CASE STUDY : E-Learning Mantra During Lockdown Raising Employee Engagement at Deepak Nitrite
Deepak Group, a Fortune 500 and Forbes (under Bn) top 200 in Asia is one of the fastest growing chemical intermediates company with manufacturing facilities at Nandesari and Dahej in Gujarat, Roha and Taloja in Maharashtra, and at Hyderabad.
The organization manufactures intermediates that are essential for pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and personal care and adheres to stringent ‘Responsible Chemistry’ practice.
Overall the Company has more than 100 products, 56 applications, reaching out to 700 customers in 30 countries.
Challenges thrown by Covid-19 Lockdown to HR Department
Human Resource function of any organization should have contingency plans to tackle all kinds of challenges at the facet of uncertainty. But when a pandemic like, COVID-19 comes uninvited and shatters the definition of ‘normal’, – the best of plans will fail to work or counter such situation. The pandemic threw a challenge to one and all.
From governments across the world to a small household – everyone was trying to come to terms with the situation that all of us were embroiled in.
Even in that complex situation, human spirit of not giving up, continued to find ways to deal with the pandemic with restrained confidence. People across the globe were learning to be adaptable and flexible. It was easy to slide into anxiety and become paralyzed by uncertainty. At such times, the HR function quickly switched over to keep employees engaged through knowledge and learning for present and the future !
Sharpen your axe before chopping a tree. Interview Gauri Butti, CDK Global
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Adapting to the New Normal
Situation like COVID-19 split the time into two eras, i.e. before and after COVID-19. Every day, what we knew as normal before coronavirus faded away, and we found ourselves in a transitional space where we coped with the crisis day-by-day and wondered how we would adjust to the new normal.
In those testing times, focusing on employee’s safety and engaging them while they were working from home were our priorities. We were trying to maintain a healthy and engaging work-life for all the employees by keeping in consideration our L&D vision:
- To be a center of excellence in Chemical Industry for learning interventions;
- To build human capital; and
- To partner in achieving business objectives
We leveraged this opportunity and found some innovative ways to engage with our team through in-house tech platform “Gurukul” which was well established for Training Need Identification process. Considering the Work from Home situation, we added one more feather to our in-house portal by making it compatible for ‘e-Learning’ across any platforms or device.
3Ls of e-Learning During Lockdown
As the entire nation entered in lockdown phase from 22nd March 2020, we too prepared for controlled stoppage of operations at our manufacturing units ensuring the show must go on by announcing ‘Work from Home’. With help of our alert IT team and constant inputs from HR team, we were all set to launch our e-Learning module, by adopting 3L’s in our process:
- Learn at your own pace
- Learn anytime, anywhere
- Learn on-the-go
Reflection on Crisis through e-Learning Modules
After getting the permission to start the factory, we started the operations with abundant caution and safety by following strict SOPs which were formed in conjunction with the guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). With manufacturing activities beginning and other department continued with WFH, e-learning modules were designed on workplace safety, precautions for COVID-19, Safety process codes. For plant workers, learning sessions were handpicked by their managers for ensuring maximum participation.
Effect of Learning and Development on employee growth at Biocon
Biocon BFI believes in engaging the company’s employee to participate in business and use the situations to build their competency.
The pharmaceutical market being fast and unstoppable brings several alterations in businesses. Due to these fast-changing scenario and competition, employees too have to participate, learn and keep progressing according to the changes in the market.
To build fun element and increase engagement, Quizzes were added post each session and the top learners were featured on ‘Wall of Fame’. This ensured maximum participation from the learners. The focus was keeping the workforce engaged constructively while shifting away from stress.
Getting accustomed with the ‘New Normal’
HR’s role constantly evolved during lockdown moving from responding to resolving. To draw a parlance, HR’s role is akin to Lord Krishna on the battlefield of Mahabharat, where he is the one who enables, motivates and guides and shows the road map in the madness of pandemic.
While the pandemic may have an expiry date, nobody knew how long and the impact that it might have. Every day was a new day, decisions were changing and there was nothing that we did today would be appropriate tomorrow. In effect, it was not just the role of HR that was evolved, but there has been an accelerated mindset shift and acceptance to newer working norms to keep the business going.
Paving a way to New Normal, HR team was constantly innovating newer ways to engage with employees beyond online modules with interesting e-courses from University of Yale and MIT.
Simultaneously, while working from home, we collaborated with our L&D team across all the locations with series of video conferences. This led to the idea of ‘Byte-sized’ learning sessions through Live Webinars with help of our internal knowledge repository i.e. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs.
Increase in participation with 17 Live Webinars from 12 inhouse subject matter expert trainers, participation of around 750+ employees across various functions and recognizing L&D champions to keep the momentum going.
These initiatives not only helped to enrich knowledge, increase skillset, productivity at work but also ensured to create a positive ecosystem and keep all employees connected in a disconnect, disruptive lockdown