Change In Perspective On L& D

Aditi Mukherjee, Executive VP and Head of HR, National Commodities & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), shares her organisation’s workplace initiatives


Learning & Development was viewed as that function of HR that was a nice thing to do, but not considered critical to business. But now, that has changed and capacity development is viewed differently. Aditi Mukherjee, EVP and HR Head, NCDEX, says industry 4.0 has brought upskilling, rescaling, unlearning and relearning to the fore and the role of L&D Department and L&D in charge has become supercritical.

“A shift has happened from classroom-based training and doing one or two most basic trainings to what it is now, largely skill-based and capability-based enhancement of people which has a direct impact on the business top line as well as the bottom line.”

She describes her own organisation’s transition in this regard from traditional practices to a completely different journey of ‘anytime, anywhere learning’, digital adoption. In this context, she specifies that in NCDEX, people, managers and leaders are involved in every stage of the talent lifecycle management, and it’s a round-the year process.

Further, she describes, “The learning that we deliver to our employees is based on not just behavioural but techno-functional aspects as well. There are multiple modes of delivery of training that we do. One of those apart from the classroom-based workshops that we host, is NCDEX collaborative learning club, which enhances social-based learning. We have technology boot camps, and we have our hyper-personalised e-learning modules which we assign to our people based on their individual development plan.”

Mukherjee emphasises the role that technology has played in reaching out to the last person and for last mile delivery of the learning to the remote locations. She adds, “While HR is facilitating the entire ecosystem by which we are delivering our capability enhancement skills, but actually, it is run and led by individual departments, learning champs, our inner facilitators who are basically subject matter experts and who do workshops through an NCDEX collaborative learning club. The whole ecosystem supports the learning environment.” She adds that HR need not control the narrative, it needs to be given to the employees, who today are much more professional, much more knowledgeable.

At the same time, she believes that the L&D function should be treated appropriately. There needs to be defined goals and targets, and a reporting matrix. All of this needs to be done in a process, she emphasizes.

Wellbeing Measures

Adjudged the winner in this segment, Mukherjee shares what her organisation has done in this regard. “We had a very clear vision, and without a vision, you cannot really run something which is transformational. Our vision is to build a healthy workplace, which improves the quality of life of employees. First and foremost, before embarking on any change journey, it is important to take stock of what we already have, like reviewing existing policies.”

Mukherjee describes that NCDEX already had medical insurance policy, personal accident insurance policy and term life insurance, and provided employees with the preventive, annual health checkup. But these were all individual initiatives, not stitched together in a proper structure. What was needed was a framework aligned to the vision. “That’s when we decided to look at this whole piece from the concept of NCDEX Health Plus - total health and life solutions.” As Mukherjee describes, it’s also about financial security, wherein people in the organisation need not worry about financials when they are hospitalised or in case of an unfortunate accident.

The second important aspect is prevention, about which Mukherjee says, “We worked on the preventive health checkup, what are the offerings are. We segregated it gender-wise and age-wise, and we cover a lot of things for women, as well as for men. And we ensure that our employees go for it every year.”

Having said that, an organisation can only do up to a point; health consciousness needs to be to be ingrained in employees. “And the best way to ingrain this in behaviour is to actually motivate and reward and recognise employees to take charge of their own health. We also need health ambassadors, who are role models in their own way, and driving certain changes in their behaviour in their everyday lifestyle,” Mukherjee adds.

In this, and in other matters, NCDEX empowers people to drive HR function. “That’s why, just like we have learning champs, we have role models of health who are rewarded.”

NCDEX organises round-the-year activities pertaining to physical health, mental health, spirituality and also life-saving skills.

Mukherjee says it’s important to have a wellness call at the institutional level, what she terms the ‘North Star’, which defines how we are progressing in this journey.

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