com ■ 18 I September 2013
ohit, the trainer, entered
the conference room
looking pensive,
pondering who his new
bunch of trainees would be. He had
been engaged by the client
company to conduct a two-day
workshop on team-building skills.
The conference room was
equipped with every possible hi-
tech training inventory to assist him.
The decision to conduct the session
came as a result of the company's
employee satisfaction scores which
clearly indicated lack of team
bonding. Hence, the company
hoped that this measure would help
to bring some kind of a radical
change in the next year's Employee
Satisfaction Index. As Rohit stepped
in, a class full of curious looking
of Training
While training occupies a top spot in the HR agenda
for most organizations, ironically, its impact on the bottomline
remains questionable most of the times. The answer lies in
better structure, sharper vision on the end goals and a
tighter focus on the cardinal rules of the game.
faces stared at him expecting a
boring download on team building.
Luckily, Rohit managed to grab their
attention with his witty stories, sense
of humour and exciting games,
which were built into his training
module. The session ended, the
participants looked happy and it was
business as usual. While the
company assumed that the training
was enough to drive home the sense
of team-building, for Rohit, well it
was just another session and life
moved on…
There would have been a certain
twist in the tale if Rohit had treated
the culmination of the training event
as the very beginning of the journey.
The idea behind the training was to
sensitise the participants towards
the need for changes. It was a
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ September 2013 I 19
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ 20 I September 2013
In today's business, with high diversification, matrix structures,
globalization and changing market dynamics, it has become
essential for leadership to be more dynamic, strategic
and agile. Leaders are responsible for improving
financial performance, increase organizational agility,
attract & retain the right talent and foster a strong
ethical performance culture. With leadership taking
the center stage of organizational transformation,
the importance of their training and development,
becomes one of the essential priorities for business
survival and sustaining
momentum and building
continued excellence.
The values of an
organization express
what it stands for and
guide the behavior of its
internal and external
stakeholders. Values establish a
foundation onto which expectations and
trust are built. They help build core
competencies and a unique value
proposition (UVP) for the organization. Business drivers on the other
hand also play an equally important role as the very existence of
the organization depends on business success.
Leaders hold business positions and are responsible for not only
meeting the business expectations but also are the culture pillars
of the organization. Hence, maintaining a balance between both
values and business drivers becomes impor tant in leadership
programs. It helps organizations
sustain its corporate culture while
enhancing its market
valuation and institution
Leadership Training
Thou shalt
focus on values without losing sight
of business drivers
Rajesh Padmanabhan
Chief HR Officer, Corporate Vice President
channel that should have
effectively created a platform for
interaction at different levels. Alas!
Unfortunately, this is the fate
of most training that is conducted
across sectors and organizations.
According to Eduardo Salas, a
professor of organizational
psychology at the University of
Central Florida and a program
director at Institute for
Simulation and Training, who has
studied corporate training
programs for more than two
decades, "The biggest mistake
that companies make in training
is that they don't take the time to
analyse what their training needs
are. The next problem is that after
they have done that, they don't
evaluate how well employees
have learned." When it comes to
most training, several
o r g a ni z a t i o ns
simply get an
external vendor to
conduct the
program - like a
five hours
workshop - and
they assume that
the vendor will be
responsible for
designing and
incorporating the
idea through the
very fabric of it. As
for vendors, they
Look for improvement in scores on your
Employee Perception Survey against
leadership related questions. This is a
direct indictor of a positive change of
your leadership program.
If you are able to identify successors for
leadership position, it is a true reflection
of improved leadership programs.
Since participants in leadership
programs come with intensive
experience and varied
business exposure, avoid
building expectations of
immediate business impact. Link expected
outcome to deeper insight in the long term,
rather than immediate observable change.
Do not offer a standard prescription for all
situations. Encourage them to adopt
innovative approaches.
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ September 2013 I 21
ensure the program looks
engaging and attractive, with lot
of frills and horns. However, it is
for the trainer and the
organization to wake up and
realize that delivering a training
program is not enough; the cycle
does not end there. To get a
realistic picture of how effective
the program has been, it becomes
paramount for both the
organization and the trainer to
measuring the effectiveness.
Also, efforts made by trainers/
facilitators to make training
session interesting by allowing
laughter to seep in, introduce
interactive games and practice
opportunities which create time
for participants to enjoy what they
are doing, is definitely a need,
however, it needs to go much
beyond. In any session, the
trainer's accountability
is critical in ensuring
its effectiveness.
Follow-up and
keeping track of
p o s t - t r a i n i n g
implementation act
as key differentiator
for a trainer.
Research shows that
programs that end
with the participants
feeling 'great' about
the activity but no
commitment to
Thou shalt
not choose an unstimulating learning
Real-time learning is a crucial link between knowing and
doing, hence the choice of environment is key. Typically, if
attention is not paid to the nuances of the sales process,
such as the type of calls the salesperson is responding to,
who is accompanying him, what is expected of him, etc., a
lot of valuable time gets wasted without achieving concrete
tangible outcomes. To make this process effective,
one must ensure that
the learner gets the
oppor tunity to
experience different
stages of the sales
process over a
period of time, from
opening a call to
closing the sale. The
l earner must
understand how the
company i s
posi ti oned, how
customer needs are
uncovered, how
obj ecti ons are tackl ed and
finally a sale is closed. The
sales leader has the responsibility to ensure that the entire
process occurs under his supervision. He must try and team
up the learner with the right set of people who know how to
work in accordance to the required process. Finally, a field
observation repor t from
the learner is a simple
and effecti ve tool to
facilitate the process.
Real-Time Learning
Anand Dewan
Sr. VP, Business Impact Group & L & D
Create a comprehensive solution which
includes diagnostics around people,
process, product / productivity and
organizational climate to arrive at a
complete solution that impacts targeted
Identify why a specific training is needed.
Focus on facts, data, and behavioural
indicators that can then be traced for
repeat pattern basis data.
Though the learner
gains all his
experiences in a real-
time environment,
leaving it all on the
environment can be an expensive
mistake. Hence, trainers must
avoid unstr uctured and
unsupervised learning at all cost.
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ 22 I September 2013
Most experiential trainers tend to focus only on the experiential
activity. However, effective learning happens when the participant
reflects upon his behaviour during the experiential activity, connects
it to his previous experiences or to behaviours of
those skilled in that area, and consciously
determines his new way of operation - and
subsequent fine-tuning - in order to achieve the
desired results. A successful trainer designs and
implements the entire value chain - activity,
debriefing, reflection and experimentation - as
an integrated par t of the ' Total Learning'
Experience. A wonderful trainer in Financial
Accounting had
taught double-entry
bookkeeping and
balance-sheet tallying to a team of
accountants. He started by explaining
the concept in brief, and then made
all the par ticipants play the board-
game Monopoly. The par ticipants
were to record all transactions and
create a balance sheet which tallied.
He made the participants do this at
least three times. When we checked
after two years, all the participants recollected the concepts and
said they were able to use the learnings effectively in their roles.
However, such an approach prove challenging when developing
personal and interpersonal skills since the resistance to change is
usually very high. In these cases,
you would require a
highly sensitive
trainer to pick the
cues and help the
participant to reflect
and learn.
Experiential Learning
Thou shalt
design for experience, reflection and
Performance is measured in terms of
speed, accuracy, quality of outcome
or a difference in approach brought
about because of the intervention.
Identify one area of implementation
before the training starts.
Post the training program, ensure that
the participant implements the learning
in the identified project / task.
practice in general have a low
ROI, since on an average only
10 per cent of the participants
will be self-motivated to
implement what they have
learnt. Here is a story…
Ranjit, a team leader in a
BPO just had a rough day since
his team had failed to meet the
sales target for the fourth day
in a row. Just as the team called
it a day, his manager walked in
and announced that there
would be a compulsory
workshop on experiential
learning for everyone over the
next four days. The trigger went
off when the manager
announced that every member
had to extend their shift for
two hours over the next four
days. Most of the team
members were seen rolling
their eyes in disgust. They
instantly dismissed the initiative
as another new fad on part of
the organization, which would
soon vanish into oblivion.
The trainer shared
inspiring stories of
great management
gurus and their
exceptional ways of
functioning, stories all
about the mice having
their cheese moved or
videos on fish
mongers tossing fish
on to their fellow
workers…amusi ng
and stirring, but failing
to keep the
participants gripped.
Dr. Anita Bandopadhyay
Director of the Center for Excellence
Corporate HR, RAYMOND
Trainers must avoid creating
' experiences' that are not
connected with real-life situations
of participants. It should be related
to their daily work challenges. In
experiential learning, a trainer must avoid
experiences that are unlikely to enable
employees to handle work-related challenges.
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ September 2013 I 23
Thou shalt
not start without thinking it through
The truth about effective coaching & mentoring is that there
are no quick fixes with these processes. It is a skill-even an
art perhaps, that goes beyond good intention. It requires in-
depth understanding, high emotional quotient and plenty of
practice to deliver to its astonishing potential. Coaching and
mentoring works if nurturing is a key value/capability within
the organization. Coaches and
mentors are authentically positioned
to transform individuals/teams and
the organization culturewhen there
is a genuine commitment
to the power of human
potential to change,
transform, learn and
contribute .Where leadership is expedient, here and now,
unapologetically task-oriented with a "change the incumbent
to change the outcome attitude" , no coaching and mentoring
practice can ever succeed. They are expressions of the top
leadership style, a belief that
people can be transformed and
influenced to
change their
behaviours and
perform positively.
Coaching & Mentoring
Dr. Sujaya Banerjee
Chief Talent Officer
Although it is tough to measure its impact in isolation
as it transpires between the coach and coachee, mentor/
mentee, try to gather stories of great coaching &
mentoring impact. This is a great way to measure ROI.
As a coach or mentor, try to be an emotional anchor
to the talents within the organization. This will positively
influence retention par ticularly in difficult/remote
Star ting a program
without thinking it
through, can be the
fastest way for it to
fail. Also, treating it as
an event, celebration or an isolated
program which is delinked to the
organization' s larger agenda or
strategic people agenda is deemed
to prove unsuccessful.
Most of them looked disinterested
as they found it irrelevant to their
core job. Here HR and the
management committed a major
blunder. They tried to implement
employee morale building and
motivational programs without
addressing the employees'
everyday work experience. In this
situation, the trainer should have
avoided creating 'experiences'
through the management stories
that were not connected with real-
life situations of the participants.
A successful trainer designs and
implements the entire value chain
- activity, debriefing, reflection and
experimentation - as an integrated
part of the 'total learning'
experience and which can be
imbibed in its true spirit and is of
relevance to their craft.
The training atmosphere
A global major like
General Electric Co (GE)
spends more than $1
billion in employee
training. Even a company
like Jamaica-based
telecom company, Digicel
spent $31 million in 2012
on creating development
opportunities and
learning sessions for
employees. As per
industry estimates, the
global expenditure on
training is around $300
billion plus. Out of this,
North America
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ 24 I September 2013
In today's age of fast paced businesses and undifferentiated
products, the quality of customer service is an important way
to distinguish the organization
from competition.
It is important for
ever y frontline
customer ser vice
representative to
understand the
customer experience
promise of the
organization, what is
it that the level of
customer service to be
delivered and what are the
oppor tunities to WoW them.
Training needs to structure
this and impar t it to all
employees. Strong
customer service focus means not
just a training intervention, but
an entire ecosystem
focused on customer
needs. The frontline is
merely the foot soldiers of the entire
organization's belief system. A
broader customer friendly
organizational ecosystem,
suppor ting frontline
customer service is a
must for success.
Customer Service Training
Thou shalt
ensure the training is not just
a download
Dipankar Das
Training Delivery Leader
Look for improvement in scores on
the Employee Satisfaction Survey
which will eventually translate in to
higher sales, higher customer loyalty
and much better revenue growth.
To measure the success of any
successful training intervention, it will
reflect on effective delivery, enhanced
employee satisfaction where the
frontline emerge as the foot soldiers
of the entire organization' s belief
contributes around 45 per cent
followed by European countries
with a share of 29 per cent.
Emerging economies like India
and China are not far behind with
India alone contributing around 7
per cent.
These figures are indicator
enough that Indian corporates are
spending big monies on employee
training. But all said and done,
mere investment in fancy training
will go nowhere if the effectiveness
of the learning imparted is not
measured. And the onus lies not
just on the trainee to implement
what he has learnt but on the
trainer/facilitator as well to take
ownership of keeping
abreast with the
impact of what was
delivered. As Steven
Covey rightly said,
"True effectiveness is
a function of two
things: what is
produced (the golden
eggs) and the
producing asset (the
There are three
major areas where
most organizations
and trainers tend to
fail. One is their
tendency to look at
training as a short-
term initiative.
Secondly, after
Much has been written about
exceptional customer service
orientation, however, the real
challenge is replicating those
high levels of customer service in
any organization, dealing with average
customers. It should not boil down to lip service.
Hence get your hiring right. Avoid people who
have no service aptitude and low emotional
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ September 2013 I 25
Thou shalt
set clear, measurable objectives
In this competitive business environment, to sustain and
enhance the profitability, every organization is
doing their best to deliver better than the other in
terms of per formance by focusing on internal
factors such as opti mi zi ng manpower by
enhancing their skillsets. One of the critical
success factors
for OJT is making
the par ti ci pant
realise that the
trai ni ng i s
beneficial for him
to fur ther in his
career and has
not been forced
upon hi m. And
this will happen, when the
organi zati on candi dl y
communicates the details
and clarifies all queries in a
tr ustwor thy work
envi ronment. It i s al so
impor tant that the organization institutionalizes the process
of training as a discipline and not just a ritual or activity
limited to data collection and compilation for training man
hours. Similarly, aligning the learning with the
oppor tunity to job application
al ong wi th close
monitoring and
mapping against
the set objectives/
outcome is critical.
On the Job Training
Optimum utilization of the learning in terms
of multidimensional deliverables happens
when the employee has an abundance of
real world skill and knowledge.
The biggest measure of ROI of OJT is
reflected when an employee shows
conviction that the training is impor tant
and is benefited personally and
Ravi Mishra
Vice President - HR
To avoid an OJT from falling flat, the
trainer must be well-
trained. If the instructor
or the trainer fails to
give his trainees the
opportunity to practice or
apply their newly acquired
skills real time it will be meaningless.
Also ensure that the work environment
is not too distracting for learning to
take place.
training has been conducted, there
is often no measurement tool to
judge the effectiveness. While the
measurement process can be a
lengthy procedure one needs to
take a long-term view and not lose
patience. As Aristotle said 2300
years ago, "One swallow does not
make a summer".
The third and most important
factor is that every trainer must
avoid is a pre-packaged program
since the 'one-size-fits-all'
solution can become a major
misfit in a training environment.
For any training program to meet
its mark, the programs must be
tailored to meet the different
needs of the audience. For
instance, when it comes to the
millennial generation, training
design and delivery methods have
to be re-invented
completely keeping in
mind the nature of this
t e c hnol og y - pr one
generation, PowerPoint
presentations or a
'gyan' session would fail
to work. Since it is the
age of mobiles, tablets,
and the Internet,
learning has now
progressed to e-
learning and m-
learning modules, more
in tune with
contemporary trainee
needs. So, at a
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ 26 I September 2013
Behavioural training focuses on enhancing or changing skills
through practice and feedback in an encouraging and
experiential environment. The
success of such trainings largely
depends on the trust, rappor t
and mutual respect established
between the trainer and the
par ticipants. Thus, the trainer
must always approach the
training with the knowledge
that adult learners thrive in
conditions that offer respect.
Hence, the training should
impact practical and real life
issues, and not hover in the
realm of unwanted theory or
passive download. Moreover, adults are self-directed. The
objective of the training intervention should be clearly stated
so that there is no confusion in the mind of the trainee and
remains in line with why (s)he
wants to change. The interventions
should not be a 'tell' session but a
journey, where the
individual is able to arrive
at what the factors are
that result in a particular
Behavioural Training
Raghavendra. K
Vice President & Head-HR
Thou shalt
not stereotype and assume
Sustainable behavioural change is a good indicator of the
success of a training program. However, ensure that the
change is aligned with the business strategy either to
improve productivity for greater return or win more business.
A thorough analysis, clear cut objectives, well-thought out
design, robust assessment and a seasoned facilitator can
contribute to an effective training intervention.
fundamental level, training design
too has to invert its gaze in the
face of the millennial challenge.
Similarly, what works for the retail
sector will not necessarily work
for the Auto sector, or what
works for the IT & ITes may not
work for FMCG. Hence
customization of training
modules is a key factor in
ensuring training effectiveness.
Making it interesting
Industry observers are
unanimous in the opinion that
training sessions have to be
serious but not boring. In most
business environments, where
deadlines are razor sharp, a
training session is often
considered as a respite from the
daily grind for many employees.
James Sanders, Manager-
Innovation at Deloitte Consulting
once opined in a media interview
that training is a
funny thing. No
matter how easy you
make it for others to
access, or how
brilliantly the
learning programs
are designed,
training is simply not
the first thing people
think of doing when
they have some free
time. Let's face it, for
most people, on a
weekend, if given the
choice between
watching a movie, or
attending a training
session, training will
Knowing the target audience prior a
session, helps in making
the sessions more
relevant. Avoid
stereotyping the audience
as it fosters a threatening
atmosphere which is especially
detrimental and must be avoided. In
addition, the trainer should never impose,
rather provide constructive feedback and
alternate points of view so that the larger
picture is visible to the individual.
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ September 2013 I 27
Thou shalt
focus on strengths &
Team building and team bonding is critical for the
corporation to grow and strengthen. Therefore, the trainer/
facilitator's approach to team
building in terms of the design
and structuring of the
event/tool /game or
exercise will have to
be customised. For
example, if the focus
i s tackl e a
dysfunctional team,
where the approach
comprises of issues
rooted i n
personal i ti es or
processes or roles,
adopting an approach where the focus is to
develop a new group into a winning team or
improve their output, is bound to fail. Hence it becomes
all the more critical for the trainer/ facilitator to focus on
the strengths al ong wi th the weaknesses of the
par ti ci pants. The goal i s to bri ng about heal thy
relationships with varied personality types and conflicts.
The training should effectively
create a platform for
i nteracti on at
different levels.
Team Building Training
Conduct an audit at the end of
three months through a survey
amongst the par ticipants and
the leaders to reflect the learning
and application.
Measure the impact on statistics
per tai ni ng to producti vi ty,
per formance, satisfaction and
engagement levels in the team
and organi zati on agai nst
historical data.
V Ravi
VP & Head- Learning & Development
Reliance Project Management Group
Avoid entrusting the responsibility
of a program to just any
individual. Trainers who are unable
to convince people that the training
will add value or help them to
recognize strengths and weaknesses are a no.
Such training should serve as a microcosm of
the problems (and solutions) that employees face
at work, so only experts can successfully deliver.
rarely win. When this happens to be
a common perception in employees'
world over, measuring training
effectiveness can be quite a task.
Many training institutes claim
that another reason why
organizations are unable to measure
the effectiveness of the programs at
times, is because the nature of the
program is not always specific, such
as in case of leadership training or
behavioural training, and outcomes
may differ from employee to
employee. In case of skill specific
trainings, on the other hand, the
impact can more or less be seen.
Another reason is failing to check
the validity of the training objective
prior to the onset of the program.
Taking care of these key points helps
to avoid mismatch with organization
goals and in turn saves time, money
and energy.
Effectiveness of
training programs
Certain companies have
taken a trailblazing step
in learning and
development. However,
it's also true that me-too-
ism has crept up in this
area as well. There are a
large number of
companies which view
training as a routine,
random, ad hoc exercise,
without ensuring long-
term benefits.
With highly
competitive markets, and
highly innovative and
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ 28 I September 2013
Face to face instructor led training is the best
option for teaching basic skills, orienting learners
to new content or a new concept, building a
team, and teaching communications and social
ski l l s. Wi th the worl d becomi ng fast and
i mp e r s o n a l ,
knowledge and
skills which are
cri ti cal for
growth of any
busi ness and
community, cannot
be j ust l ef t to
i mpersonal ways.
Hence, when in class,
there shoul d be one
focus area, the
knowledge or skill for
the par ticipants. Their
attention should not get
diver ted towards other
day routine activities.
So it becomes the trainer/facilitator's responsibility to
keep them engaged and interested. Similarly, such
trainings allow participants with specific problems to
di scuss openl y wi th the
i nstr uctor i n a
cl assroom. In a
way, this helps to
bui l d mutual
rappor t.
Face to Face Training
Thou shalt
focus on credibility of the
Deepika Kinger
Head-T&D, Talent Management &
Business HR
While the credibility and
capability of the trainer is a
driving factor for successful
trainings, however not being able
to address the need of the par ticipant with
relatable examples can be the dampener. So
trainer must adapt to needs of the participants
and provide individual attention wherever
Obser ve the reaction of the
participants through the responses
to various exercises done in class
and or tests administered in class,
and his behavioural changes.
Conduct small exercises at work,
which show the impact of learning
through implementation and results,
which would reflect on the
scorecard/ goal-sheet.
compelling products, constant
learning has become essential for all
employees. Huge investments are
always on the roll when it comes to
training in terms of man hours, money
and energy. In such dynamic
situations, it becomes imperative for
not just the organization but the
trainer to take ownership for each
program conducted, check on its
effectiveness on implementation and
ensure impact. Unfortunately, there
is no single measurement system,
which can evaluate the effectiveness
of all training programs. In such
circumstances, broad guidelines can
come handy for trainers and
organizations while prioritizing their
training outcomes.
Have a checklist
More often training and development
is seen as compulsory exercise rather
than a pro-active one.
Such beliefs are not
restricted solely to the
senior management
teams, what's interesting
is that both the parties -
the trainer and trainee
also do not realize the
benefits of such training
sessions. The irony of the
situation is that neither
HR pros nor employees
realize or accept the
benefits of training
programs or measure the
return on investment.
Here is a checklist that can
a) Are participants
www.humancapitalonline.com ■ September 2013 I 29
Thou shalt
create an organizational context
E-learning is a ubiquitous reality in
many large organizations more ever
than before. It comes with its well-
advertised set of advantages and
some equally well known
disadvantages. Many a times it is
put for ward as a
surrogate for the
instr uctor led
classroom training, or
at best, is peppered
in a blended
approach to preface
classroom trainings;
however, this does not optimally leverage its potential.
Several organizations are harnessing the power of
social media through internal social media platforms
to generate meaningful conversations around the e-
learning courses suggested to a target group. These
conversations both prior to, as well as after the
course build organizational context and empower
application, where many a times a canned E-learning
course can fall shor t. The discussions are not
restricted in time and space as would typically be the case if this
were to happen in a classroom environment. Fur thermore, it
reinvigorates the role of the instructor to that of a moderator of
such a social group. It also allows opportunity for the managers
of learners to participate, making the
discussions enriching. Hence, each
thread of discussion incrementally adds
to absorption as well as suggests new
ways of applying the
content suggested
through the e-learning
Use on going conversations around a
given course or set of courses as
indicators around absorption and
application of the content at the
Consider observing the story emerging
out of these discussions and gauge
the extent of application. Measurement
of application often becomes on going
and real-time with room to take
corrective action if necessary.
Dr. Nandita Mehta
Director, Leader & Team Member Development
E-learning courses
work best when
the content has
been distilled and
refined to create
maximum learning impact within
limited time. Lengthy
introductions, fillers, gaps should
be completely avoided. The
worst thing to do is running the
face to face learning content as
an e-learning course.
convinced that the training will
add value in meeting team goals,
recognize strengths and
weaknesses of individuals and
enable openness to discuss and
learn from the past?
b) Are team leaders able to list at
least three outcomes expected
from the training?
c) Are managers committed to
and can support, reinforce and
apply the learning at the work
d) Are the above available and
visible during and post training
up to the point it is decided to
audit the outcomes envisaged?
To conclude in the words of
Jerry Bruckner, author of The
Success Formula for
Personal Growth, "The
lessons from business and
sports apply to your life;
you can't succeed unless
you measure the right
things and do something
about what you learn from
the measurement to bring
you closer to achieving
your goal." Corporations
and trainers can go a long
way by considering these
guidelines to deliver best-
in-class learning
experiences and maintain
a much-needed global
competitive edge.