Gaurav Bhagat is the founder of Consortium Gifts. The business now employs over 100 employees and runs out of seven different offices. It has a global clientele of over 400 companies, including BMW, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft.
With the passing of years, Gaurav’s passion for imparting his knowledge and experience to other businesspeople and assisting them in being their best selves has grown. After achieving enormous success in the business world Gaurav focused on training huge corporations, business owners, and working professionals so that they could accomplish their objectives and experience 10X success. In order to do this, he established the Gaurav Bhagat Academy in 2018 to mentor and coach both businesses and individuals so they can live the 10X life.
We recently had an email interaction with Gaurav Bhagat to understand about the various aspects of Learning and development especially with regard to skill gap in the talent market and ways in which organizations need to address the issue of training and developing talent.
Here is a brief excerpt of our detailed interaction.
1. What are your views about the current skill gap in the talent market and its impact on hiring decisions?
Interestingly while there is a perceived scarcity of qualified talent, my belief is that there is also a mismatch in how the right talent is finding its way to the right places. There is plenty of demand in corporate India and a decent amount of supply coming in from institutions of all levels. However, there is a challenge in the two coming together to satisfy the needs on both ends. The aspiring workforce has the professional degrees, some even have the requisite skills, yet they aren’t being able to fill the gap that the market is bringing up. Organisations have become more demanding on the job-ready skills that candidates possess so as not spend too much extra time and resources on basic training. The one place that candidates must focus on is have some work experience on their resumes and go just beyond theoretical knowledge.
2. What are the different ways in which this skill gap can be reduced?
The best way to fill this gap is through collaboration between academia and industry. Students as per their educational qualifications should be equipped with relevant skills through regular workshops, industry visits, guest lectures, and industry-led Olympiads. Those who are pursuing professional courses like engineering, business studies, and paramedics should be exposed to a professional work environment through internship programs and they must be encouraged to work on live projects while assisting industry professionals. Moreover, in the digital era where IT is the driving force of a large number of profitable organizations, developing skills in areas such as AI, ML, Coding, DevOps, Analytics, and Digital Marketing can be a boon factor for people who have a good knave for digital technologies. Both students and professionals can hone their digital skills by taking admission in online skill development courses and can improve their understanding of the industry and what it expects from the professionals.
3. Few organizations address learning and development in the right manner. What are your thoughts and suggestions on this subject?
Organisations or trainers who prioritize learning and development after analyzing the overall personality of a candidate, including aptitude, aspirations, behaviour, and convictions often help the trainer to unearth her/his instincts and hidden talent. The proper assessment followed by a strategic mentorship where the trainer works like a coach helps reap the best benefits of training for both employer and employee.
4. In today’s times, when learning can happen at the touch of a button, what is the correct methodology for implementing an L&D strategy in the workplace?
Although digitalization has immensely transformed workplaces as well as processes it is not the be-all and end-all solution to a business. To derive the best results from L&D activities, the training sessions should be conducted either at the location of trainees or trainers because a trainer cannot use all the tools and maneuvers in a virtual setup. Various group activities, individual tasks, role plays, and games are not possible through screen-to-screen interaction. Technology is undoubtedly helping us as fast and obedient assistant; still, it can’t lead us in case of situation-based communications where emotions and reactions determine our future course of action. Thereby, being a staunch believer in experiential learning I believe that technology should be harnessed fully, but we shouldn’t be dependent on it even for activities which demand a humane approach.
5. Why is it important for organizations to develop the leadership skills of their employees? What steps can they take in this direction?
Leadership skills are not only desirable in a professional environment but to live a purposeful, satisfactory, and successful life, this trait is extremely useful in all walks of life. Being contributors to businesses that work in a highly competitive environment, employees should have a leadership mindset that may help in taking profitable initiatives for their organizations and induce them to motivate themselves and their peers for innovative ideas and solutions. We all have some leadership traits but most people fail to exhibit them in the right place and in the right direction. Hence, to enable them to enact like real leaders in their personal as well as professional life, they should be provided them with leadership development sessions by seasoned coaches, and leaders in their respective industries. Moreover, the company’s leadership team should promote a culture of appreciation and encouragement that may allow employees to express their hidden skills.
6. Learning and development, if done rightly, leads to an employee’s as well as the organization’s growth. Please elaborate on this.
The growth of an organization is the cumulative productivity of its people who render it through collaborative and constant efforts. L&D of employees leads to a win-win situation, where the person achieves newer heights in the professional environment and the organization gets a cutting-edge over their competitors in the market. L&D could be the best investment from the employers’ end in the long run.