Trends & Thoughts of the Future for Learning in the BPS Industry
As evolution progresses from one human generation to the other, learning is the only constant in the change which will be seen in each of these generations.
Organizations are also seeking innovative ways in which learning could be facilitated to its employees bringing in more effectiveness in their actions, which eventually would result in better performance and productivity of the individual at the workplace.
Today in organizations, it is becoming increasingly difficult for learning professionals to find ways to not only help employees in organizations learn through the requirements, to perform their jobs, but is also as important in the manner these learning activities are carried out to maximize performances and outputs.
With diversity observed in different domains and nature of work which is undertaken in companies, the training teams are left with a choice to follow and adapt to the Andragogy method of learning or the Pedagogy approach.
While Pedagogy uses an ancient form of learning and is practiced in the early learning cycle of an individual, it’s the Andragogy method largely used by companies to train its individuals considering it being more mature in nature. This however in today’s times is not just it and has to be repackaged and reprogrammed for the learners coming through the evolution process.
While it’s a constant dilemma amongst companies on how to maximize outputs and achieve their business goals at a faster pace than their competitors, its only imperative to invest in out of the box thinking and practices at the workplace which would help facilitate this movement. Hexaware has already started checking on these and are on the path to redefine some “learning” practices for their employees to seek a more engaging and motivated environment as it’s outcome.
Here are some pointers which could pave the path for learning, some being practiced and some as best practices for learning approaches.
- 1. Top Down and Across Approaches
While it’s imperative, to run an engine, all its moving parts must be activated, similarly to drive learning amongst teams, all personnel in the company right from the top to the bottom rung need equal involvement and rigor. At Hexaware, right from the CXO to the HR teams and beyond are involved in taking learning decisions for the employees. Recently this has also been introduced as part of their key result areas where management is aware of the learning needs of the organization and drives their larger teams in being involved in the learning process of its employees at all levels. This approach continues to break stereotypes around learning being driven by the employee alone.
- 2. Gamified Learning
Contact centers, who largely employ youth in the average age category of 20-27 and cater to the millennial generation often suffer from steep attrition rates hovering at 30-45%, making employee engagement imperative for their survival. At Hexaware, this has been introduced as a part of its elearning platform (LMS) where leaderboards are created, learning levels are decided and points to be earned for course completion are planned. Process training too has it’s share of computing points for trainees attending the classroom training sessions via the leaderboard process which involves multiple groups competing at various stages and criteria’s only to be awarded the best participating teams at the end of the program via an RnR process. As a result, there has been a radical shift in the participation and motivation levels, due to the above-mentioned activities where competition amongst peers and groups are observed and recognition is sought to boost their morale.
- 3. Training as a Retention Strategy /Train to Retain
Employees these days are looking for an answer to “what all do I gain by joining this company?” One answer apart from the ancillary ones they seek should be “additional investment in their knowledge levels and grooming”; which could be addressed via the Talent engagement and Development teams. Custom programs basis skill and role could be chalked out as part of the career path initiatives planned by the HR teams. This fulfills the employee’s 3rd most desired need related to upskilling, with remuneration and promotion coming first and second respectively. At Hexaware, Organizational development programs for the budding managers are conducted basis skills and competencies mapped, where they are trained on aspects of people management, performance management and self-awareness alongside critical domain/functional training sessions done by critical teams like WFM, Finance, Operations, Quality etc. thereby taking an all-round approach to make them battle ready for their next assignment as individuals leading people and processes.
- 4. Mobile LMS & Micro Learning
In the day and age of cell phones, on demand videos and app-based solutions; learning needs to be on demand and easily accessible. Byte sized learning should be incorporated for today’s employees with short attention spans, who can acquire learning on the go. App developing companies are devising ways by which this could also be facilitated virtually to bring in the concept of global learning and knowledge sharing along with access across a common platform. Content screening and security needs to be relooked to impart this type of learning in BPOs, especially if the content is part of confidential in house /client information. A secured way of accessing secure content can then be devised.
- 5. Inculcate Verbalized and Culture Building Learnings
Even though robots and AI platforms dominate the proceedings; it’s imperative that we invest in people centric continuous learning programs involving empathy, acknowledgement, language & vocabulary building, health awareness, selling & negotiation skills and soft skills to name a few, which could help align employees directly towards company’s values, directives and it’s performance overall.
Bottomline, learning practices currently would need to be innovative, experiential and equally engaging for the workforce to explore, thereby helping fortify their knowledge levels for better productivity at the workplace, for the long haul.
Quoting a phrase, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into actions rapidly and in an engaging manner is the ultimate competitive advantage”