How Crompton Greaves reskilled staff as per business needs during lockdown

With employers looking for a sharp growth curve, it is important to rethink learning and development (L&D) at the workplace.

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Reskilling can be incredibly lucrative for just about any organisation—but it isn’t as easy as setting up a pipeline and funnelling as many people through as possible.

Satyajit Mohanty, CHRO, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals, believes “Re-skilling is not only a matter of training employees on specific skills. We often under-estimate the thirst for development and learning many employees have.”

At Crompton Greaves, the reskilling drive has been on in full swing. The thought struck during the pandemic, when there was a freeze on hiring and the management decided to carry out their in-house reskilling drive.

Mohanty explained that when they resumed operations post lifting of lockdown, the management discovered that there had arisen an overnight need for radically new skills, which the team was ill prepared for.

“For instance, in sales, we realised that managing customers through telecalling is a skill that will matter a lot in the times to come and one where we were not prepared for. Hence, we had to work on a war footing to build capability using a telecalling-led customer management model. This led to a re-appraisal of not only the basic work content, but also re-assessment of the supporting environment in terms of infrastructure development, performance management and reward system.”

“The dire need to conduct a reskilling drive came from the business outcomes. For instance, when we analysed the performance of each sales associate, which we do as a part of our employee performance dash board initiative, it became apparent that there is something missing,” asserts Mohanty.

The reskilling drive began as a redefined process by implementing check lists, on-the-job coaching post training and realigning the company’s existing recognition systems.

“Under our Outliers Management Programme, we draw our chief learnings by observing people who give outstanding results, and the people who are on the opposite extreme of the panorama. That gave us insights into how the new normal has impacted the flow of work and that now is the time to act upon it.”

The reskilling procedure doesn’t just arm individuals with the skills that companies actually need. It also helps managers keep up with constantly shifting hiring needs.

The drive began with the most customer-facing functions – such as sales, with the objective of improving the tele-calling productivity.

The Crompton team believes that with this reskilling drive they will have the largest impact on consumers and customers in the short- and medium term, and will help them reap successful business outcomes.

Seeing this integrated approach, the responses from the workforce have proven to be very encouraging.

“Alongside we are also using the opportunity of the new normal to make significant process improvements by driving creativity and innovation. Enduring business problems have been assigned across a cross-section of employees to solve, by working together on them as projects. We recently started applying the crowd-sourcing strategy to drive innovation in a much better way,” explains Mohanty.

When the established path is uncertain, one has to fall back on human ingenuity to solve problems which one has not encountered before. Hence, the management claims that they have begun to realise the power of it more than ever.

“In order to gauge the productivity, we had to define new key performance indicators (KPIs) to define productivity. We also have daily performance dashboards where all sales employees are assessed and corrective actions taken,” asserts Mohanty.

“Further, we are looking for possibilities to realign our people practices and business processes, so that they thrive in the new physical world that the Covid-19 crisis has thrown up.”

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