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Learning must become an integral part of work: Tarun Katial – ETHRWorld

Tarun Katial, Founder, Genius Inside
Tarun Katial, Founder, Genius Inside

By Khushboo Kumari

The Covid-19 pandemic can be better described as the famous drama scenes where protagonists open their eyes at a hospital and ask, “Main kaun hun? Main kahan hun? Main yahan kaise aaya?” (Who am I? Where am I? How did I end up here?)

Companies have been dealing with exactly the same situation amidst the ongoing uncertainties and the sudden need for continuous upskilling and reskilling of the workforce. The skills that were predicted by experts to come later in the workplace trend suddenly started to be in demand.

Explaining the criticality of the situation, Tarun Katial, Founder, Genius Inside, said, “Everyone realized what they had to accomplish in two years now had to be completed in two months, and I think for some organisations it took far less than a quarter to mobilize and reinvent their Learning and Development (L&D) strategies as they needed to digitize their operations to grow.”

Genius Inside is an AI-powered platform aiding personal and professional transformation. To know more about the nuances of L&D, ETHRWorld reached out to Tarun Katial, who explained the various aspects and future trends around the topic keeping the ongoing situation in mind.

Adoption of training and development sessions is not optional

As the sudden need for L&D rose, there were various challenges faced by organisations to meet which they went through the renovation process, Katial said.

“There was a home-based workforce, companies had to train the workforce continuously and, in some cases, businesses were required to completely reconfigure teams to meet industry demand for new skills,” he said.

Managers and faculty members in L&D had to change overnight from being instructors to being mentors or coaches. “Learning must become an integral part of work and not something that is forced upon learners when they are unprepared,” Katial said.

“Learning in the corporate world will continue to be rewritten by some trends we saw emerging in the latter part of 2020. One size fits all has been replaced by ‘Context is King’,” he said. The pandemic has accelerated the need for customized content with deep social interactions because the natural habitat — office — is missing in everyone’s life.

Continuous learning, need of the hour

Katial believes that learning has to be an experience and a journey that does not change because of ‘organisational objectives’ or where you work. “Learning should belong first and foremost to the individual. In a nutshell, learner-centric training,” he said.

According to him, learning has to be engaging, contextual, and fun. Talking about the situation of L&D right now, Katial said, “HR heads are now tasked to make learning measurable. Not always in terms of dollars but be measured in terms of behavioural Impacts.”

On-the-job learning is a priority. Learning has to be along with the flow of work. Learning has to be a daily routine,” he mentioned.

And, he said, “learning has to be supported and resourced.”

“Leaders are now tasked as teachers or coaches in their workplaces. Leadership programmes are centred around how to make managers better mentors and coaches, facilitation, effective team meetings, and managing conflicts,” said Katial.

Future of executive L&D

There are clearly two trends visible. Katial said the first trend is where people with hands-on experience pass it onto colleagues. ‘Organic Communities for Learning’, he said was in practice wherein “employees can practise what they are learning about and hence making communities of people share knowledge and learn together.”

The other trend that has now become visible is a steep increase in hiring activities, as compared to the last year. This 3X increase, in comparison to 2020, in both attrition and hiring has become common.

“Companies are constantly in need of fresh talent and in most cases with new skill sets,” Katial added.

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Source: https://hr.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/workplace-4-0/learning-and-development/learning-must-become-an-integral-part-of-work-tarun-katial/87398129

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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