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No pain, no gain

Sachin Adhikari |

Who doesn’t remember the first day at work and the anxiety, energy and excitement it brought? The little appreciations meant so much and motivated us to do better. However, only some continue with the same zeal while most burn out within a few years into the job! Growing responsibilities bring with them stress, competition and, somewhere, the whole essence of enjoying what we do is lost. Increasing levels of attrition point to the fact that most of us are hoping that a change in role or environment will help bring back that lost excitement.

Organisations are struggling to keep up with this trend and trying to figure out how to keep their workforce motivated and satisfied in their current roles to be able to perform at their best. Lack of motivation is the primary reason for this lapse and smart companies are putting aside a huge chunk of their budgets to train employees and resurrect the excitement and commitment.

Most of us don’t realise that India is moving towards one of its biggest challenges. Research shows that if we continue at the current pace, we will soon have a skill gap of 75-80 per cent across industry sectors. The poor availability of skilled people as opposed to the large number of available jobs is bound to have an enormous impact on the socio-economic environment and growth of the country. Thus, whether it is retention of talent or preparing fresh talent to work effectively, both would be critical for any organisation’s sustained growth. Though India is learning to shift from being a “knowledge economy” to a “skilled” one, the pace is very slow.

There are two gaps to be addressed — technical as well as employability skills or, more appropriately, “life skills”. Generally, while analysing the skill gap, the focus is more on technical skills imbibed through vocational and technical training. However, the bigger concern is the receptiveness of participants towards training programmes offered in the corporate environment.

Transformational training will help bridge this gap and prepare organisations to keep pace with the growing challenges of the corporate world. The traditional training approach focuses on imparting knowledge and skills but this is not adequate to awaken leaders and transform their behaviour by habit-building. Corporates need to have an open mindset and be receptive to new ideas, suggestions and recommendations from entrants who would like to contribute and share inputs with the team. Additionally, what is also important is the student’s ability to familiarise with the corporate environment, learn the processes, understand people&’s behaviour and be a positive contributor.

Transformational training aims at the overall development of an individual by improving his/her interpersonal and communication skills, leadership development, teamwork, time management and conflict management, thus building overall self-belief. It motivates individuals to have an entrepreneurial mindset and see every challenge as an opportunity that helps him/her to succeed in professional and personal endeavours. These transformed individuals are self-motivated and align the organisation’s objectives to their personal goals and wellbeing of the community.

An effective transformational training module must incorporate;

Analysing the needs specific to the target group and assessing requirements.

Designing, which implies the module created by experts who understand the current role of participants and map their needs, thus enabling them to not only leap to the next level of hierarchy in the organisation but also to attain contentment in their personal roles.

In most organisations, there is no dedicated team for talent development and HR teams are not completely accountable for the training programmes designed for employees. Thus, it is important to adapt such programmes that will include evaluating how well participants have learned and if they can apply their skills in their day-to-day work.

Vision, principles and strategy are always shared top-down and knowledge from on-ground execution is shared bottom-up. Instead, there should be a midway approach that will involve:

Encouraging change agents, mentors, counsellors in the organisation who will drive the change under a visionary leader.

Self-motivating the employee so as to align his/her personal goals along with organisational needs and objectives.

The writer is chief mentor, Achievers Zone.