Cross – Border Cross – Cultural Tensions! Can Peer Learning hold the key?

Cross – Border Cross – Cultural Tensions! Can Peer Learning hold the key?

Peer Learning Reducing Cross Cultural Tensions

Can teams across borders reduce their differences through Peer Learning?

 

Employee Engagement across borders is one the most challenging part for any HR Manager! A big facet of globalised businesses is the rapid movement of talent. International Human Resource Management has become important because of the rapidly changing, highly competitive global environment. Cutthroat competition for new markets, technologies, products, investors are now making organisations send employees on international assignments more frequently. 

 

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Workforce Trends, 68% of organisations agree that a mobile workforce is an enabler of business and talent strategies.

 

These employees are referred to as expatriates. They are sent from a parent organisation to live and work in another country for a long period of time. Their goal there can be to develop new markets abroad, manage foreign subsidiaries, develop international skills, knowledge and transfer technologies.

 

Thus, their job involves managing the relationship between headquarters and that country. They work with and/or coach local employees, implement global business policies, customise the company offerings to suit local needs. They focus their cross-cultural interaction skills for getting the assignment done. Their interaction is characterized by clearly defined hierarchies of structural and cultural dominance and subordination. 

 

However, one big challenge for expatriate employees is the need to understand and adapt to the local culture, specifically learning culturally appropriate behaviour. For example, An employee from the parent organisation is used to group brainstorming an idea with their co-workers. However, in the local culture, people prefer to research ideas individually. The expatriate might thus encounter difficulty in adapting to such a culture. Similarly, an expatriate who comes from a culture that encourages employees to ask questions will be in for a sudden shock when they find out that asking questions is frowned upon. Such instances make it difficult for the expatriate to adjust.

Project Globe

According to Project GLOBE scholars, “the dexterity to adjust one’s behaviour is a critical requirement. Not everyone can do this; to many people, it may bring into question one’s own identity”

For expatriate employees to achieve success on the goals set by the company, they must use their skills, apply and adapt to the culture in a broader sense as compared to focusing on getting the assignment done. Transnational Leadership helps in overcoming the global vs local conflict faced by the expatriate leaders.

 

Transnational employees help the organisation to be highly innovative, globally efficient and locally responsive. They build a heterogeneous team; this team recognizes the significance of diversity and inclusion in a global environment. They don’t focus their skills on getting the assignment done. Instead, they use their cross-cultural interaction skills on a daily basis to deal with differences on multiple business fronts like customers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders. 

 

Transnational managers learn multiple foreign cultures, trends, tastes, perspectives, technology and approaches to conduct business. Thus, they have a global business perspective. Due to this, they are successful in creating a culturally synergistic organisational environment. They do not follow any well-defined hierarchies while interacting but treat all employees as equals. This largely benefits the employees as well as the organisation.

Can Peer Learning Help?

 

To foster transnational leadership and organisation can explore “Peer Learning” They can select and assess global talent by making the employee aware of their own personal cultural, emotional, moral nuances. When all the employees meet and collectively reflect on their formative years at the organisation, it creates awareness. They can then be given international assignments and cross-cultural exchange opportunities, to act on this awareness. The earlier that these experiences are offered in one’s career, the longer-lasting and more accelerated the development will be.

In order to provide employees with such an opportunity, organisations can introduce cross-border assignments. Such an assignment will require multi-cultural and diverse teams. When the employees in such a team come together they become aware of the challenges and can use their awareness to find a way out. Team members also cultivate cultural sensitivity. After the employees identify the challenges and break them into manageable tasks, peer learning can enable them at all the levels, to take roles that personally benefit them allowing them to address risks. This risk-taking is backed by support and expertise gained due to networking among peers. 

 

Developing and communicating regularly on the progress and quality of work done in an assignment also increases the communication at different levels, fostering an affective culture. Transnational employees not only blend well with their peers but also become a critical part of the administration. Thus, these assignments can be a real career enhancer for the employees and having communicated its importance, employees are intrinsically motivated to develop skills. Enhancing the already existing talent in the organisation by using their fellow workers proves to be effective to the employees as well as the organisation.

At BHyve, we make use of technology to blend the boundaries and make the knowledge exchange easily available at your organisation. We transform the workplace into a “Learning Exchange Zone” where employees constantly learn from each other and upgrade themselves. Our sharp recommendation engine is constantly evolving to guide employees through each step of their experience. 

We not only engage the employees within the organisation but also across various cultures. We save you from the hefty costs paid to an external trainer by locating subject matter experts within your organisation.

To know more about what we do connect with us at www.BHyve.io

Let’s Rise from Local to Global with BHyve.

 

Neutral to Affective! Can Peer Learning Steer Your Organisational Culture?

Neutral to Affective! Can Peer Learning Steer Your Organisational Culture?

Netural to Affective Organisational Culture

Neutral Culture to Affective Culture. Which one do you think works well? Millennials definitely think the latter is better.

 

If organizations are a constellation then every employee is a star adding their own shine to the constellation.”

 What makes an organization unique is the expertise of its employees.

Thus, it becomes paramount for the organizations to provide the employees with an environment where they can maximize and make optimal use of their expertise.

Every organization has its own mission, expectations and values that guide employee performance, productivity and engagement. Thus, the culture of an organization is very important since it encompasses the values and behaviour that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of a business.

Unfortunately, while talking about organizational culture, a lot of importance is given to the cognitive mechanism of culture. The central role of emotions in building the right organizational culture is ignored.

All organizations have multiple interactional levels. Between top management and junior management, between co-workers, between employees and customers and so on. Various emotions are at play at these interactional levels. The culture of an organization is shaped by these emotions. Eg: The interaction between the police inspector and his superior is marked by obedience. In a similar way, various emotions shape the interactions taking place at an organization between different levels which ultimately shapes the culture which in turn impacts the business. Every culture has strong norms about how readily emotions should be revealed.

The degree to which people express emotions and the interplay between reason and emotion in their interactions at different levels in the organization determines whether that particular organization has a neutral or an affective culture.  

In an emotionally Neutral organizational culture mostly experienced in Anglo-Saxon and Asian countries, it is the reason that dominates one’s interaction with others. Such a culture values self-control, calmness, rationality and rejects going to emotional extremes.  Expressing emotions, opinions (directly or indirectly) in certain situations is considered inappropriate. Such a culture not only experiences the absence of informal conversation but also is aloof and cold. Employees learn that it is incorrect to overtly show feelings.

On the contrary, in a high affectivity organizational culture found in the Middle Eastern and Latin countries emotions are considered as playing a crucial role in the decision-making process. Employees can freely express their emotions. Expressing these emotions provides an opportunity to find immediate outlets for their feelings. Along with the acceptance to express one’s emotion immediately, openly and passionately, the art of constructive arguing and debate is also promoted.  

Employees and managers when being managed or while managing to respond differently based on the culture. In a neutral culture, they tend to avoid warm, expressive or enthusiastic behaviours. These are interpreted as lack of control over your feelings and inconsistent with high status. They look for small cues that the person is pleased or angry and amplify their importance.  Employees in an affective organizational culture interpret detachment, ambiguous and cool demeanour negatively such as disdain, dislike, and social distance.

Consider an example: An organization is receiving complaints from its customers with regards to the way the sales team is handling their issues. They are not responsive and very cold in their behaviour. It is evident that the culture in the organization is neutral due to which their customers are facing an issue. In such a scenario it becomes important to transform this neutral culture into an effective culture. This transformation is marked by an awareness of the customer’s emotions and in turn, reciprocating those emotions by being empathetic. In a neutral organizational culture, employees do have emotions but they restrict their expression. This increases the possibility of experiencing burnout and disengagement.

21 century belongs to those organizations who understand the power of human emotions

Organizations today are constantly investing in various strategies to transform their culture from neutral to affective. One of the most unique ways to facilitate this transformation is via Peer Learning.

Rather than perceiving a co-worker as a competitor (as in a neutral culture), a co-worker can be perceived as a “peer” in an affective culture. By tapping on the already available skills and expertise employees get to learn as well as practise. These sessions help the employee to “talk”. Sharing their opinions and experiences makes them empathetic and concerned about their teammates. Peer learning makes the culture of an organisation simple, easy and accessible!

When an employee shares an issue that was causing distress, others experiencing the same emotions or having been through these emotions can be a great source of help. The employee feels empowered which in an otherwise neutral culture would lead to burn out. An employee finds psychological support. They can awaken the H.E.R.O within them. Constructive argument and debates can pave the way for innovation which can help in retaining and improving an organization’s uniqueness.

“Thus, be a constellation that expresses emotions and not just a pattern of random stars!” At BHyve, we help your organization to be a constellation that is not just a random pattern of stars but becomes those stars, just as employees that are connected, engaged and contribute positively to an organization’s productivity. In order to boost motivation and engagement, we gamify the entire peer learning process which helps you to transform your organization’s culture in a gamified manner that incorporates managers as well as employee’s individual needs

Building an Open and Continuous Learning Oriented Culture with Priyancka Dastur from Khaitan & Co.

Building an Open and Continuous Learning Oriented Culture with Priyancka Dastur from Khaitan & Co.

Define Workplace Learning in the context of the legal industry. What are some areas you focus on? 

Workplace learning in context of the legal industry is all about how well lawyers understand and apply the law that they learn in law school. The on-the-job training enables them to learn from each other’s experiences, watch and learn from their seniors, their clients and from every transaction they are a part of. It’s all about having that ‘solution oriented’ approach and coming with the most innovative yet practical solutions for your clients.

As a lawyer by qualification and someone responsible for L&D at a law firm, I instinctively tend to focus more on legal and technical skills, ensuring that our lawyers excel at the law and stay updated at all times.

If you’re not updated, you’re not relevant” – lawyers need to be updated with developments, even if it is not in their field of specialisation

Our inhouse training sessions, what we call CLEs – ‘Continuing Legal Education’, focus on just that. They are designed to keep our lawyers abreast with legal developments and give them the platform to engage with and learn from each other. In law schools, they are taught the law and at the Firm, we focus on training them how to work the law and live under it.

We are of course mindful of the fact that client expectations have changed. A lawyer’s role today is not merely that of a legal advisor but also as a business consultant and more importantly of a trusted advisor. A 21st century legal practitioner is expected to invest in non-legal training, focus on developing negotiation skills, transaction and client management skills, business development skills, have a fair understanding of the clients’ business, sector/s they operate in and most importantly have that commercial/ business mindset.  Training in these areas and building the required sector expertise is also what we focus on.

Lawyers are extremely busy, with each minute being valued in money. How do you tackle this to help employees find time for Learning & Development?

Making time for learning and self-development is a challenge for every professional today. While CLE calendars are put in place for the entire year, we do see last minute dropouts and low attendance but that’s primarily because inevitably lawyers do get pulled into urgent client calls, meetings and deliverables.

L&D is one of the parameters taken into consideration during a lawyer’s performance appraisal. We have put in place a CLE Credit Policy that sets out certain number of minimum credits that required to be accumulated by lawyers every year. We would like to believe that this works as an impetus and encourages them to take time out of their busy schedules for these training sessions.

We also ensure all our CLEs and training sessions are live streamed and recorded. Lawyers who miss sessions can then watch them on-the-go and at their convenience. Self-directed and self-paced learning works best. Most importantly, if lawyers see value in the training that is imparted, they make time for it no matter how crazy their work schedule is. It is on us to deliver high quality training sessions and make it worth their ‘billable hours’.

 

How much does the culture of the organisation affect workplace learning? What can be done to enable a learning oriented culture?

Needless to say, the culture of an organisation plays an extremely important role in ensuring continuous learning and encouraging people to operate with a growth rather than a fixed (‘I know it all’) mindset. It definitely emanates from the top – our senior lawyers and partners are truly invested in the growth and development of the younger lawyers. They encourage and support us in all our learning initiatives. As a Firm, we believe in sharing knowledge and learning from each other’s experiences.

I think to enable an open and continuous learning-oriented culture it is important to:

  1. Value learning and recognise it as a path to mastery. Let people know that it is okay ask questions, take risks and make mistakes. This will only further collaboration, sharing of knowledge and an open mindset to learn and grow without any inhibitions or insecurities.
  1. Lead by example or ‘walk the talk’. For a continuous learning culture, it is important to have the buy in of key stakeholders / leaders and also ensure that they themselves practice what they preach. A leader’s behaviour often influences the team’s performance and approach to learning. If the leader wants the team to read or pick up a new skill, the leader ought to know it or learn to do it himself.
  1. Evaluate performance based on learning. Recognise and reward people invested in not only in their growth and learning but also their peers.
  1. Give meaningful and constructive feedback. It is hard to acknowledge that you need to learn or be open to learning when you are unaware of your limitations and areas of improvement. Feedback even if negative, is important to share.
  1. Make learning easily accessible. Adult learners have different styles and preferences when it comes to learning. Some prefer face to face, some online, some blended. It is important to offer a bouquet of options to learners if you want them to stay tuned in!

What are some of the initiatives you have rolled out at Khaitan & Co. and found success with?

Over the years, we have tried and tested many learning initiatives in different formats. There are a few key learning programmes that we try and organise every year. Together with our senior members as internal trainers, we have some outstanding external faculty empanelled with us to help design these programmes for an impactful learning experience. Other than the CLEs which focus on the hardcore legal training, some of the other areas/ initiatives we focus on are:

  • Onboarding Programme – Pathfinder: Our onboarding programme for the campus graduates is quite exhaustive. Sessions during the weeklong onboarding are run by internal and external speakers who help these young lawyers transition and make that mindset shift from campus to corporate – helping them learn new skills as they start afresh. Associates at each level are supported as they transition from one level to another – with clear expectation setting.
  • Legal Writing & Drafting: An essential skill for every lawyer today. This is something we do for all junior associates. While we used to do these sessions in person until lockdown, we are trying to move to virtual sessions and get some e-learning content on it too.
  • Negotiation and Client Communication Skills: The importance of this skill set cannot be emphasized enough. We have been working with an external trainer for the last five years now who runs these sessions for our mid to senior level lawyers in person / online and they are extremely well received.
  • Business Etiquette & Cross-Cultural Skills: While all the legal and functional skills take precedence, the importance of soft skills cannot be overlooked. Our lawyers interact with some of the most high-profile domestic and international clients. As brand ambassadors of the Firm, it is important that they demonstrate the right business etiquette, understand different cultures, make intelligent conversations and conduct themselves with poise and sophistication.
  • Some other areas in which we organise learning programmes on are networking and business development for lawyers, law firm economics, how to win and retain clients, leading teams and delegating effectively.

How do you use technology to build an effective continuous learning experience for your employees? 

  • In-person and classroom sessions have always worked best for us. But given how busy our lawyers are and of course the ‘new normal’ we are living in today, we have recognised the importance of technology in learning.
  • Since lockdown, we have all learnt to adapt to learning via platforms like MS Teams, Webex and Zoom. From one-hour CLEs to full day workshops and orientation programmes, we have done it all. Our inhouse IT team has been terrific in these trying times, supporting us, and coming up with new solutions to keep us engaged and connected at all times! We work very closely with them to identify the right learning systems and technology we can use to enhance learning experiences.
  • Creating e-learning content inhouse is also in the pipeline. This year infact, together with the weeklong virtual induction sessions for our campus batch, we are also exploring an Onboarding App for them which will be launched prior to their official joining date. Policies and processes are being gamified and weaved into a storyline on the Firm, our culture and values to make this as engaging and fun for them. We are hoping this will be well received and prove to be a valuable investment by the Firm.
  • Adopting legal-specific new technology, replacing out-dated, older systems with cloud-based solutions and being open to automation helps us be more efficient, not just for ourselves but also for our clients.

3 wishes for an HR Genie

  • Become more tech-savvy, and automate every single HR and L&D process available
  • All organisations start considering L&D as an investment in their people and not a cost center
  • Give me the power of the HR Genie!
Awaken the H.E.R.O in your Employees: Leveraging Psychological Capital

Awaken the H.E.R.O in your Employees: Leveraging Psychological Capital

Capital is the blood flow of the organization. Capital in business is mostly associated with physical/tangible assets. Come to think of it, Google is not Google because of its logo. What makes Google, “The Company” is its employees. The value of any organization is in its employees. This brings us to the concept of human capital.

“Psychological Capital” is an extension of Human Capital

 Psychological Capital a term coined by Fred Luthans, is a construct that can help in handling the human capital issues. It states that along with focusing on educational development, organisations should invest in psychological development of their employees. It comprises four dimensions; HOPE, SELF-EFFICACY, RESILIENCE & OPTIMISM. Each dimension has been linked with overall workplace attitudes, performance, work happiness/engagement, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour. It is also considered as an important factor for leadership development and influence. In order to have a long-term competitive advantage, organizations should build tacit knowledge of the employees.

It is important to note that investing in each dimension has its own benefits however developing all four will lead to better results since the sum of all dimensions is greater than its parts.

HOPE

According to Synder, Hope consists of an employee’s ‘will power’, their determination to achieve their goals and ‘way power’, the ability to formulate multiple plans while facing hindrance in order to achieve the goal. Way power helps the employee to deliver the task successfully and it is hoped that enables way to power. A 2007 research found that hope had a positive effect on employee satisfaction, organizational commitment and work engagement. Employees can enhance their wellbeing by developing hope.

In order to develop hope amongst their employees, managers can promote Cognitive Maps, wherein the employees can be guided to develop a mental movie of how they plan on reaching their desired goal. This will clear the ambiguity, make the goals specific, measurable and relevant. A complex goal should also ideally be broken into bite-sized portions. For hope to prevail it is essential that the employee perceive them as attainable.

 

SELF-EFFICACY

Every employee in the organization will face different challenges. They have to examine what needs to be done (outcome expectancy) and then examine their own capability for doing what is required. (efficacy expectancy). Their perception about their ability to gather motivation, resources and course of action in order to face the challenge is termed as self-efficacy.  Bandura explains self-efficacy as, “people’s belief about their capabilities to produce efforts.” To get started the employee should first believe that he can produce the desired outcome.

Employees with high levels of self-efficacy perceive challenges as accomplishable if given sufficient competencies and efforts. A 2007 research  revealed that self- efficacy is related to socialization and retention of new employees. It also has a mediating effect on occupational stress, burnout and engagement. The good news is that employee self-efficacy can be developed!

When employees start to doubt themselves, managers can help them traverse their past journey where they have experienced success. Past success reinstates the belief and enhances the levels of self-efficacy.  Managers themselves can be a role model.

When employees have seen their manager overcome an obstacle, they are inspired to believe that they too can come out of this. Especially if the employee sees himself as sharing some similarities with the manager, self-efficacy rises. When an employee will face an obstacle it is highly possible for him to experience fatigue, fear as well as resistance. However, if the manager discusses these psychological responses, it can help the employee view the same reactions from a different lens. This can increase the levels of self-efficacy and lead to enhanced performance.

RESILIENCE

A 2008 survey by Optum  found out that among 800,000 employees, half of the employees in India suffer from stress. Another survey, conducted by 1to1help.net, showed that the proportion of workers at high risk of suicide due to unmanaged stress has grown to 8% of all counselling cases in 2018 from 2-4% two years ago. Millennials especially are at a high risk of experiencing stress. Data shows that there is a need to manage the work stress experienced by the employees.

However, stress cannot be avoided completely in any high performing environment. In such a scenario, resilience comes to rescue. Rutter defined resilience as an employee’s ability to manipulate their environment successfully in order to protect them from negative or adverse consequences. Luthans extended this definition and added the ability to “bounce-back” from such events. Thus, employees who are resilient have the coping resources that help them move on in life after experiencing a stressful event. Saugata Gupta the managing director at Marico said, “There is so much uncertainty and ambiguity in the environment that it leads to stress. It is the job of the leaders to ensure that they learn to absorb the stress and not pass it on to employees”

Managers can encourage their employees to face reality rather than asking them to stay positive. Thinking positive leads to the expectation of a positive outcome and if such an outcome is not seen it exhausts the energy resources. Seligman’s PERMA model could be used by the managers to help the employee find meaning even while they are enduring hardships.

OPTIMISM

While Resilience talks about bouncing back after experiencing a stressful event, optimism enables the employee to persist in the face of obstacles. An optimistic employee is able to assess their external, temporary circumstances.  “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favour” this quote by Rumi, explains the mindset of an optimistic employee. Now, this doesn’t mean just making an assumption baselessly.  Instead it means appreciating the moment and viewing the future as a source of opportunity. Managers can help their employees learn and develop optimism. Reframing their situation from a positive lens. Promoting the right question is necessary. Rather than answering their “WHY’s” (Why am I going through this?)  employees can work on finding an answer to “WHAT” (What is it that I should be learning?)

 

Leveraging Psychological Capital can result in a responsive, agile and empowered workforce.

Luthans and Youssef in 2017 found out that Gamification can be employed in order to include all the four dimensions of PsyCap.

At BHyve, we help employ the PsyCap Techniques backed by gamified principles to enhance the employee’s engagement, commitment and well-being. To know more connect with us at www.BHyve.io

A Data Driven Approach to Workplace Learning: Interview with Pramit Chaudhuri

A Data Driven Approach to Workplace Learning: Interview with Pramit Chaudhuri

What are the most important skills for employees to adopt and succeed in the new environment ushered by Covid19?

I can think of 3 skills that I feel will be relevant as workplaces change because of Covid19.

Project Management
One of the trends in the last couple of years, and one that has absolutely accelerated because of Covid19, is a shift to Gig Economy. A larger chunk of workplace teams will now be freelancers to work on projects. So, employers will expect employees to have strong coordination skills, be able to liaison with multiple parties, and deliver results on time.

What is going to make this even more challenging is that employees will need to form new teams and still show peak efficiency, like consultants. Relationship based working will cease to exist and having good Project Management skills will be crucial. This is specifically true in non-IT industries, which are now looking at digital transformation.

Tech Savviness

Notwithstanding tech and product innovations, for the larger set of folks, this refers to adoption of a tech mindset, being able to handle new solutions that come. One of the challenges we face when launching new software is getting people to adapt to it. And the big worry is, not using these effectively, can make people irrelevant.  To give an example, most organizations have workstyles which are more traditional, more office based. The introduction of a ‘Work from Anywhere’ policy which will need employees to be tech savvy. 

“A person not having a mindset to adopt the technology may not be able to perform in a post COVID19 setup.”

Time Management

While this has always been relevant, as teams go remote, a lot of work is delegated to meet certain deadlines. Typically, when a task is allocated, the manager is physically present and thus aware of how busy or occupied the team member is. They can therefore make an estimation on the expected delivery time for the task. With remote work, employees themselves need to manage their time, and be able to prioritise tasks. Employees love the idea of ‘work-from-anywhere’ but it’s only a benefit if they are able to strike work-life balance, and still deliver on their work.

These would be the top skills; I believe should be the focus of learning as we move towards new ways of learning.  

 

What are some of the most effective technology innovations in Workplace Learning that you look forward to?

Traditional learning methods are so deep rooted that it becomes important to foster a change mindset in order to incorporate an effective learning initiative. My initial experience has mostly revolved around a classroom centric, traditional approach towards learning. Most employees were unfamiliar with the regular use of technology. However, with the development of a changing mindset, they adopted all new policies and schemes and most employees are comfortable with new ways of learning.

Effective learning initiatives are driven by technology and a growth mindset can be promoted by a shift in attitude, that is by perceiving technology not as a hindrance instead an enabler to perform the task. 2 effective learning technology innovations that I look forward to are:

1. Real time learning dashboards

Business needs are dynamic. Sometimes this upskilling may not be strong enough to respond to the market in the way the organisation might want to do. With digital learning and dashboard in the picture, L&D managers would be able to view the dashboards on a regular basis and they would be able to understand which solutions are working and which aren’t.

“A lot about digital learning is push and pull; some solutions will have a pull catered by the external environment, some solutions will require a push and other compliance forces. In order to understand which force is a push or a pull it is important to have the visibility of data based on the metrics which define the success of the organisation.  This is something that interest me and it will help me have a more data driven approach towards learning”

2. Learning Experience Platform (LXP)

The traditional LMS has no bar on content. There is too much knowledge around, it becomes difficult to know which article to read. For an average learner looking to quickly upgrade himself, the abundance of information becomes a challenge. LXP helps the employee or learner to focus on their approach.

 This will also reduce the tendency to depend on the L&D team to provide a learning solution; so, they can then free up their mind space to work on more effective solutions and design an intervention which is more organisation based. I look forward to working with people who have worked/explored with LXP or have LXP products.

How do you measure the success of a learning activity?

I believe the Kirkpatrick Model involving 4 levels, is the most practical model to measure the success of a learning activity.

Level 1 talks about whether the learner has enjoyed the learning which can be measured with the help of features like ‘likes’, ‘comments’ etc.

Level 2 helps to understand whether the learner has learnt something or was he simply engaged. One way to measure would be with the help of quizzes based on the learning.

Level 3 further explains how the learnings can be applied at the organisation. Perhaps a manager could use a pre and post training analysis tool to see the result.

Level 4 is the most difficult to attain most of the organisations get stuck at level 3. Level 4 explains the linkage between individual learning objectives and organisation’s objectives.

In some areas which cannot be quantified, it does get difficult to measure the cost of training with its success. In such a case, behavioural changes can be measured. Dashboards will be a game changer. Data will give you new insights into the programs, the challenges; all the mental models related to learning will be changed by the data that will come.

 

    “Data seldom lies. Data driven approach has only one direction and when you follow that, the qualitative analysis takes a backseat. With the right technology, all the things that sound subjective at the moment can be quantified through formulas in weights and averages.”

    How does an organisation’s culture help in making learning a priority for the employees?

    The way employees look at learning depends on their belief that learning is going to shape the outcome that they desire.  This belief is determined by the organisational culture. Thus, an organisation’s culture becomes a parameter to make learning a priority for the employees.

    Culture is something that people respond to at the workplace and how they respond to the workplace depends on the organization’s culture.

    To facilitate such a learning culture, learning needs to be focused on what the employee needs and these needs should be tied to the organisation’s needs. Carrot and stick approach could be used here. Culture determines how learning is not a tick mark activity instead it can be viewed as worth being a reward. However, if an employee is not continuously upskilling then bold talent management decisions have to be taken.

    The other concept is, employees have to understand that learning can be a reward for learning as well.

    Learner’s agility can be facilitated by creating learning ambassadors and employing the 70-20-10 approach. This indicates that only 10 percent is focussed on structured classroom training while employees are encouraged to learn majorly on the job and from others. Culture plays a big role in ensuring this. Employees need to be encouraged to learn from failure and each other’s mistakes.

    “To build a culture is not a 5- or 10-year project, it’s a project which has no timeline, it’s a continuous process’. With the support of leadership, it is possible to achieve this in optimum time.”

    3 wishes for an HR Genie

    • Learning to be a top business need in next 5 years
    • A widely accepted “Google” for learning – repository for learning
    • BHyve to have a great launch and be the stepping stone for my first two dreams
    Getting into the Work Flow : Employee Engagement Hacks!

    Getting into the Work Flow : Employee Engagement Hacks!

    If you are an avid reader (I can vouch for it since you are reading this amazing blog), you must have caught yourself at least once reading the novel and completely forgetting the surroundings. Let’s say you started at page no 108 and when you closed the book it was 394! (or even more?) You would hear your siblings/friends/spouse say, “How long did you take!” whereas it just felt like an hour (at the most) to you. WHY? Because “YOU WERE IN YOUR ZONE!”

     We often observe famous personalities (eg: Nelson Mandela)  are impressed by the ease with which they carry out the task at hand, how they control situations rather than situations controlling them! This state of being is termed as “FLOW” It is a positive mental state of being completely absorbed and immersed in a particular activity for its own sake. You are using your skills as best as possible and every decision inevitably follows from the previous one. You lose track of time, fatigue and physical surroundings. Tell me a CEO who would not want their employees to experience Flow! Now, what if I told you Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (the person who coined the term) made it possible for each one of you to consciously trigger such an enjoyable state of being!

    Here is a list of 5 ways in order to trigger Flow in the workplace!

    1.  I WORK FOR MY DREAMS

    James Taylor rightly mentioned in the lyrics of his song, “You can play the game and you can act out the part. Though you know it wasn’t written for you.” Sometimes employees at work feel that they are working in order to achieve someone else’s goals. Even though the task at hand is opening doors to so many other opportunities they feel burdened. Employees report to work however they are not engaged. They complete the task for the sake of it. This burden can be a potential hindrance on the way towards experiencing flow. Managers can play a prominent role in reinforcing competence, helping the employees get free from experiencing burden. Organizational Success is a two-way street. Keeping this in mind, the manager can communicate the organisation’s strategy and vision with the employee. Later on, the manager can also explain how the employee’s tasks will affect the larger organisational picture. This will help the employee find meaning in their task. Clear communication also helps in clearing ambiguity which can be a great barrier in order to experience a state of flow. Communication between the managers and the employees is very essential in aligning the organisational goals with that of the employee’s personal goals. Misalignment makes the work delivered by the employees redundant and inefficient. Google uses OKR (Objective Key Result) in order to create alignment and engagement among the employees. Thus, clarity and alignment provided by communication is necessary for experiencing flow.

    2.  INSTANT GRATIFICATION (Immediate feedback)

       Upgradation of technology, and the current pandemic, has transformed the employees into ‘digital zombies’ and these digital zombies are driven on the principle of instant gratification, they are just one click away from almost everything. In such a scenario the organisations have to axe the traditional annual evaluation methods. If Tom Cruise is not acting a particular scene of a movie very well, the director will not tell him at the end of the movie. Instead he needs to be told immediately in order to increase the effectiveness of the scene. Similarly, when employees are given immediate feedback, they tend to invest the efforts in improving their task performance, this not only is an investment in the employee’s professional and personal development but also brings the organisation closer towards realizing its goals.

    Various companies are ditching the traditional methods of annual performance review. Even GE, a company known for its intense employee reviews processes is changing the way it assesses its employees. Managers and Employees can exchange feedback whenever they want by using an app called PD@GE

    Using gaming elements in the workplace is one of the best sources to provide instant gratification to the employees. Employees can track their progress, receive certificates immediately after the completion of a task. Real time input facilitates the employee to learn while they are working this promotes a growth mindset which plays a major role in experiencing a state of flow.

    3.  CHALLENGING YET ATTAINABLE GOALS.

       In order to trigger a flow experience, it is essential to balance the challenges with the employees personal skills. Let’s consider the example of learning to play a guitar. On day one if your tutor starts teaching you the song without even explaining the basics such as the correct way to hold the guitar, different chords and names of strings. The goal is to learn the song directly which is a challenging task however, without the basic knowledge it is practically impossible to accomplish this challenge. Likewise, employees need to set those goals for themselves which are challenging but also attainable and more importantly which match their current skill sets. When an imbalance is witnessed between the challenge and skill set the employee tends to experience frustration and disengagement. However, even when the task is less challenging compared to the employee’s skills, they experience apathy and disinterest.

    Vroom’s Expectancy Motivation Theory, explains how an  employee’s performance is based on conscious choices he makes to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. His expectancy dimension explains that employees are motivated to work if they believe that an increase in effort will lead to an increase in performance. They are more likely to invest effort if their efforts will result in enhanced performance. Hence, the optimal amount of balance has to be maintained in order to enter the state of flow.

    4.  BEING BUSY IS NOT EQUAL TO BEING PRODUCTIVE (Attention and multi- tasking)

        In order to experience a state of flow, paying attention is important, however controlling the attention is more important, strategic allocation of attention helps the employee to control their behaviour thus optimizing their performance in face of conflicting stimulus. Reducing distractions is one of the key aspects in increasing employee productivity. Productivity is not determined by doing multiple tasks at a time. Tim Gallwey who is an expert on the inner sense of control explains that saying “YES” to everything, divides our attention and undermines the need for stability and ability to function. Inner stability depends on a sense of ownership, independence and mastery. Multitasking at the workplace comes with its own cons. It demands constant switching between various tasks. Shifting gears takes time and in the process of shifting these gears, employees are vulnerable to commit errors. Now, this does not mean that the employees should scrape off tasks from their agenda or TO-DO lists. It in fact means that they should prioritize the task by employing attention control. What will help the employee experience a state of flow is the enriching enjoyment of the task. 

    Employees don’t have to just eat the meal they also have to taste it. A phrase that best describes multi-tasking is, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Employees don’t have to dabble on many skills they can proceed in their developmental journey by gaining expertise in one skill at a time. In order to experience flow one has to completely immerse themselves into one task and attention control facilitates a well developed execution function which helps in battling emotionally charged thoughts that surface from the brain’s reward system.

    5.  INTERNAL VALIDATION > EXTERNAL VALIDATION

      Employees are motivated by rewards, especially rewards such as winning a team competition, getting the best performance review etc provides recognition to the employees and helps them to perceive themselves as valuable. These extrinsic rewards validate the employees needs and results into better performance. However, failure to recognize and absence of such rewards will make the employee dissatisfied, demotivated and bitter. In order to experience a state of flow, employees should be intrinsically motivated. Goals that are intrinsically motivated have long-term outcomes because they have the potential to satisfy the employees psychological needs for autonomy and competence. If the employees work for an external reward then they won’t be autonomous. 

    Flow has much to do with learning in a manner that employees are able to provide themselves with the rewards by doing the task itself. Employees can develop an Autotelic personality. An autotelic employee is internally driven. The main objective is not the successful delivering the task but the process itself. They adopt a positive perspective towards life and seek action-oriented situations. They are motivated to learn and be challenged. They are curious and show tenacity and determination. Employees possessing these skills can enter a state of flow since they weigh importance on HOW goals are achieved rather than WHAT goals are achieved.

    Consciously triggering FLOW will help the employees deal with various challenges at the organisation and emerge victorious.

    At BHyve, we make your employees’ professional and personal development glow, by employing the techniques of flow!

    To know more connect with us at www.BHyve.io