees have to trust the organization and their managers that if their managers are checking on them, it is not for policing but as a genuine concern towards their well-being and to identify support in helping them become successful in these disruptive times.

One powerful quote that is keeping you upbeat and inspired?

“It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude” – Zig Zigler, American Author, and motivational speaker.

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