Suma PN Explains 3D Process Of Training Management at Otis India

“We are leveraging technology in talent acquisition, talent management as well as talent development through training management by following three-phase process - 3D - diagnosis, design and delivery,” says Suma PN, Director- HR, Otis India


Suma PN, Director-HR, Otis India

The workforce across the globe is witnessing changing dynamics of working styles and are likely to head towards a hybrid work model. Key functions of HR has been reshaped from conventional to digital and learning and development is one of them. HR leaders have to focus on customizing their L&D interventions by adopting digital and virtual methods addressing employee’s skill requirements. Along with providing customized training, there is a need to focus on understanding employee’s working environment as well.
In an exclusive interaction, Suma PN, Director HR, Otis India shared detailed insights on how HR leaders are on a way to gradual transformation and customisation of L&D interventions and what kind of challenges and resistance they face from employees’ end in hybrid work culture?

1. There is an obvious significant shift in learning and development methods and techniques because of digitization. How are you addressing the challenges to make the process of integration smoother?

The process of integrating new ways of working can be smoother through constant and effective communication, creating awareness and ensuring the employees have the right skills and resources to work in the new normal. Change management tools are highly effective in preparing for change and managing change in the organization. The ‘New Way’ needs to be in alignment with the organization’s overall strategy, mission, vision, culture, values and needs to be driven from the top.

Every organization is made up of diverse teams. Individuals across teams, come with certain background, beliefs, values, perspectives and thus the speed at which one accepts or adapts to new ways of working, varies. Therefore, it is important for any organization to make efforts at building a holistic, inclusive workplace, where diverse thoughts, views and opinions are heard and respected. Challenges linked to adapting to a technical change can mostly be overcome through structured training programs, providing the right infrastructure and process guidelines to navigate the change. Barriers to adapting to the new ways can only be overcome through constant communication, re-enforcing the change, allowing room for failure, celebrating success brought about by the change.

2. What is your approach and strategy to overcome the resistance in adopting the change of L&D functions from conventional to digital?

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to faster adoption of digital technologies for communication and business, across the world. We at Otis recognize that sustainability and growth for us today depends on us embracing technology and our employees adapting to the digital effectively. We are leveraging the technology in talent acquisition, talent management as well as talent development through training management and delivery. 

Our Learning management system is state of the art and has elements of AI and Machine Learning built into it and we are conducting series of virtual sessions across the country to ensure the employees understand the benefits of the tool and help in maximizing their learning. We were aware that embracing technology does not happen on its own, it needs concentrated efforts. We started the digital transformation journey in 2019 with the objective of appraising all employees on the developments in digital and the need for each one of us to embrace and leverage the developments happening in this space. Since early 2020, We have been conducting training sessions including technical and developmental through virtual platforms. We will continue to provide orientation, training, coaching to our employees to maximize the wide range of progressive digital tools launched by the organization.

3. How effectively are you developing customized training need indicator?

At Otis India, we focus on creating organizational capability via employee upskilling. Our organizational core competence is focused on technical and functional expertise. Training interventions are determined based on the business challenges and criticality of the needs. 

We follow a three-phase approach -- Diagnosis, Design and Delivery. The most important aspect is that delivery for us is not limited to workshops but about continuing to work on small yet meaningful actions in partnership with stakeholders to address the business issue, which necessitated the intervention in the first place. The bulk of the learning design and delivery is done through in-house technical and functional resources. Leveraging of in-house resources has been beneficial for us given the nature of our business, product, and safety standards. Sustained investment in training and coaching for our in-house trainers has helped us to develop several skilled trainers and facilitators, across functions, job levels, and the length and breadth of the country. For key development programs, we partner with external facilitators, consultants, and top universities that offer certifications.

4. From a leadership point of view, how can you keep employees adaptable to instant changes in any sphere?

The phrase ‘Change is the only Constant,’ has never been truer than it is today. Leadership plays a pivotal role in driving organizational transformation. Constant and frequent leadership communication, messages through town-halls - virtual or otherwise, e-mailers, employee connects and social media postings, to ensure employees’ not only stay connected to the organization, but also to stay current on the happenings of the business and the changes affecting the business internally and externally. This sets the tone for the change and builds a sense of preparedness, a readiness to embrace the change.

Leaders demonstrating the right value system and behaviours focused on empathy, empowerment, collaboration and innovation are key to fostering the right organizational culture. We must create awareness and desire in the employees to embrace change. Appropriate orientation and trainings need to be imparted. Organizations need to help the employees to go through the change process and adapt to the changes. Intelligent employee communication, subtly reminding employees of the change and having champions of change across the organization, also help bring in quick adaptability to instant changes. Any change initiative must preferably follow a top-down approach. If senior leaders commit time and resources towards establishing the change, transformation at an organization-wide level will be smoother – this is something that we’ve seen at Otis India.

5. What are the most important lessons you've learned from the last year, that you'd like to take forward?

Communication, reaching out and connecting with employees is extremely important to keep people informed, energized, and motivated. Among the many things that 2020 has taught us-- through collaboration, innovation, commitment, and an ability to quickly adapt to change, have enabled us to accomplish many things. The past year has clearly established that future business success will be built on a ‘digital’ foundation. In the new normal and new world of work, remote working and hybrid working are great opportunity to be explored. These key learnings are what we are actively utilizing in our plans and business goals for 2021.

6. What are Otis India’s plans to nurture its pool of talent?

Otis India provides various avenues for professional growth through its internal job postings, relocation policies, inter-departmental transitions, career, and succession planning. Based on their competency levels, Otis employees have the option to explore various career opportunities within and outside of their country.

With a keen eye on employee development, structured training programs in technical as well as development areas are made available to the employees. Specialized in-house programs are tailor-made to address the 2specific developmental needs of our employees. Our learning management system is state-of-the-art and has elements of AI and Machine Learning built into it. We have been conducting training sessions through virtual platforms, developing internal trainers, providing encouragement and resources to employees to leverage the wide array of digital tools made available to them. Our Employee Scholar program (ESP) supports the employees who are seeking to further their formal education and develop additional skills to enable new career opportunities within the organization.


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