Know The 3E Framework Of Learning At Tata Chemicals

“Organisations must not see automation as a threat to replace talent, but as a tool to improve the quality of work and enable higher efficiencies. Hence, the youth of today must be equipped with the necessary skill-set that allows them to function and thrive,” believes R Nanda, Chief of HR and CSR, Tata Chemicals


With all of the lessons learned from the pandemic era, HR now plays an even more critical part in forming the companies of the future. Currently, integrating learning into the daily flow of work and allowing people to actively improve throughout is setting the expectations of employees.

Over the years Tata Chemicals has undertaken various initiatives, addressing the fact that in the post-Covid-19 world, as young people are called upon to contribute to the recovery effort, they will need to be equipped with the skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to future disruptions.

Are the L&D strategies and plans ready to take a plunge in the metaverse future of work?

Metaverse is the next step in the evolution of collaboration in the workplace and education. By merging immersive learning modes like VR and AR, metaverse learning takes a giant leap ahead. Learners get access to knowledge, they can co-operate and communicate in real-time and in a more tangible manner by navigating their avatars through a 3D, dynamic universe. This type of learning is relatively new, but it appears to be positioned to have a significant impact in the years to come as we return to hybrid workplaces. Despite the fact that the platform is still in its early stages, the science underlying it is strong.

However, organisations must first recognise that before embarking on a metaverse training programme, it is important to create a complete learning strategy. L&D professionals will have to consider both the pace and potential adoption rate of change that would be prevalent in a multi-generational workforce context. Companies will need to examine how to educate and train personnel with new equipment and software after the metaverse has been fully grasped. Here the adoption of People Analytics will play a major role. Thanks to the growing volume of big data – enterprises will be able to quickly assess which L&D initiatives are most impactful and enable faster course correction and reallocation of resources.

How would HR as a function, work, workforce and workspace change in the year 2022?

The HR function has undergone numerous changes in the last two years owing to multiple factors - the changing employment landscape where traditional companies compete for talent with the new age ones, efforts to improve diversity, the worldwide pandemic, and working from home have all influenced the way HR is required to manage and respond to workforce needs. The pandemic has altered the way we work today. HR experts are expected to take on the role of champion coaches, helping firms through anticipated challenges and becoming a crucial component of an overall strategy and planning. HR departments would also become more agile, with increased collaboration resulting in faster decision-making. HR will have to work in close partnership with line management and leadership to fine-tune existing/form new rules and identify best practices for talent strategy, in addition to troubleshooting routine operational issues.

So much is happening in the space of skill-building yet there is an existing skill gap. According to you, how could an organisation help better the situation? According to you, what are the major skills one should work upon to be relevant in today's time?

According to the World Economic Forum, the technologies and jobs are being transformed, due to the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and more than 1 billion people will need to be reskilled by 2030. The overarching scenario is that organisations, governments, and society must collaborate to ensure that no one is left behind. The company's flagship Apprenticeship Training School (ATS) in Mithapur has been empowering the local youths for over 60 years with a goal to provide them specialised industrial training and apprenticeship that enables them to access better employment opportunities.

As the world moves towards Web 3.0, technical and digital skills will hold utmost importance in the coming years. Organisations must not see automation as a threat to replace talent, but as a tool to improve the quality of work and enable higher efficiencies. Thus, in order to participate in a successful future collaboration of super-teams, the youth of today must be equipped with the necessary skill-set that allows them to function and thrive.

Talk about the initiatives undertaken by Tata Chemicals in skilling- upskilling employees?

Learning, Inclusiveness & Trust, Fun and Empowerment are elements that are embedded in our people practices and initiatives. At Tata Chemicals, learning goes beyond classrooms. For on-the-job training, we ensure exposure to cutting-edge technology, networking opportunities through trade and professional groups, access to online learning platforms, and the development of internal trainers. We employ the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) framework of ability, engagement, and aspiration to identify leadership capabilities. A 3E framework of Experience, Education, and Exposure is used to enhance leadership abilities. We offer future-ready contemporary concepts and learning experiences to our employees by partnering with various digital learning platforms and ensuring different pedagogy of learning. We have democratised and incentivised learning with the objective of not only building continuous learning but also supporting those who want to take ownership of their development and career by providing an annual “Learning Incentive”. Our employees are also given an opportunity to explore career mobility options both within the company and the larger Tata Group. There is also access to cutting-edge technology as well as networking forums to help build subject matter expertise.

With the changing times, employees' expectations are also taking a new shape. What did you observe in terms of changing employee expectations on L&D, skilling front? How could it impact retaining the top talent of the company?

According to Deloitte Insights, people increasingly regard the "opportunity to learn" to be one of their top reasons for obtaining a job. Technology innovation, growing demand for new competencies, changing employee expectations, shifting labour demographics and inclusion/diversity strategies, new workforce models, and the evolving business environment with all its regulatory changes have all contributed to disruptions in the nature of work. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a rethinking of the role of Learning and Development (L&D) in organisations, especially as to how learning may be given in the short term.

Additionally, expectations for more human-centred learning are driving a need for more personalisation in L&D. Here, leaders must also be proactive in assisting distributed employees in learning from one another despite their distance, developing innovative non-classroom learning approaches, and thus ensuring that learning is accessible everywhere—in various formats and to all employees.

Is the top leadership of the company remains 'the know-it-all' band? As an HR leader, how would you improve the learning culture of the company?

In the last couple of decades, there has been a significant shift in the way knowledge resides within organisations compared to the past. Newer generations coming into the workforce are more digitally savvy, learn through collaborations and do not necessarily carry the notion of working in the same organisation until retirement. So it does become essential for an organisation to foster a deep learning culture within, which is both age and hierarchy agnostic. As new technology forces change in every industry, leaders who promote employee learning while overlooking their own risk fall behind. HR professionals must collaborate to foster a culture of seamless learning and knowledge sharing and keep raising the bar by appropriate investments in time and resources.

Managing talent remotely is similar to keeping the long-distance relationship going. How are you keeping yourself on the top of your game?

HR faces a challenge and an opportunity – in rethinking its planning strategy. In today’s remote-hybrid scenario, static plans will no longer be effective, and agile planning will be used to continually restructure the workforce as business and skill requirements evolve. The rebuilding process will necessitate a comprehensive examination of people, processes, and systems, as well as frequent changes. Hence post-COVID future for HR looks vastly different with the need to combine the physical and virtual worlds as practically as possible. Constant communication across all stakeholders is a critical ingredient and one has to put effort to create the perception that you can be the “go-to” person for getting any issues solved, as you should be seen as a “problem-solver” and not as a “problem-carrier”.


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