Organizations are recognising the advantages of developing talent internally and investing to identify potential successors. We had the opportunity to work with Borosil as they undertook this challenge in their organisation.

Borosil is growing exponentially, with a distributed workforce and plants in different geographies. They are eager to identify & develop their internal talent with an aim to identify potential successors. To help them achieve this, we worked with them to design “Saksham”. We conducted a Hybrid Assessment Center, worked with the learners to create their own Action Learning Plans and then used a mix of practice coaching & a 12 month development journey to help them achieve their goals. Borosil’s senior leadership has been able to see the early fruits of “Saksham” – having been able to identify their HiPos and train them to take on further responsibilities!

I have the pleasure to present an interview with Prashant Deshpande (Head corporate HR, Borosil). We asked him about the learning from this successful implementation and are thankful for his continued support!

  1. Can you give me an overview of the project?

SAKSHAM is the Blend of an Action Learning Plan and Development Journey.

We began by identifying responsibility levels in the organisation and competencies for each. We ran a Hybrid Assessment Center for all the participants: an offering of online and face-to-face assessments.

We then asked individuals to build their own Action Learning Plans (ALP). In this, every individual details their short & long term aspirations. We tried to match individual ALPs with our organisational needs. 

We then moved on to the Development Journey on Jombay’s iDEV Learning Platform. This journey ran on development areas (Planning & Organizing, Team Management, Problem Solving & Decision Making, Customer Focus) identified post the assessment center & the ALP.

  1. What was the business need of running this exercise?

Borosil is growing & diversifying exponentially. Our leadership agenda encourages the development of home grown management & talent. Our leadership was keen to develop a strong middle management talent pipeline. 

We wanted to identify potential successors for the critical positions identified in the group and develop them  as an internal talent pool while also facilitating lateral job movement.

  1. What has been the current approach to leadership development at your organisation? 

We strongly believe when we are able to give an opportunity to internal talent it gives them the confidence to lead and develop. Ensuring higher engagement of the internal workforce has a cascading effect in boosting the confidence of our teams and in turn also enhances the brand equity of employers.

The challenge of course is to understand WHICH key people to develop. We chose to use Jombay’s scientific tools to assess talent across various roles and competencies . And then further analysed the results to decide WHAT competencies to develop the talent on.

  1. What was the format of your previous initiatives? What have been some challenges that you faced in the past when running learning initiatives?

Our previous initiatives did not identify WHO to develop and WHAT competencies to tap. We have been running training rooms and classroom sessions. There was also some amount of on the job training. We had not tried implementing digital journeys. Overall, we wanted to build a more individually focused development initiative. 

So this time we realized that building an ALP was the key. We made the Saksham program more focussed and there was a conscious effort of measuring on the job learning. Narrowing down on WHICH talent to develop became key. We also ensured that the aspirations of the individual and organisation were matched to ensure the best outcome for both.

  1. What was your experience of running the Saksham journey at your organisation so far?

The Saksham initiative has been an overall success & gained a wave of momentum among our employees, making them motivated & confident. By being able to sync individual and organisational goals, our people feel valued.

iDEV was a good start to a digital journey for training and development. It allowed flexibility and self-paced learning. People could access learning on-the-go. Micro nuggets of wisdom were the key to understanding and learning complex concepts .

We had a range of learners- some were more enthusiastic and others had to be pushed. Jombay supported us in treating each kind of learner differently to ensure that all were adoptive to the journey. Quizzes & competitions and leaderboards on the iDev platform were helpful in building motivation and pull for this journey.

Now we are hoping to build more customised journeys for each learner based on the priorities that came up in their ALP. 

  1. What benefit did the managers see in running this exercise? Could you talk about some stories that emerged?

Managers and even our Managing Director have seen the benefits of the Saksham Program. We have had various instances where we have received positive feedback about improvement in the specific competencies that were being taught.

Some of the skills learners built have also allowed previously stalled projects to take off through better cross team collaboration & teamwork and gotten appreciation from the MD himself. This is a huge encouragement for our learners to pursue this path!

  1. How will you evaluate the success of this initiative internally?

This has been a promising journey with a good start. We have been able to identify our high performers and they have been put on a development path. So far iDev has taken them on a solid, custom and thoughtful learning intervention and I hope to see great results in the coming quarters! 

  1. What were some of your key learnings for implementing a successful and scalable learning/leadership development exercise?
    • It is important to identify key people to succeed with. To get the right pool of talent, performance and potential have to be measured suitable to the role & level.
    • Having a scientific assessment center helps to identify the right NEEDS of development. Understanding the different needs across the cohort helps to build buy-in for the entire program.
    • When choosing some projects for implementation it is important to pick something specific to the organization’s goals and to support it with a guided review. 
  • Commitment from top management & mentors is necessary for the success of a program like this.
  • Curating a set of mentors and coaches across the organisation who are in sync with journey supports the growth of the learners.

We will continue to work with Prashant and his team at Borosil and hope to see great success for “Saksham” in the coming months! If you too would like to run Jombay’s assessment & development centers for your organisation’s internal talent, do get in touch!

Warm Regards,

Mansi