Employee learning is equivalent to Business Growing

Employee training and development is not just about retention but it also helps attract, engage and hold back the best people in your business which at the end of the day will define your performance as an organization: Ruhie Pande, Chief Human Resources Officer, Godrej Properties


We live in a very fluid environment these days and with things changing so rapidly that trends in vogue today become a thing of past tomorrow. This superfast pace calls for constant engagement and employees/ professionals today have to constantly learn, unlearn and re-learn. Up-skill and re-skill has become the new mantra for employees looking to make an engaging and meaningful career.

Employee training and development is not just about retention but it also helps attract, engage and hold back the best people in your business which at the end of the day will define your performance as an organization. Given modern day business dynamics, as companies grow and the competition intensifies across levels, it is imperative to have a comprehensive talent management strategy to keep up pace with changing times and providing employees with ample avenues which support an Organization’s growth path. One of the key facets which differentiates great organizations from good is the Human capital capability.

When taking on the Learning and Development route, it is very important to associate an employee’s goals with an organization’s goal. Your organizational goal has to be compelling enough for employees to put their heart and soul into their jobs. When employees see this connection, they will go all out and give it their best shot. Likewise from an Organization’s stand point, long term business performance will depend on how employees are provided with enriching careers and growth and development plans which keep them motivated and at the top of their game.

Some of the things that could really help create a win-win for both employees and organizations are fostering a learning culture in the Company. From the day a new employee is on boarded, there needs to be a persistent focus on knowledge, self-improvement and development. Such environment not only helps improve skill sets but also fosters a culture of creativity and innovation.

Chart-out an elaborate career development plan by identifying the needs of the employees and promoting self-led learning at work by providing the required support, resources and tools. One model that really stands out when it comes to learning is the 70:20:10 principle, which works on the philosophy that 70% of learning is ‘on the job’, 20% comes from interaction with others (informally) and 10% from formal training or workshops.

Create a culture of collaborative learning via knowledge sharing platforms like workplace (facebook at work). You can even link online platforms to an e-learning hub and offer a bouquet of e-learning courses specially designed to suit diverse employees across the Company like we have at GPL.

GPL is a fast paced, performance centric and young organization (average age is 34). Employees are given fast track growth, we hone and encourage young leaders and aspire to give early empowerment to our employees. And therefore a comprehensive framework of learning and development is a must at every stage of their career.

The Coach Captain Operating model – At GPL we have four growth regions where we want to be market leaders and follow a region led operating model. The Coach-Captain philosophy wherein individual regions are running as SBU’s which are being coached and supported by the coaches at the Head Office. The coaches create learning plans basis business strategy, they work with the L&OD function to create individual, cultural and cohort focused programs. We have a concept of “Functional Academies @ GPL”

which are created for each function to take care of learning needs. E.g Customer interaction labs, MDP for construction, Sales Academy for sales and so on.

‘Stepping Stone’ our induction program is poised to ensure people from non real estate get a foundation of real estate fundamentals and basic knowledge of terminologies used in this industry. The program uses a blended approach to learning: online & classroom. The online gamification engages a new joinee, where s/he actually builds a tower using some of this knowledge online.

Leadership focus on learning- The Management committee at GPL is committed to foster a learning culture and to that purpose each MC members runs Master classes on their area of expertise. These topics range from deal structuring to women leadership. GPL MORE is our effort to hone our future leaders. This structured mentoring program has our leaders don the hat of coaches and mentor our Hi potential talent. Our leaders also run strategic projects with cross-functional teams participating in them. These projects are closely monitored by HR and Strategy and provide a platform for our young and ambitious talent to get exposure, give their ideas and hone their business and leadership skills.

Behavioral training- our Godrej Capability Factors provide a behavioral competency framework basis three pillars – Leading Self, Leading others and Leading Business. Various interventions are planned around specific competencies for these.

360 degree Feedback - There also needs to be a comprehensive feedback mechanism in place which allows employees to both give and seek feedback from colleagues as well as the leadership team. Our 360 degree feedback which is carried on annually for all managerial employees is one such tool which can be used effectively by Organizations. This process provides a yearly detailed feedback to each employee on their strengths & areas of development.

Apart from the above Companies also need to appreciate the fact that each employee is different and offer varied learning choices to ensure that employees can have the right to choose what works for them. Some of options could be inter-departmental transfers, off-site training, transfer programs, part-time post work learning courses through academic tie-ups with Universities, so on and so forth. At GPL we give our employees the opportunity to participate in an E-MBA which is sponsored by the company.

Training has innumerable benefits for both employees as well as organizations; but the real challenge is that many organizations see training as an expense and not an investment. Over the years, research has proven that the key expectations that employees have from an organization apart from adequate compensation are quality of leaders, opportunities for career progression and development opportunities.

There is a misconception that providing training will lead to higher attrition with employees looking for greener pastures but the truth remains that with proper training and recognition, employees feel that they are valued and recognized and look forward to grow with the organization. I would like to end with our belief and theme at GPL – “when employees Win, GPL wins

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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