Developing talent still a challenge for Corporate India

Corporate India needs to step up on the learning and development front as it seeks to build a workforce with the right skills and knowledge to stay relevant in this fast-changing business environment, according to a study by KPMG and National HRD Network (NHRDN).

The first-of-its-kind study, titled Learning on Point, covered 138 leading organisations across sectors and found that their average Learning Maturity Index (LMI) stood at 71 on a scale of 100, indicating that developing talent remains a challenge for corporate India.

“When you take into account that we covered the best companies within corporate India, there’s quite a lot of ground that needs to be covered,” says Nishchae Suri, partner and head of KPMG Academy. “At a time when individuals are leaving careers for differentiated learning opportunities in terms of exposure and experience driven by the demographic change, courtesy millennials entering the workforce, learning & development (L&D) is assuming increasing importance.”

The survey revealed that the learning strategy of most organisations is well-aligned with business strategy but integration of learning with other HR processes is slow. Learning impact measurement is largely limited to capturing post programme feedback. Use of learning technology is low and employees have limited autonomy in selecting learning programmes, the study found..

Here are key points from the report shared exclusively with ET.
Alignment of learning with business strategy is a strength: 81% of organisations report that their learning strategies are aligned to their business strategies. Learning interventions are planned ahead of time, using data from training needs analysis and HR management systems.
Low focus on measuring learning impact: 40% of the organisations surveyed measure learning impact that goes beyond just taking post programme feedback. However, measuring the impact on business outcomes is an untouched area with only 18% of organisations measuring it. By showing tangible impact, L&D can build credibility with stakeholders. Only a quarter of organisations report utilisation of learning impact data as a consistent input into the talent strategy.

Integrating learning with HR: In 29% of organisations, learning happens in isolation or is at best connected with performance management systems. “For employee development to be complete, learning needs to be integrated with other HR processes, including succession planning, career planning, performance management,” says Suri. Absence of a learning ecosystem: Despite the growing importance of peer-to-peer learning, there are limited systems to support this. Of the participating organisations, 56% lack a formal mechanism that defines the role of team members in aiding an individual’s learning.

Reluctance to adopting learning technology: Organisations have not explored the potential of social learning through technology-enabled platforms, with 50.5% reporting that they have not leveraged technology. Limited use of technology also means that in 23% of the organisations, employees can access learning programmes only via office systems. Advanced use of technology is still a far cry, with 93% organisations reporting that they are not using data analytics and predictive modelling to measure learning trends and personalise learning.
Variance in sectors in learning maturity: The ITES/BPO/KPO sector was found to have the highest LMI. On the other hand, the NBFC sector was lagging behind with the lowest LMI. This sector is characterised by a very low integration of learning with other HR processes and weak learning culture.

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