New Age Technologies in Learning

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Digital transformation has been a hot topic in recent years and every organization is adopting to the ever-changing world. Today, new technologies are growing much more rapidly, increasing efficiencies, creating new opportunities and redefining customer expectations. All of these trends have elevated the importance of the continuous learning and innovation. Learning and development is an important contributor to successful digital transformation. In today’s war for talent, it is essential to help employees to develop their skills that are aligned to clear business goals. Managers in this new age will need to become familiar with new technologies and embrace the change to manage Millennials. Helping people learn, innovate and share knowledge is one of the building blocks of organizational success in this ever-changing world.

“New age learning is not just about knowledge dissemination, it is about creating an engaging and immersive learning experience. It is therefore important to turn to the latest technology to be able to deliver on this learning need. Innovation in learning is what will help create a “learning organization” and attract and retain the best talent, and grow”

Today employees are looking at learning differently. Rather than just another classroom training, learning is being taken seriously, and employees want to learn the way they engage in the personal lives—at the tap of a button on their smartphones. User-friendly and intuitive learning interfaces, personalized content that truly benefits each learner, and everywhere learning are just some of the new-age learning trends, driven by employee expectations and aspirations.

Some of the aspects that we consider to enhance and nurture the learning environment at Mastek,

  • Simple and Spontaneous – No one today has the time to invest hours in skill upgradation especially when business deliverables takes priority. Attention spans are low and everyone expects spontaneous response. The answer is to create user friendly and seamless learning experiences.
  • Customized Content – Using the traditional one-size-fits-all learning approach is no longer effective. As employees wish to learn what helps them move in their careers, learning is becoming more self-directed, self-driven and very much personalized to their role and career aspirations and personal interests.
  • Social and Collaborative – The pace of change in business nowadays is so fast that we need our employees to take charge of their own learning. We are moving from providing highly structured formal learning experiences to looking at learning across the whole organization. What is needed is a set of flexible learning resources, different opportunities for learning and different methods of learning.  
  • Learn Any Time Anywhere – Learners today are used to communicate on many devices like desktops, smartphones, tablets and so on so naturally they expect the same degree of flexibility and accessibility. Therefore, Learning anywhere and anytime is a prerequisite and the key focus area. Traditional learning classrooms are being complemented with and replaced by a wide range of new technologies for content curation, delivery, video distribution, and mobile use. Thanks to tools such as YouTube and innovators such as Khan Academy, Udacity, Udemy, Coursera, NovoEd, edX, and others, a new skill is often only a mouse click away.

While these are some of the best practices we have identified, we facilitate a very open culture which promotes continuous learning to support Mastekeers development in their personal and professional space. We believe learners are the best decision makers when it comes to their learning requirements. Hence we do not have any approval process for learning interventions. This in turn also helps us foster a culture of accountability.

To cite a few examples of how we weave in these themes in our day to day existence at Mastek –

  • Being a leader in talent and skill development is only truly possible if skill development opportunities are available anytime anywhere. Our partnership with Pluralsight acts as a vital pillar that supports professional development goals by providing a platform to upgrade skills on an ongoing basis and keep up with the business demands and latest market trends.
  • While we chose our best e-Learning partner and platform, it was also important that we build our internal video repository where we can host our internal videos for learning and distribution. We came up with DigiLearn with this primary thought. DigiLearn acts as our internal YouTube with all next-gen features like channels and playlists, smart search and hash tags, collaborating and socializing with likes, views and comments, highlighting trending videos and many more.
  • We believe that learning is not complete if it is not practiced and perfected. With this in mind we have created virtual labs for Mastekeers to practice and get their Hands Dirty on a particular technology. We have used VDI’s as a technology for creating and distributing virtual machines for learning various technologies. The thought processes behind is to create a learning environment and thereby promote learning culture amongst employees. We follow a blended mode wherein participants attend an instructor led program on select technology and then further explore on what is learnt in the classroom, a flexibility to get hands on and increase confidence on application of the knowledge gained.
  • We encourage Mastekeers to use TechSense which is our internal platform and provides an insight into relevant technology roadmap aligned with organization growth plans and industry trends. The portal allows you to create new tags for technology if you login as a Contributor. Also, as a contributor you can upvote/downvote the technology cards which would inform the senior team of the opinions/views of the engineering community within Mastek about a specific technology. The TechSense portal is created on the understanding that the coverage of tools and technologies across different stages of hype curve cycle is more than expected. 
  • As a foundation step towards digitalization of our practices we have introduced feature-rich applications on our internal mobile app – Insight and Reach. ‘Insight’ has been designed to promote an open culture of providing positive and constructive feedback to one another. ‘Reach’ on the other hand serves as a digital engagement platform for Mastekeers across the globe. These applications are beneficial in getting instant feedback from Mastekeers across globe. Insight app helps us to progress in the right direction and stay motivated as we reflect on our core strengths and areas of improvements.
  • We have various social and collaborative learning platforms to provide the best avenue to ‘Learn Contribute and Grow’ which sets the mood for likeminded professionals to interact. Yammer is one such social collaboration tool that we use. A huge opportunity for Learning and Development is to continue the conversation after the training program has ended. Learning doesn’t stop just because your training program has finished and the associates are back in the “real-world”. So how do you keep the conversation going and encourage associates to come back to the content when they need it most? With different features within Yammer you can add elements to your training programs to keep the learning going before and after the training event.
  • Today while we are adopting and adapting to technology, we are actually ravenous to get ideas and aid from other Technology Enthusiasts, Practitioners and Experts in the same industry. A “Meet-Up” as a concept evolved with a similar thought and acts as a platform where-in Enthusiasts from different organizations come together to share & exchange their ideas. Mastek conducts Meet-Ups on a very regular basis to give a learning experience to Mastekeers and allows exchange of ideas across different organizations. It really helps us to network with people of similar interests and pick up useful tips.

Our focused investments in our people help nurture their talent, help our people evolve as competent professionals, equipped with the necessary competencies to keep pace with the transforming market needs and trends. Our journey has come to a long way with the classrooms to enhance the learning experience, the technology advancement with online courses to meet larger audience and we continue to make the learning experience better and better with various innovations.

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Maninder Kapoor Puri, Group Chief People Officer, Mastek Ltd. She is overseeing all aspects of HR practices and operations in order to meet the needs of the constantly evolving business – facilitating strategic planning and initiatives, change management and organizational design. Prior to Mastek, she held global human resource roles in organisations such as First Source Solutions, ICICI OneSource, Accenture and iGate Solutions.”

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