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INDIA – AN OPPORUNITY IN CHALLENGE

Blogpost By:- Prof Sonika Sharma (OB & HR), sonika.sharma@iilm.edu

Ongoing pandemic has changed our world in many terms. The community of nations has come to realize, how vulnerable it is to a crisis like COVID 19. Despite having all the economic muscle, robust industrial ecosystem and military might, the powerful and mighty countries are found helpless and they are forced to have a rethink about their capabilities. This crisis has blurred the stereotype distinction between developed, developing and non-performing economies. Needless to say here, India is not left untouched by the impact of COVID 19. A country which was on its way to address the core problems like basic education, health for all, raising farming income, rural infrastructure and employment generation has been distracted from its path.

As the old adage says, there is an opportunity in every crisis. India is given a chance to remodel its policies and strategy about developing its huge human resources. A population of 1.35 billion with over 65% under the age of 35 is wealth in real tangible terms. If we take our lessons well from history, we find that Europe rose from the ashes after the Second World War. Japan became an economic powerhouse after nuclear destruction and South Korea joined the club of the developed world.

This pandemic has provided a window to us for raising the quality of our educational institutions who are preparing our students in the fields of scientific research, engineering, medicine, agriculture and management as these are the core areas where a lot of qualitative changes has come and still yet to come. If India desires to be counted amongst the nations having a world-class workforce, this is the time for a serious re-look at our education sector. Best of our students get admission in the premier colleges and universities across the globe and this is a testament to their mettle.

The demand for domain experts will give birth to a whole new class for employment. Students from engineering, medicine, manufacturing and management sectors will have immense opportunities as both government and private sector employers will be willing to pay better remuneration to the aptly skilled manpower.

India can only go upwards from this level of economic health in every sphere. It will be logically correct to say that a whole generation of working professional shall be rendered useless when faced with the new, demanding technological advancement in every field. Revolutionary up gradation in skillset will be the key to success for growth and survival. A very promising future awaits the management students, equipped with the right kind of knowledge and specialization. Next three decades and going to be the growth period for service and manufacturing sectors in India and resultantly the country will become a big employer.

Since 1993, IILM is contributing to India’s growth story by providing responsible education across its 6 campuses with a global alumni network of over 12,000+ members. Today, after 25 years of its inception, IILM has been delivering superior quality education consistently and incessantly. The IILM ethos is focused on identifying and nurturing the next generation of thought leaders through intuitive education and experimental learning.

Written By:-

Prof Sonika Sharma (OB & HR)

sonika.sharma@iilm.edu

A HEALTHY MIND IS THE GREATEST TREASURE TO FIND (Student Blog B.A. Hons. Psychology)

 

Conversations around mental health have always been a taboo in our Indian society. It has been related to how a person might be possessed or simply is dysfunctional to be ever cured; thus not be able to work in an environment to sustain oneself. People in our country are struggling with varied psychological issues that have a direct impact on their overall well-being. There is a tremendous mental health crisis that has been brewing in our society ever since 2015. The problem is aggravated as people believe that mental health issues can be cured by visiting religious centres where God is the only source of direction and solution to cure such problems. Even today, such belief systems have a found place in people’s life which is quite far off from logic and rationality.

Rural areas perceive mental illness very differently. They consider mental illness equal, to be possessed by some evil soul under which individuals facing problems are many times handled quite harshly which leaves a long lasting impact on their mental health & well being. Many times patients whose families are totally unaware of their condition end up abandoning their family members considering them mentally unfit, which leaves a long lasting scar in the life of the suffering person. Lack of mental health awareness has many a time led people from backward areas to a wrong diagnosis which worsens the mental condition of the person, leaving him in a situation where they may have no door to knock.

There is a great need to create awareness about mental health in rural areas, as compared to the urban sector where acceptance and initiative for treatment has taken a positive turn over the years, where mental illness is not seen or considered a taboo to talk and discuss.

Cases of mental illness in urban areas are increasing as people face daily pressures in work and personal lives. Working hours that go beyond the schedule of 9-5, has left people with no time for themselves. Ambitions have over-taken the need for personal care, healthy diet, appropriate sleep and even family time has been compromised giving an open entry to multiple mental health related issues.

Addressing mental health is very important. Once we understand and open up about our struggles we would be in a position to see what awaits us. Living with stress is equal to letting a cancer slowly but steadily grow to eventually harm us one day. Opening up about one’s feeling, emotions, physical symptoms, or lifestyle can be a great start. This will bring focus on the prospects of managing one’s well being. It is like healing a wound which might initially seem quite painful, but with the right diagnosis can cure you to be your wholesome self again pretty soon. The more one explores, the better one feels about his/her mental health condition. Just accepting one’s problem, living with it and not taking corrective action is not a good idea.

One must be very careful, attentive and address any problem they might face. Some symptoms are:

  • Confused thinking.
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows.
  • Excessive fears, worries, and anxieties.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Strong feelings of anger.
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)

It is imperative for a person to seek the help of a professional psychologist, and get the right treatment. People should be made more aware of what mental illness is, through campaigns and workshops.

The first step should be taken by schools to create awareness amongst children and adults of all age groups explaining that “it’s okay not to be okay” and that it’s absolutely normal for boys to cry and experience emotions like pain. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Dedicated counsellors and special educators should be hired in schools, to help people know about mental health issues. Workshops for teachers, parents, and students can be organised to understand how to deal with stress and day- to-day pressures of life. Talking to a therapist should be emphasized upon.

In the end, always remember that mental health issues are never something to be ashamed of. Only when awareness increases in society, will we be able help each other in times of stress and emotional instability because as the saying goes – a healthy mind is the greatest treasure to find.

At IILM University, our Psychology faculty members are trained psychologists and you are welcome to reach out to us for free counselling sessions. Please visit www.iilm.edu.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close

9 Tips to Write a Great Literature Review

Students from business schools and MBA aspirants around the world are keen to join the internship. Having an Internship is not enough, documentation of work is also necessary. Internship Research Report is a document that tells what you did during your internship and your productive approach towards the process. An intern needs to create the report carefully. The purpose of a literature review is to make the foundation of any report strong enough. You can define research as a criminal investigation, where you need to prove and justify your approach with tools of research.
A literature review is a process of appraising the studies conducted till date on a specific topic. Let us take an example of an intern working for the recruitment of an organization where their job is to analyze the recruitment process of an organization before hiring. Now during their analysis, it’s important for the intern to check how past researchers studied the recruitment process. What were the benefits of the processes they followed? Which strategy helped them understand the job requirements and better assessment of the candidates? This detailed review of the literature would help the intern to work on the current organizational recruitment process and forecast changes if necessary.

While reviewing various sources it is very important that students and researchers look into the following areas of the literature that they wish to review-

  1. Methodology – Awareness of methodology, and analysis instruments are necessary for the researcher to get familiar with the way research conducted by researchers. It further guides that research is going in the right direction or not.
  2. Research Problem – It gives clarity to the problem being address in the research. The Researcher can compare and contrast the findings of prior researches conducted.
  3. Research Gap – Research gap is the missing piece of the puzzle. It’s an area not yet explored by researchers. An example, the number of physically disabled candidates applying for IT jobs and the number of selection of such candidates. Systematic literature reviews help to identify the research gap. If you would be able to cover such a research gap your report will be worthy of the industry.
  4. Writer’s skills – A well-written literature review gives an insight into critical thinking and writing abilities to the audience.
  5. Limiting researcher’s biases – Human decisions are always affected by psychological biases. Prior research review direct researcher towards an unbiased view.

Writing a literature review is an art. There are certain guidelines that make Review of Literature stronger for any Research-

  1. Define The Problem Statement – It’s a herculean task to create the objectives or problem of research. Being a student of a business school, you can consult your mentor or project guide. It must not be too narrow or too wide as prior researches are available. A wide problem statement makes the research tuff to be justified and analyze.
  2. Locating the Literature Survey – Online resources like google scholar, Microsoft Academic, Base, Core, Semantic Scholar, ERIC database, and many more can help you to locate and review the related literature. A proper citation must be there in the report.
  3. Analysis of Literature – While analyzing literature you need to consider (a) the objective of the study, (b) statistical or analytical techniques used to analyse the literature, (c) result or conclusion of the research made.
  4. Structure a literature review – The chapter must start with an introduction that will define why the topic picked, trends of research. Contribution of researchers in the area, and in the end conclusion explains the gap which you wish to fill and further opportunities of the future studies in the area.

With all this extensive information on how to Review the Literature in Research Projects many educationists, students and professionals have benefitted. Giving it away forward we at IILM University help students at every step in their internships where they work on Research Projects and Proposals. This process might sound rigorous initially but once our students master the basics about Research it opens wide horizons of Creativity, growth & Innovation for them. It gives them a professional edge while being a student they get exposure to learning things the right way.
There is a lot that goes into Research. A true Researcher Lives his Research every moment. Note that during your placement interviews maximum questions are Project-based where your research skills and your dissertation report speak a lot about your analytical skills. Cracking your interviews with critical research gives you an edge over other students. Only a few Universities stress on a Strong Research Foundation and IILM being one benchmarks its Research Teachings on many platforms
Does it end here? No. We keep learning our entire life but to learn it is necessary to read and practice. Keep reading and exploring to uncover the deeper insights about the great findings and researches being done every moment.

For research related guidance, follow my blogs here or write to me at ashutosh.singh@iilmgsm.ac.in

ART THERAPY- DISCOVER YOURSELF

“Mirror is a reflection of our faces and Art of our Souls”

Art has the ability to change and transform lives, in profound ways. When words fail, we turn to images and symbols to narrate our stories. Through art we can reach out to people with our stories and find a path towards transformation and healing.

As they say there is a lot between the heaven and earth than just dreams. Art therapy has a therapeutic way of rooting the idea of creative expression that fosters healing our soul and leading us towards mental well-being. For years art has been a very communicative way to express our feelings. When we were young we would instinctively use painting, drawing, sketching to communicate and express our emotions, but as we grow, and maturity hits us we often forget the beautiful impact art had on our lives.

Through Art Therapy patients are provided with a safe place where they can explore not very pleasant feelings like fear, anger, aggression, unfulfilled expectations. Feelings that they would otherwise avoid to talk about. Rightly said “Art speaks where words end.”  The field of Art and artistic people has always intrigued me. It feels like artistic people see life through a very different lens. They have immense waves of creativity within and so they life seems so sorted and calm. I wonder how various forms of art give them so much of peace. I guess the only reason why their life is so peaceful is that it’s not humans, but a form of art that is communicated as a Peacemaker and Healer adding the Art Therapy to experience the solace within.

Going back to Ancient history, art has been one of the oldest ways to communicate through wall carvings, sculptures, and paintings right from the Indus valley civilization. It is seen that when a person is unable to speak about his pain, they resort to expressing their feelings through Art.

Healing is totally an internal process which has a lot to do with a sense of positivity and inner strength. Ask an artist and they will enlighten you about the therapeutic impact Art has on them. Art Therapy is a type of expressive therapy that enhances a person’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being through the process of creativity. By art we mean everything that stirs our consciousness and inner strength to challenge our mind. This is the process where artistic expression helps lots of people to develop positive feelings, solve problems, change attitudes, boost their self-concept and be more content with themselves.

Art is like a life saving jacket in a world that’s growing crazy. Art keeps you grounded in your roots. It has a meditative impact to develop patience in life. We have to make a choice today either “let Art enter your world or you enter into the World of Art.” Choice is yours to discover the artist in you.

Remember friends Art is not a skill, but an expression and it really does not matter if you think you cannot draw or create. It’s an outlook towards life, which can be seen in the form of a new hobby, learning music, anything that keeps you occupied and for which you feel the desire to create time and it’s  so becoming a part of your life in spite of the busy schedules you have as it heals you from all the stress that you’ve been carrying  as a baggage of life.

It’s practically applicable and as a life skill trainer and therapist, I have seen my students experiencing the magic of art therapy in their lives.  A group of IILM students took this initiative to apply this therapy for the first two weeks and shared such positive results in their level of expression, understanding of situations. One common response was that they learnt to respond rather than react in stressful situations.

Art Therapy gives people medium to express their feelings and problems and tread a happier life that is real and serene in nature. Art as a therapy has proved to be a powerful weapon to combat illness and spread well-being. It allows you to be yourself with no Form and that’s the Beauty. So let’s join hands together to inhale positivity and exhale creativity.

To connect on knowing more about the profound value and benefits of art, colors and visualization therapy write to me on megha.kochhar@iilm.edu

How Leadership Works: And What Motivates People to Follow.

This is one question that every leader thinks, that is how to persuade others to do what you want them to do in the most effective manner. To come to the definite answer to this question, there is a need to start reflecting on what motivates you  to follow or listen to someone. The moment you start reflecting on this basic question, you will immediately start pondering upon what makes you passionate about things in life for which you are ready to expand your comfort zone.  In majority of the cases, it’s all about making an impact  in the lives of others with your work.

Purposive Leadership

The purpose in leadership is all about who you are and what makes you distinct, it’s all about your own unique brand. It is not so much about what you do or your educational qualifications but how you do your job.

It is your ability to articulate purpose behind your work that makes you distinct.  Your ability to help your team members connect with the larger purpose behind your work i.e. making a difference in the lives of others, helps you to connect with your team and motivates them to go to any level to make a remarkable contribution at work.

David Ulrich , Professor of Business Studies at The University of Michigan, who is an expert in the field of human resource and leadership and has authored more than 30 books, shared that leaders in the organisation who enable their employees to find meaning and purpose from their work  create a work culture in which employees are more enthusiastic and generate more value for their customers and investors.

Suresh Narayanan, MD of Nestle India, is one such leader who inculcates a sense of strong purpose amongst his team members and successfully brought the company out from the Maggie crisis and is now steering Nestle successfully during the Covid-19 crises with no retrenchment amongst his existing work force. He shared that it is important to have clarity of one’s purpose in life and it is not about becoming a corporate CEO or an entrepreneur or making a million dollars, but it is all about understanding what you want to be known for, and this makes the whole difference.

How to Lead With Purpose

The first step is to identify your purpose, which needs to be real and authentic. The second important step is to articulate that purpose amongst all your stake holders clearly and persistently. The third important step is to realise that when we use our strengths at work, then we reach in the state of flow, where we become so engrossed at work that time just flows by – and the same is true for our team members. So, help your team members identify their strengths and use it at work. Lastly, create a positive work environment by encouraging a positive work relationship and by giving positive feedback to your team members. Remember, you can help your team members grow by focusing on their strengths. It is only an uplifting and supportive work environment that can help your team members connect to the deeper meaning of their work.

This is what Yuon Chouinard, CEO of Patagonia, an American outdoor clothing company, has done. He clearly aligned his purpose i.e. “cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to environmental crisis” in all his processes, be it product-lines, supply-chain or the pricing of its products. This motivated the company to switch to organic cotton in their clothing lines. The result is that today Patagonia is thriving due to its  focus on overall purpose behind their business and not just the profits.

Purpose Assures Safety in The Times of Crisis.

Leaders who lead with purpose can easily bring their organisations out from crisis. American energy company, DTE Energy, could overcome the 2008 financial crisis by inculcating training programmes for employees that spoke about purpose behind their work. They conducted town hall meetings and conducted culture-binding activities that increased employee engagement to a new level. DTE won a Gallop Great Work Place Reward five years in a row, their financial performance skyrocketed, with the company’s stock price tripling from year end 2008 to year end 2017. Hence, the most important factor that makes an organisation grow amid challenges and crisis is its leadership, with strong purpose which is beyond one’s immediate interests.

Conclusion

Finally, it is important for a leader to help his team members not only to envision the outcome of their daily routines, but also to find meaning in those tasks. So, for me, I not only give lectures but as I teach, I also contribute in preparing Next Generation Business Leaders.

Purposeful leadership is all about creating value and leading a contributive life. It is about being genuine and helping others to develop and display their highest potential. Finally, leaders must create their own brand and think what they want it to be remembered as.

 

Before its back to normal-Pause and Reflect

So we get these forwarded messages of how lockdown 2020 is treating us and how long we will be suffering in this self-imposed isolation. Satirical jokes about Husband-wife, working moms and home schooling, work from home and work at home, binge eating as well as pollution levels down to nil to be able to see far far away keeps all of us amused.

And in the evening, when the rush of emails and pending work cools off and we are not expected to be logged on to any more meetings; a silence grows with a hounding question; Is it going to be like this forever? Will work structurally change where employers have realized financial viability of having people work from home and its efficiency? How are we going to cope with so many changes and so soon?

Clear blue skies, constant birds chirping, reduced pollution levels and an acceptance which was missing in the first week of #stayathome makes me realize the importance of slowing it down.  We all are compelled to take life easy while crumbling mental blocks to expect and deliver perfection and find peace looking at a messy home, jumbled up time schedules, eating boring home food and mostly not having a choice to step out.

Life before this lockdown was living a rush life; the experience to be everywhere and experience everything will certainly come back to us very soon. We all are wishing to return back to those experiences with a spirit of determination and hope that everything will be OK one day.

But before leaving our homebound lives and getting back into action, please let’s not forget why we are here. Did we learn something relevant out of this? Are we going to embrace self-isolation or just avoid seeing this quality time with self as a bad phase of 2020?

If we can just take with us where we are coming from to where we are going in the near future and accept that all life forms are important, so respect; we need each other, so empathize and to never take anything for granted- not a day, a person or a thing.

If we can just remember to be grateful to see beauty in finer things in life and be easy on self I think we have learnt our lockdown lesson well.

“Life becomes more meaningful when you realize that you will never get the same moment twice”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         OURPOSITVE.COM

 

Being Optimistic in times of Pandemic- Corona 2020

Being Optimistic in times of Pandemic- Corona 2020

In the year 2000 Dr Toshihiko Maruta of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, reported that optimists have a longer life span than pessimists. Maruta found that people with a positive outlook on life live on an average 19 percent longer than those who are miserable.

Twenty years back Dr Maruta did not anticipate what the world would be facing and with what intensity. Maybe a scenario where a potentially harmful virus affecting all countries alike and spreading like a pandemic was suited more for a thriller movie than one’s reality today.

People with their routine lives have been warned and coerced to stay at home and worse work from home. World over, barring some professions, everyone has to now get used to this transition in work while carefully balancing work-life balance which everyone knows is a delicate harmony often difficult to achieve.

Uncertainty of events and overload of  information is not letting peace within, so the question is can we be optimistic in time of Pandemic the one that we are going through- CORONA 2020?

I think while going through stream of messages and newspaper articles, we are actually living through a moment in history- something we grew up reading in books and always wondered how people back in those days did it. Their trials, tribulations and finally achieving a little more than success- they became die hard optimistic who later guided others of what life really means.

Optimism is something we are born with like a disposition and something we cultivate over the years with experience and endurance to life.

To be honest it can be very difficult but not impossible to keep your head focused on end goals when there is so much uncertainty and constant restless news that keeps shaking our faith that it will all be fine one day.

With the help of theory on Optimism by Snyder, I could technically help readers to stay aloft this crucial time of despair and keep it going.

  1. Goal– (What we want to happen?) To be safe from Corona Virus
  2. Pathways– (How are we going to get there?) To social distance, keep hygiene at all times, self-isolation for some days as directed by the government knowing it’s in our best interest
  3. Agency– (How much motivation do we have in going after that goal?)
  • Rigorous self-isolation and hygiene to be followed at home, with self and others
  • Thorough planning of keeping work and home life balance which could falter given kids and spouse being at home- look for quick fix solutions and plan your day in advance,
  • Allowing moments of letdown- nothing beats stress like exercise even at home,
  • There is a difference in snacking and mindless binging both in spreading news and eating. Avoid Junk from everywhere, munch on something healthy(apple and a book) once in a while
  • Genuinely look within on doing things you always wanted to do but couldn’t because of lack of time; to start with spending least five minutes in silence (sit in one place and focus on your heartbeat),

It is possible that we won’t get everything right step by step as explained in theory, but even if we reach halfway in that attempt, we bring back some satisfaction of making that honest effort to hold self and significant others steady at times when we needed our selves the most.

Optimism is not only a theoretical construct, it is something we need right now, we need to be more hopeful to return back to that normal life’s madness because we have lost ourselves somewhere there. This Pandemic will change us (hopefully) for better, pause and think how we can transform ourselves when we got to spend the maximum time alone with self.

Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out

John Wooden

Responsible Business | Can Business be responsible?

Words have different meaning in different context. Capitalists have been shown as cruel people with single minded focus on profit . They are not bothered about the larger well being of society. Over the years , things have changed. The government plays an important role in regulating business. Firms have to compete and play by the rules. In the modern world, business needs to be responsible to the challenges faced by society and the world. Super capitalists like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook are super philanthropists too,championing the causes of the poor and the challenges faced the world.

Business is important for society as it organizes production and distribution of goods and services for people. It brings innovation and increases productivity, introduces better techniques of production , employs people, pays taxes to the government and makes profit for its investors .

A responsible business does all this playing by the rules and norms set by the community and the government . But there is more to this term Responsible Business . As I see there two main challenges which our world faces and businesses can’t be oblivious to these challenges . The first challenge is environmental problems due to economic development and burning of fossil fuels which are impacting nature in negative way. The second challenge is the prevailing inequality in the world between the rich and the poor . These problems will increase in their proportions as population of the world will increase from existing 7 billion to 9 billion in next 30 years, though most of the increase will happen Africa where consumption level is very low .

Business has the three important factors what in management jargon is said ” Triple Bottom Line ” . People, planet and profit . There is going to be tough balancing act for any company to do as the scope and range of competition at the market place are getting sharper everyday.

The economic and scientific and technological development of last 200 years have brought enormous benefits to mankind but there are downsides with serious consequences . The use of plastics is one case which is so harmful. It is choking the drains, pollutes water bodies and is non biodegradable . We need an alternative to plastics for packaging and other uses .

Companies drain their untreated chemical effluents to fresh water rivers . That is creating serious problem to large number of people. There are many examples where planet friendly business processes create higher cost to the company which affect their competitiveness at the market place . This is serious dilemma for any company to create a right long term path.

A company which can balance people Profit and Planet or triple bottom line is responsible business. A very few is venturing out in that direction in real sense. Most of the initiatives are on surface and for media and government consumption while maximizing profit remains the main mantra.

The economics and accounting measurement need to change to reflect the ideal balance which a company has achieved and that also gets rewarded at the marketplace. . Without thinking long term and aligning the personal goals with larger social goals, nothing much can be achieved .That is precisely the role of enlightened leadership. Responsible Business will stem out of responsible , visionary and enlightened business leadership.

Responsible business will come out of only from responsible leadership.

Enhancing Workplace Learning: Role of Coaching and Mentoring

Swiss Re, a Zurich-based global re-insurance firm achieved an impressive turnaround moving from a loss of $ 663 million in 2008 to a net income of $4.2 billion in 2012. By 2015 the company aims to generate 20-25 per cent revenues from high growth markets. This requires talented people with right skills and languages as well as agility and passion to perform. In response to this, the company has embraced the 70-20-10 learning and development model to support the targeted business growth. In this model, 70 per cent is geared to learning on the job through rotations and stretch assignments, 20 per cent is focused on learning from coaching and mentoring and 10 per cent is invested in formal training methods such as seminars and e-training. Thus the company is using a range of means to strengthen continuous learning and development with strategic investment and focus on workplace learning.

Today, organisations are working in an environment that is increasingly disrupted by consumers, technology and regulatory shifts. In such a scenario the traditional classroom model of learning is doomed. As a result, organisations are exploring new approaches for employee development that are not tied to the formal structured methods around the classes, courses and curricula model. In part this interest has been driven by economic consideration. Pressures to lower training costs and reduce budgets for travel have been a major factor. But this focus is also driven by the realization that a majority of adult learning occurs not through formal learning but through experience, practice, conversations and reflection in the workplace. Added to this is the emerging appreciation of the important role the context plays in learning. Focus on workplace learning has not been confined to any particular business sector or to specific group of employees but is being adopted across wide range of industries, agencies and government departments.

Rationale for workplace learning

The publication of research and survey data over the past decade indicates that workplace and informal learning offer an effective and efficient solutions to improved workplace performance. People learn 70 per cent of what they know about their jobs informally (Loewensteinn and Spletzer,1996). This has been validated in the body of research in the ensuing years. Capital Works study reports that approximately 75 per cent of the skills employee use on the job were learned informally through discussions with co workers, self study, mentoring by managers and similar methods. Casebow and Ferguson (2010) found that most frequent and effective approaches to learning used were informal chats with colleagues (80 per cent) and on the job instruction from managers and colleagues (45 per cent). Exact percentages may vary from study to study but it indicates the importance of workplace learning . Some of the most critical skills to workplace success, communication, collaboration, teamwork and even technical skills, are cultivated through invaluable and ongoing informal workplace learning: mentoring, coaching, peer reviews and job shadowing.

Coaching and mentoring

Workplace coaching is a collaborative, solution-focused, result-oriented and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance and the selfdirected learning and personal growth of individual (Greene & Grant, 2003). Mentoring is an interactive process occurring between individuals of differing levels of experience and expertise which incorporates interpersonal or psycho-social development, career and/or educational development, and socialisation functions into the relationship (Carmin, 1988). Broadly speaking, coaching supports individuals and teams in building skills that increase performance while mentoring is primarily about developing capability and potential. (CIPD,2009). Coaching has a short term focus vis-a- vis mentoring which focuses on long term development.

Most companies position coaching as an investment in high-performers. Individual coaching often focuses on the top layers of the firm. Team coaching is offered using experiential learning such as business simulations and team exercises. Mentoring is offered to emerging talents as a relationship outside the regular reporting line that helps them develop and move successfully through times of change and transition. A more experienced person is matched with another less experienced one and acts as a listener and guide in questions of business and personal development. Interaction with senior managers helps develop a more sophisticated and strategic perspective on the firm and its direction, values and ways of working (Day 2001). Coaching and mentoring help accelerate learning to create impact at the individual, group and business level as they are geared to people and teams with significant involvement in organisational change process (Vera&Crossan,2004).

UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel Management reports that 51 per cent of companies (sample of 500) ‘consider coaching as a key part of learning development’ and ‘crucial to their strategy’, with 90 per cent reporting that they use coaching. More recent research in 2011 by Qa Research found that 80 per cent of organisations surveyed had used or are now using coaching. According to Toyota’s philosophy, the responsibility to develop people falls squarely on the line manager, not on the HR department or the trainer in the classroom. The next generation is developed through coaching of daily work. Employees are given challenging assignments by managers. The development lies in the stretch between their current ability and the learning they need to go through to complete the assignment successfully. In addition to defining the right stretch to each member, the manager must also coach and support the member throughout the assignment to help him or her succeed, all the while leaving enough room to think, allowing mistakes and using each one as a stepping stone to development.

Companies like Smithkline Beecham, Cadbury, Hewlett Packard, Mckinsey & Co, Infosys to name a few are using mentoring to develop their employees from initial stage Mariott International and Bank of America have formal mentoring programmes. Here, more senior professionals and mangers team up with less experienced protegees with the aim of assisting the protegee to improve their performance and career progress. The accounting firm KPMG made ‘online mentoring program’ part of its employer of choice initiative . Nestlé has launched several mentoring schemes at different levels in the organisation. Credit risk company Experian has since 2008 been running a global talent development forum and internal mentoring initiative the Experian Business Network for its high potential and diverse emerging talent.

Benefits of coaching and mentoring

Coaching and mentoring help employees to

► To adjust to the culture in an organization: The Coach/Mentor can provide the new worker with information on the corporate culture, organizational structure and procedures that will help the younger professional settle into his role in the business.
► Help in employee growth and development: Coaching and mentoring programmes provide the mentee with real-world knowledge that bridges the gap between educational theory and actual business practices.
► Those serving as coaches and mentors within an organization gain personal and professional satisfaction by sharing their expertise with other employees.
► A supportive atmosphere can improve employee morale and loyalty, thereby helping to reduce turnover and boost productivity.
► Companies can align the goals of the business with a mentoring programme to gain a competitive edge.

Conclusion

Coaching and mentoring, whether formal or informal, provide a simple and cost-effective way to enhance enterprise learning and provide direct and specific learning and development to employees. They help employees improve their essential skills, reinforce strong relationships among employees, support a learning culture in the workplace, and increase productivity.