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House of Learning | Thinking Lean

June 12, 2019
House of Learning | Thinking Lean

 

There’s something very romantic about how Native Americans cherished the concept of freedom so much that they designed their Tipis in a way that they could be folded up and carried as portable tenements. Not being tied down to a piece of land was sacrosanct to them because they believed that living at one place was akin to living in a cage.

Similarly, Igloos in the Arctic are, till today, built to offer not just insulation, but protection from blizzards and other harsh forces of nature. Sukiya-Zukuri in Japan is another beautiful example of how an abode can be designed with movable partitions made from natural materials like paper and wood. Even in this age, Sukiya-Zukuri easily offers itself to adaptation and continues to be reassessed under modernistic architecture.

Inkajijiks in Kenya is a fantastic illustration of a liveable, waterproof shelter that is still built using materials readily available in the jungles around. Kenyans believe in optimum utilization of resources and therefore ensure nothing is wasted.

The world over, houses have been designed and built according to climate, functionality, and availability of resources. From edible items like pulses, eggs, and corn to natural building materials like wood, cow dung, leaves, etc, each item served a specific purpose towards the structural integrity of the building.

What is the purpose of a house?

A house serves a far greater purpose than just shelter. A house makes you feel protected, comfortable and at ease. It’s a space we call our own. And everyone wants their house to the most beautiful one. After all, who wouldn’t want bragging rights for life?

What does a House have to do with- Learning?

Comfort: Learning, much like the purpose of a house can make you feel comfortable because of the confidence knowledge brings you. It makes you feel like you belong in that space. This sense of belonging is not physical. Rather, it is metaphysical; a feeling of assurance and comfort with oneself.

Working with an organization is not much different. The stronger the sense of belonging, the longer does one stay with the organization. Despite today’s trends of fleeting loyalties and frequent toad-jumps between jobs, the average tenure of a Manager at PeopleStrong is 4 years which is a testament of that our people’s faith and acceptance of our values and philosophy; our people feel at home.

Protection: When there is comfort in the place and with the people you work with, one automatically feels protected, both physically and mentally. To know that your boss or your colleagues ‘have your back’ is one of the best feelings in the world!

Much like the house needing the right building materials to stay strong and serve its purpose, having the right skills at the job can protect you from the uncertainty of a competitive market. Considering the many corporate playing fields around the world, the past decade has exposed every single one of us to this uncertainty and made us realize the significance of honing our knowledge to stay relevant.

Much like the house needing the right building materials to stay strong and serve its purpose, having the right skills at the job can protect you from the uncertainty of a competitive market. Considering the many corporate playing fields around the world, the past decade has exposed every single one of us to this uncertainty and made us realize the significance of honing our knowledge to stay relevant.

Confidence: We all dream about owning a big, beautiful house one day and adorning it in the best way possible. Even if we were to lose a way of earning a livelihood, we know if nothing else, our house would still be there. That peace of mind and confidence, that we do have a roof over our head is what encourages you to move forward.

Confidence: We all dream about owning a big, beautiful house one day and adorning it in the best way possible. Even if we were to lose a way of earning a livelihood, we know if nothing else, our house would still be there. That peace of mind and confidence, that we do have a roof over our head is what encourages you to move forward.

Whatever the reason be, once you have developed a skill, you have greater confidence in your own abilities, because you can now do your job even better than before. That confidence stays strong if the skills stay relevant. Just like a house we own, a skill we possess cannot be taken away from us. It becomes a part of us.

“We are not born with skills; we are born to learn new skills.”

At PeopleStrong, we believe that a skill can be developed by effective training followed by regular practice with the right tools and technologies to be future ready. Technology is evolving and so are the methods of learning. No longer does a learner like to be restricted by time or the availability of a trainer in order to learn. Via a robust technology-based platform, Alt Learning has made learning fun, accessible and convenient. Over 60% of our training programs are digital, so learners can connect to our Mobile First technology on the go, thereby significantly impacting productivity (by saving on man hours that would have been spent on classroom training).

What makes a house strong?

The key to a strong house is its foundation. The deeper the foundation, the stronger the house. Foundation is the connection the house has to solid ground, it’s like the roots of a tree. If the connection is isn’t strong, the house is in danger of uprooting when the weather turns inclement.

Similarly, an employee who has low connect with this employer cannot hope to stick around without feeling disenchanted with the organization. If the employee and the company don’t ‘click’, no amount of training can compensate for a weak foundation or total lack of belongingness.

However, the foundation doesn’t limit itself to just belongingness. The surface of this foundation is created by the knowledge that helps you do your job right every day. That’s the basic requirement to belong. And when you belong, you learn more, because people and processes and intent come together holistically.

The vision of the House of Learning was inspired by the lean way of thinking. And the design is based on the six behaviours listed under the New Code of Work:

  • Be Entrepreneurial | Focus on the Outcome
  • Enjoy the Adventure | Experiment and be Resourceful
  • Be Proud | Deliver excellence and nothing less
  • Be Incomplete | Be open to learn
  • Prove it | Speak in Numbers
  • Serve | Serve everyone around

Every learning intervention at PeopleStrong aims at these behaviours. While these may be the derived outcomes of various pieces of training, they look towards the direction to be followed.

Here are the tenets of PeopleStrong’s House of Learning:

The Foundation

The deeper, more enduring layer of the foundation is defined by the portfolio that builds a new joiners’ connection with PeopleStrong.

Just as a solid foundation ensures the strength and longevity of the structure of the house, this carefully designed orientation program called Udaan becomes the first step that all Peoplists must take towards their learning journey.

Appropriate and adequate orientation sessions are required to make a new joiner feel at ease in a new organization.

Udaan gives all new-born Peoplists an understanding of

  • What do we do?
  • Why do we do?
  • How do we do?

We believe in diversity of all kinds. Peoplists are diverse in gender, culture and their source of hiring. In a single year, from 2018 to 2019, we have quadrupled the number of Campus Hires with an aim to bring the zeal and energy of India’s youth in the organization.

Our proprietary ‘Warrior Training’ imparted to these Campus Hires has been in two phases i.e. Pre-onboarding and Post-onboarding.

The Pre-onboarding phase begins on the day a Campus Hire is offered a role. S/he is introduced to the NewCodeofWork to give them a glimpse of the purpose, vision, and mission of PeopleStrong.

A Campus Hire is also expected to complete Foundation-Level Alt Certification to prepare them to use the organization’s technology right from Day 1.

Post-onboarding, the Campus Hires are introduced to the Executive Management Team and PeopleStrong’s policies. This interaction is followed by multiple role-based training sessions with an objective to develop talent holistically.

The first day on a job can be quite nerve-wracking for some. It’s natural to feel anxious or have jitters because the workplace is not yet a comfort zone. Therefore, our uniquely designed orientation program helps our employees feel comfortable in the organization. That is why a huge reason for having a technology-backed Pre-Boarding engagement is to let the employee get familiar with people and processes even before he or she enters our gates for the very first time.

By digitalizing Udaan, PeopleStrong’s very own learning platform, Alt Learning has helped us reach employees spread across 45+ locations.

Process

Carrying the same House: Learning analogy forward, the floor of the house can be likened to our existing skills. A floor bears the wear and tear from our everyday activities. Poorly designed floors can show early signs of weathering in a house leading to expensive renovations.

The importance of an in-depth understanding of our processes and our clients is not much different. Limited knowledge can lead to frequent errors and result in paying a heavy price as severe as losing a customer.

To weed out culture-misfits or candidates who raise red flags, we at PeopleStrong, we take care not only while training these resources but also while hiring them. With the help of Candidate Profiling, we get the most appropriate talent on board. This assessment helps assess the prospective talent on varied aptitude markers such as Logical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Skills and more.

Process Training, which is like the surface of the foundation, helps a new joiner find his/her place in the organization. While the deeper layer of Udaan helps an employee feel connected to the culture and policies, this surface layer helps the new joiner settle in his/her role. Training is imparted on-the-job to help Peoplists acclimatize to the process and start contributing towards its improvement.

The Three Pillars

A) Project Training

The first pillar of the house is Project Training. This pillar, just like the third one, helps this House of Learning get its shape. This is what bears the load, much like the ironclad columns filled with solid concrete in our houses.

Just as correctly placed columns give a house its longevity and strength, Project training on Project Management, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Agile-Yellow Belt and many more, help our Peoplists add concrete to their talent and cement their skills.

B) Certifications

This, the middle pillar of the House of Learning, supports the roof. Without this pillar, the roof may collapse. If you stand inside the house, this pillar is also the highest, helping you realize what you have achieved.

Hence, training and certifications, while on one hand convert an interest into a skill, on the other hand, they also increase your value as an asset to the firm.

In the last 10 years, PeopleStrong has transformed from a Services company to a renowned SaaS player in the market. To keep pace with this evolution, we give our people many opportunities to get certified. These certifications assist the participants in upgrading their skills and feeling worthy by bringing in a sense of achievement.

We conduct SHRM Domain Certification training in three domains i,e. Human Capital Management (HCM), Payroll & Compliances and Recruitment. This training is accredited by SHRM and is open for any employee who is interested in getting certified. At present, 101 employees are SHRM Domain Certified which is almost 20% of the eligible workforce. PeopleStrong prides itself for being the only company in India to have so many SHRM DC Certified employees.

Alt Certification is provided to all employees to impart knowledge on the PeopleStrong’s hand-crafted product suite called Alt. This certification is awarded at three levels i.e. Foundation, Specialist and Expert Level.

The objective of Alt Certification is to develop talent that is not only able to use the organization’s technology but also understands it. Our certified talent is not only more efficient today but is also future-ready to live the company’s vision.

C) Leadership

This pillar does more than providing support. If Leaders are not prepared for their role and if they are not in tune with the philosophy of the organization, the house will not be in the shape envisioned.

The average tenure of our employees is 4 years, so they are in our system long enough to experience the leadership development programs that have been designed over multiple stages. A typical Peoplist goes through a journey that exposes him/her to many levels of roles and responsibilities. To ensure their readiness for taking up the next level roles, Peoplists are trained under:

Broadening the Horizon

Broadening the Horizon is a training program for transforming Individual Contributors into People Managers. These high potential Peoplists are rigorously trained for 16 hours on core competencies required to take up the next level role.

Taking the Leap

Under this program, potential Practice Heads are trained to take up the responsibility of an entire function. The focus of the 16-hours training is developing an understanding of P&L and ROI of their respective functions.

In the latest batch, 52% of the total participation under this portfolio was from women and 90% of the participants were promoted in the following appraisal cycle.

Lead from the Front program helps supervisors learn from their leaders. The training involves 6 attributes of leadership to inspire. This program is directly run by the CEO and Business Heads.

PGP (Purpose Goal Philosophy)

At PeopleStrong, we know that only a healthy employee can be a happy employee. Taking engagement beyond work-based activities, we bring a lifestyle change in Peoplists with the help of our PGP program.

At PeopleStrong, we know that only a healthy employee can be a happy employee. Taking engagement beyond work-based activities, we bring a lifestyle change in Peoplists with the help of our PGP program.

77 employees who constitute 52% of the eligible workforce have benefitted from this program.

The Roof

By writing the #NewCodeofWork, PeopleStrong gave House of Learning the best roof to protect all residents while also giving all its parts a direction of focus.

Developing the six behaviours under the NewCodeofWork is the ultimate goal of all learning initiatives at PeopleStrong. It is this futuristic vision that helps us design programs that can stand the test of time.

What makes a House of Dreams?

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” – William Morris

Drawing inspiration from the above, every part of PeopleStrong’s House of Learning is indispensable and irreplaceable. While our portfolios on Orientation, Process, and Certification fulfil the necessities of the house, others, namely ‘Lead from Front’ and ‘Purpose Goal Philosophy’ make it home by creating comfort and warmth to living in.

 

Payroll and HR are at the core of every organization. With new-age workforce distributed across geographies, organizations are grappling with multiple payroll processes, numerous pay-components, and inconsistent tax and compliance handling. Alt Payroll provides intelligent payroll management solution for building smarter workplaces.

Get in touch with our payroll and compliance executive to know more about Alt Payroll and how we can manage your payroll better.

Know more about Alt Payroll

PeopleStrong’s Recruitment Technology (Alt Recruit) is a smart, scalable and one-stop recruitment solution for hiring the top talent. It is not merely an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), rather is AI-enabled, Unified, Intuitive and Intelligent recruitment platform which powers end-to-end hiring processes of 100+ organization across the globe. It is integrated with 50+ candidate sourcing channels, processes over 1 million candidates per year and rolls out 60,000+ joining offers per year. Get in touch with our recruitment solutions executive to know more about Alt Recruit and how we can manage your Recruitments better.

Know more about Alt Recruit

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