It all started on March 11, when the management of Tata Management Training Centre (TMTC), faced with a never-before challenge, decided to conduct a series of webinars. The aim was to not only keep its employees engaged but also help them borrow some ideas and best practices from the industry.
Called Learning Latitudes, today, TMTC has managed to conduct over 50 webinars, with speakers from across the globe offering insights into topics critical to business, leadership and personal development.
As the name suggests, ‘latitudes’ connect and the theme of the series revolved around leadership, personal interests, functional areas and COVID-related situations.
“We started as early as when the lockdown began, and when remote working became a thing. It was important for us to have a connection with all the employees amidst the troubling times”, says Emmanuel David, director, TMTC.
As we have a global presence in more than 100 countries, David continues, “We wanted a theme with a universal appeal. Learning Latitudes means connecting everyone at the same level, with learning, even in the absence of physical connection. Given its universal approach, we had several Tata employees and leaders joining us for the webinars.”
“At the advent of March, I began writing to people and responses started pouring in. We also did test runs to check, and accordingly, launched our webinar,” adds David.
“Every week, leaders from within the Tata Group and outside — sportspersons, authors and coaches — join and give an unfiltered and first-person view of what has worked for them”
According to David, the naming of the webinar series was quite an interesting process. There was a toss of around 35 names, before finally ‘Learning Latitudes’ was selected. Initially, the numbers were not encouraging, with a participation of just 100-200 people. As it gained presence, the numbers increased to 1500 and above. Each session was for about 60-75 minutes.
The management of TMTC was aware that with engagement activities, it was possible to address not only the employees but also their families.
With an aim to encourage digital learning, the training centre also created a digital platform — The Tata Tomorrow University, the digital arm of TMTC, responsible for digital offerings.
“Since we created this digital arm for TMTC, and we wanted to host a lot of learning content, we started driving the traffic through the Tata Tomorrow University. We got more than 10,000 Tata learners on the platform,” David claims.
With two webinars a day, David also acknowledged that there were several loopholes in the beginning, such as issues with wifi and internet connectivity. “Getting to the mechanics of a webinar, presented challenges. But we had our backup and eventually with the help of the TMTC team, we surpassed all hurdles and began with trial runs before every webinar,” reveals David.
There were 85108 visitors to Tata Tomorrow University since last one month.
Additionally, its new show, LeaderCraft, is an exciting podcast channel for anyone who wants to be a better leader, irrespective of age, function level and career stage.
“Every week, leaders from within the Tata Group and outside — sportspersons, authors and coaches — join and give an unfiltered and first-person view of what has worked for them,” David explains.
What makes this series unique is that it is not theoretical. It is simple and practical stuff, which one can implement tomorrow. It comes straight from the heart, and gives people direct access to what leaders think, say and do.
David believes that engagement activities, such as webinars and podcasts, have the ability to begin a conversation with hundreds of people, virtually, right over the internet.
In tough times, conversational engagement keeps the game running. With webinars, the audience gets a voice. They can chat, vocalise opinions, ask and answer questions, and more. When someone is asking questions and talking about what they’re being taught, they’re more focused and engaged by default.
“People have come back to us saying it was helpful for them, in perspective building and learning new skills. While some webinars scored high in terms of impact, others scored in terms of high attendance.
New learning is being created through such webinars and podcasts, benefitting about 1800 Tata employees. “Ten per cent unique visitors had logged into the webinars, and for us, they are the winners who have joined us in this difficult journey of staying connected and engaged,” concludes David.