Prioritising digital literacy for our workforce
ECONOMY & POLICY

Prioritising digital literacy for our workforce

HR is the engine that powers our business. The efficiency with which we manage our people directly influences our overall efficiency, making it a critical responsibility for every leader,” says the HR professional, revealing his passion for the job. What are the current best prac...

HR is the engine that powers our business. The efficiency with which we manage our people directly influences our overall efficiency, making it a critical responsibility for every leader,” says the HR professional, revealing his passion for the job. What are the current best practices in induction policies? Aware of the intense war for talent, we have evolved various programmes designed to both attract the best talent available and ringfence and retain our prime talent. Some of our best practices for induction include: Early engagement and communication: We interact with our new hires well before their official joining date through welcome emails and comprehensive pre-joining information to evoke a feel of anticipation, laying the groundwork for a strong employer-employee relationship. The buddy system: A ‘buddy’ is assigned to each new hire, a peer support mechanism to help them adjust quicker to their new environment. Continuous feedback and improvement: Systematic feedback is methodically gathered at key milestones – 30, 60 and 90 days post-joining – to create a continuous loop of improvement. GRACE or ‘Get Ready For an Awesome Career in Engineering’: This pre-joining campus engagement initiative for those recruited from premier institutes utilises technology and gamification to connect, introducing them to L&T’s employee value proposition and values through brief quizzes. In essence, our induction programme goes beyond mere formalities to ensure that every new employee feels welcomed, valued and equipped to start their journey on a positive note, inspiring them to connect with the company's heritage and future aspirations. Please tell us about the company's upskilling initiatives. Our Learning & Development (L&D) is rooted in a comprehensive understanding of critical growth drivers of the workforce. Leadership development: Through our Leadership Development Academy, we chart a clear path for potential leaders with the Seven Step Leadership Pipeline Programme, designed to nurture leadership qualities at every stage of one’s career. The ASCENT Series and the ‘People Leadership Programmes’ delve deeper, offering competency development tailored to the complex challenges of leadership roles. We place huge value on diversity and inclusiveness, with programmes like ‘Women Leadership (DEI)’ to develop women leaders. Project management and technical acumen: In the fast-paced industries that L&T operates in, project management is a critical skill. On the technical front, Technical Development Programmes and Engineering Academies upskill employees in the latest technologies and methodologies. Career progression programmes and competency development initiatives underscore the intention to build a robust pipeline of skilled managers and technicians. Building functional and technical capabilities: Understanding the need for a multidimensional skill set, we invest in enhancing functional capabilities across various domains, from finance and marketing to operations. The dedicated Business Excellence Model and Operational Excellence Training are a testament to L&T's pursuit of setting benchmarks in business practices, operational efficiency and human resource management. Nurturing young talent: Our strategy includes a significant focus on the younger generation through initiatives aimed to prepare fresh, job-ready graduates by supporting their education and development, priming them to evolve into future leaders. Employee well-being and ethical foundation: Several of our initiatives aim to support health and mental well-being. Compliance training ensures that the workforce is abreast of the legal and ethical standards, cementing the organisation's reputation for integrity and ethical conduct. The digital edge in L&D: Our ATL Varsity and role-based academies leverage digital platforms to provide accessible and flexible learning opportunities for employees to enhance their digital skills, aligned with the industry's technology-driven trajectory. Commitment to organisational values: Our Organisational Development (OD) initiatives imbue employees with L&T’s core values and culture with programmes that focus on aligning personal and organisational values to create and sustain a cohesive and resilient company culture. Construction Skills Training Institutes (CSTIs): Skill India is one of our Prime Minister’s prime focus areas and through our eight CSTIs, located across the country, we skill India’s unemployed rural youth in various construction trades for them to find better livelihoods. Thus far, over 300,000 youth have enjoyed the benefits of our training. What current trends are reshaping the HR sector? Digital technologies: Technologies such as AI, ML, data analytics and more are revolutionising HR, making processes more efficient, improving decision-making and enhancing employee experience. Apart from throwing up deep insights for HR leaders into workforce dynamics to evolve proactive strategies, digitalisation is freeing the time of HR professionals to focus on strategic initiatives. Employee experience: The impact of employee experience on retention, productivity and overall business success must be recognised. Hybrid work models, mental health awareness and technology-driven workspaces have become the norm with organisations not only catering to the functional needs of employees but investing in their emotional well-being too. The pandemic ushered in a boundary-less work environment, challenging traditional notions of the workplace. The rise of remote work, the gig economy and flexible hours call for policies that accommodate diverse workstyles and personal needs, ensuring that all employees can contribute effectively, regardless of their location or circumstances.Total rewards: Compensation structures are evolving as well with organisations embracing a holistic approach to rewards with both financial and non-financial benefits. This trend is driving HR to develop comprehensive packages that enhance job satisfaction and loyalty, which include performance-based pay, flexible benefits, professional development opportunities, work-life balance initiatives, and more. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and ESG: Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are becoming strategic imperatives rather than checkboxes for compliance and we are harnessing DEI to drive innovation, employee engagement and talent retention. Similarly, ESG criteria are being integrated into HR practices to align talent strategies with broader societal and environmental responsibilities. How can HR policies expand upon India's growth potential? We are known as ‘builders of nations’ and, as such, our efforts have always been to create defining infrastructure across critical sectors for our nation to drive growth. By skilling, reskilling and upskilling talent, we are dipping into the country’s vast and diverse talent pool and by prioritising digital literacy and competencies, we are preparing our workforce for the future, aligned to India's ambition to become a leading digital economy. Aiming to be water neutral by 2035 and carbon neutral by 2040, we have integrated sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility into our HR policies, which also encourage entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.How is AI being used in HR processes?AI is transforming our HR processes like automating the initial stages of the recruitment process, from scanning resumes to identifying candidates whose skills and experience align with job requirements. We can now stack rank candidates based on job descriptions that improves the recruiter’s productivity as well as candidate experience. Robotic process automation (RPA) in processing offers has significantly streamlined the process with automated creation and distribution of customised offer letters. With even background checks and other pre-employment verification processes automated, hiring is quicker and smoother. We have strategically deployed AI analytics to gauge and analyse employee engagement and satisfaction levels through regular pulse surveys along with 30, 60 and 90-day feedback surveys for new joinees that enhances employee engagement by promptly identifying and addressing their needs and concerns. Our development programmes are now personalised thanks to AI based on individual learning preferences, job performance and career goals. Our AI-powered virtual assistants provide employees with immediate access to information about HR policies, benefits and other HR-related queries. What measures has your company implemented for talent retention? We have adopted a holistic strategy to retain talent by empowering employees and promoting their overall well-being. Our compensation packages are aligned with market trends,attractive and comprehensive, with clear paths for career progression and personal growth for high performers and those in critical roles. We offer a surfeit of training and learning opportunities at our numerous training centres while our focused training initiatives are integral to our holistic approach to talent development and key to retaining top talent. By adopting a digital-first approach, we release engaging content on internal platforms to both inform and entertain while our regular recognition initiatives celebrate contributions across the organisation, sustaining a culture of appreciation. We run awareness campaigns focused on financial literacy and health and deployment of interactive platforms and contests encourages active participation and engagement, supporting continuous learning and skill development. The culture of care, trust and continuous learning at L&T serves as a powerful tool for employees to stay the course with us. In essence, our talent retention efforts are a blend of competitive benefits, digital engagement, personal growth opportunities and a commitment to employee health and wellness, all of which contribute to a supportive and dynamic work environment.

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