It is wonderful when we are able to be a part of the learning cycle of employees at the organisations we work with. One of the notable examples of this has been our work with Voltas.
We worked closely to make sure that a talent pool was developed to be more future ready. Right from a customised development journey, learning support and reiterations, we were able to champion their need for continuous learning!
Our simple, engaging learning interventions, allowed learning anytime & anywhere and encouraged habit formation and behavior change.
I proudly present an interview with Sweta Dikhole (Learning & Development Team, Voltas Ltd.). And as always, I am grateful to Shripad Thosar (Head – Learning & Development Team, Voltas Ltd.) for his leadership & continued support!
- What was the business need of running this exercise?
We firmly believe that leadership development is a continuous need for Voltas. It keeps them future ready for roles across multiple levels and teams.
At the same time, retention of any learning that our programs impart is critical. We realized that there is a need to support any learning for longer duration – for 6 to 9 months.
Our teams are spread across various geographies. It is difficult to bring them to a common physical location together. Being able to connect these employees in a learning journey became a key need.
- What has been the current approach to leadership development at your organisation?
At Voltas, we try to make a talent pool ready for use across all levels and also across divisions. We focus closely on succession planning and try to have a holistic and 70-20-10 (Experience-Exposure-Education) approach to leadership development.
We want to make sure we prioritise the idea of continuous learning.
- What were the key competencies that you were looking to develop?
Voltas identified the top 6-7 competencies for each band and validated these.
We then conducted an Assessment Center (DAC) for a set of managers. Based on the DAC report, we designed an IDP for them. The top cohort attended courses at the premium institutes we have tie ups with and ALL of them went through a customised development journey.
We picked 2 Competencies for each individual to develop as per their IDP.
- What was the format of your previous initiatives? What have been some challenges that you faced in the past when running learning initiatives?
Previously, we used only classroom sessions that were customised to a role, or team.
We also sent employees to a special training via certifications, conferences etc. For leadership roles, we also enabled coaching interventions.
One of our challenges has been bringing together people operating in multiple geographies, time zones and schedules.
Being able to involve managers in an employee’s learning journey has been another hurdle.
And of course, retention of learning is one of the foremost priorities as well. One-time inputs don’t help to convert learning into habits/behaviours.
- What was your experience of running the development journey by Jombay at your organisation so far?
The cohort that underwent this learning journey had an extremely positive experience. They found comfort in the learning format. And were really able to apply their learning at work.
Those managers who were involved too saw changes and improvements in their team members, and conveyed this to us.
The content was great! It made the buy-in from participants very easy. Converting long format concepts into catchy, easy to understand microformats made it powerful!
6. What made a noticeable difference to the participation levels?
The nudges by the Jombay practice coach made a difference! She enabled case study discussions on the whatsapp group, that connected the entire cohort. She was also able to use game mechanics and run interesting formats like a Quizzathon. This enabled a huge jump in engagement levels.
She was able to customise how, when and how often she nudged them. The nudges were creative & timely!
From the Assessment Center to the IDP to the Development Journey, each individual was called and briefed. We drove the importance of it being a personal and customised learning journey that would benefit their career growth.
Because the learning journey was personalised, buy-in was easy and very high.
7. What were some of your key learnings for implementing a successful and scalable learning/leadership development exercise?
– Game mechanics, quizathons and leaderboards were able to drive high engagement.
– The entire journey should have a solid start and a defined end, and we should be able to close the loop so that participants see value in the learning process.
– Involvement of managers makes the learning journey more worthwhile for the participants.
– We shared participant progress with managers – to keep them informed and engaged
8. How will you evaluate the success of this initiative internally?
We were able to see high engagement for the cohort of participants.
The fact that activity completion rate has been high is a sure sign that they have enjoyed, seen value and learnt.
After each assignment/activity, Jombay captured the learning experience to understand how participants were able to apply their learning to their real work.
Managers who were involved also gave us sound and positive feedback, reporting that they did see improvement in their team.
I look forward to our teams innovating together to bring new ways of “closing the learning loop” in Voltas!