Indian automobile major, Bajaj Auto now has its own learning tool, called BOLT – Bajaj Auto Online Learning Tool.
Fully operational since January, BOLT is an AI-powered, mobile-enabled platform, offering a unique learning experience to each employee. Any employee or group of employees can be assigned a learning journey tailor-made for their specific needs. In the last few months of it being functional, BOLT has become the epicentre of knowledge dissemination at Bajaj Auto.
This tool which has been functional since January, is born out of necessity.
Ravi Kyran, CHRO, Bajaj Auto, says, “BOLT is the result of the change in strategy to reach out to all the employees and fulfil their learning and development needs during the crisis.”
“While many companies trimmed their training budgets and invested in other areas, we as a company realised that this is actually the time to double down on our learning initiatives. Learning is not only upskilling or development, but also engagement. When employees see the company investing in their training, they sense the care being given to them and make extra effort to build relationships with the company,” he adds.
“BOLT is the result of the change in strategy to reach out to all the employees and fulfil their learning and development needs during the crisis.”
Ravi Kyran, president – HR, Bajaj Auto
The platform has been instrumental in democratising learning and development at Bajaj Auto. Here are its features:
The platform is device agnostic and all the learning material hosted on it can be accessed via an employee’s mobile, tablet, laptop, or desktop – 24X7. The idea was to allow people to access the learning tool at their own convenience. Also while designing the tool or the app, it was kept in mind that the bandwidth requirement is minimal to ensure that the platform is accessible all time irrespective of the network connectivity.
The platform BOLT boasts of 67,000+ learning modules available in its library. Bajaj Auto has entered into agreements with Ivy league institutions such as Cornell University, and content from premium sources such as MIT, IITs, Forbes, McKinsey, GO1, Thors, Pro MFG, cover a wide range of topics including leadership, marketing, technology and change management.
According to Kyran, the aim was to make BOLT intuitive overall, starting right from the data consumption to the navigation and content quality.
“We realised that content needs to be broken down into smaller modules. Therefore, modules have been designed such that anybody can pick and choose a subpart of a subject, which otherwise would have been a three-month course,” claims Kyran.
For instance, if a person seeks content on appraisal discussion, he has the option to choose only the modules that cover that specific topic, instead of other related topics. “The whole idea of online learning is to save time. Therefore, the content can’t be lengthy,” explains Kyran.
Apart from the management content, the legacy of an automobile company was also considered while designing the content. Not just soft skills, but the platform also provides hardcore technical content.
When the volume of content is huge, people often end up being confused about what to choose and for what purpose. While some may be wise enough to choose smartly, others may not be so. Thus, proper content curation is essential for any learning platform. The modules of BOLT have been designed categorically for different levels, to facilitate better understanding of the concepts.
Kyran shares that each function was first analysed, and accordingly content was curated for different people at different levels.
In addition to this, they created a digest to make it easy to search for the right content. In fact, this digest is updated with new concepts at regular intervals. “Therefore, the courses and content on our platform are always up-to-date with all the latest developments in the market,” Kyran claims.
The platform also ensures that there is no one way communication and there is human interaction as well. The platform incorporates live classes and lectures by experts, as well as group interactions.
In the process of learning, interactive sessions have a different set of advantages, such as attaining clarity and encouraging group discussions.
“We ask people to consider BOLT as a classroom, instead of just a learning app, as it gives all the classroom experience. It makes all sorts of group interaction and classroom activities possible virtually,” Kyran says.
“I believe that to develop ideas within a workforce, cross-pollination of ideas is essential. The group exercises incorporated in BOLT aim to do just that,” he adds.
Within the first three months of the launch, employees at Bajaj Auto have cumulatively clocked in 9,000+ hours of learning, completing more than 18,000 courses. Besides, 70 per cent of the employees have been using this platform regularly.
To make a learning platform successful, all that is required is some re-imagination and ideating along with some investment,” concludes Kyran.