As an organization, the people we hire remain the largest investment we make. In the current environment, retaining these valuable assets remains the larger challenge. In fact, after acquiring this asset, retention of talent is one of the most important measures, for which most HR folks exist.
Needless to say, if you have to focus on that one lag measure ‘retention’ you have to have everything going right under ‘people’ umbrella and its roadmap; acquisition, on-boarding, development with growth opportunity and even respectable exit if one decides to move on before retirement.
The journey of any new employee begins with on-boarding and quickly getting settled in the organization. However, it is just a beginning for new employees’ development journey to make him keep him engaged, motivated and performed throughout his/her career tenure.
Here, in addition to culture, process and environmental inputs, a structured learning roadmap plays an important role. In fact, these days, the young future leaders (from B School Campuses) keep asking about the learning opportunity and organization`s strategy around it during campus placement. They are ready to compromise on compensation a bit if organization is likely to provide relevant learning and growth opportunities.
Structured leaning is a series of on-going training events mapped to an employee’s career level and spanning the employee lifecycle, a kind of a curriculum approach that enables on-going learning. This approach has an added advantage that all inputs are not given in one instance. Not only does this avoid cognitive overload for the learner but also ensures that only relevant career input for a particular level is provided. A structured road map thus allows an individual to get the learning inputs at the point when he needs it the most.
This approach is useful for both; functional and behavioral learning. In the fast changing environment, particularly in service sector, even if the talent possesses earlier experience, there is a huge need to focus on function/domain specific learning offering as the products and services keep changing due to either macroeconomic or regulatory compulsions. Also, processes and systems are different in each organization and hence without such domain specific structured learning talent will be ineffective. At the higher levels, particularly for behavioral learning offering, most organization take the diagnostic approach linked to their strategic intent and pain areas of business. They first find out the important leadership competencies and map them to their current leadership behaviors/competencies through talent processes like potential reviews, succession planning etc. Once, the requirements are understood then structured learning roadmap is planned. There is a changed paradigm now on such offering. Unlike in the past, it is not only the class room sessions (less than 30%) but a lot of thrust is provided on self and experiential learning with structured review mechanism to see its impact and applicability.
A focused and structured learning across career levels allows efficient deployment of limited training particularly in a high turnover context. One of the biggest advantages of a structured learning roadmap is that it helps to build a foundation for an integrated curriculum across the levels and functions and allows for the measurement of performance improvement as a consequence of the training.
From the employee’s context there is a psychological benefit to a structured roadmap. It provides a sense of predictability about the employee path and a sense of confidence that they will be enabled for the activity that they are expected to do. This ties in well with one of the most important lever of employee engagement resulting in their retention for which, as mentioned above, most of us in HR exist……
Mr. Ghag joined HDFC Life in September 2009 and has been spearheading the Human Resource function since then. Before HDFC Life, he was associated with DHL Express as Head of HR for India and Senior Advisor - Quality and Processes (First Choice Programme) for South Asia. He was one of the important members of the board and has travelled extensively across the globe as a trainer as well as a participant of various management conferences.View Complete Profile
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