Anupama Kaul

“Powering the Potential” of employees through Upskilling | Anupama Kaul | Human Resources Leader | Cummins India

Anupama KaulThe last two years have compelled Leaders to focus on developing talent strategies aimed at building people centric and resilient organizations which can keep pace with the evolving future of work trends. A highly competent, talented, and multi-skilled workforce can propel growth, help in solving critical business challenges and drive innovation in different forms.

Upskilling employees is the foundation of any business and acts as a catalyst to deliver high organizational performance. It is a combination of action based learning and developmental learning. To keep pace with the emerging technologies, rise of the gig economy and dynamic talent marketplaces, the emphasis on employee upskilling and reskilling has significantly increased. Upskilling and reskilling can be a key engagement driver for organizations to think ahead and prepare for success in this new world order.

At Cummins, we have studied these trends closely, to shape the way forward on upskilling and reskilling employees as we understand that technology has made workforce roles and skills dynamic. We need to expand our spectrum of what upskilling means and what are the different ways in which it can be done impactfully to drive business outcomes. Upskilling can have a multi-dimensional impact on organization’s success when it is designed and delivered in a thoughtful and personalized manner by keeping employee needs and aspirations at the centre.

From an organizational development perspective, some of the prominent benefits of upskilling are employee motivation, employee retention, succession planning, transfer of knowledge, capability building, employee engagement etc. Along with these, there is an aspect of human development too, and that is to promote Lifelong Learning (LLL). I strongly believe that learning never stops and is a lifelong process. As human beings, we have a primal need to survive, to grow and to learn. Growth that comes with learning new skills, building competencies and imbibing a “Growth mindset” gives us inspiration, meaning, and a sense of achievement. Growth comes through learning both personally and professionally through formal or informal methods.

At Cummins, we believe in a continuous learning model, which aligns to the lifelong learning (LLL) concept. We promote holistic employee development and employees add to their skills and competencies with ‘diverse work – project experiences’, ‘leaning from networks of peers, buddies, mentors and stakeholders’, experiential learning and from ‘formal education’. Our employees are empowered to be the author of their career stories, to take accountability for their development, to help them define what success means to them as we extend our support in the form of resources and tools, they need in their growth journey. We encourage our employees to pursue learning mindfully in an organized manner that help them achieve their true potential.

Our goal is to transform our organization into a well-functioning learning organization, where everyone is the owner of their development and everyone is growing seamlessly. We have embarked upon this journey and have a long way ahead of us before we truly become an integrated learning organization. Investing mindfully in upskilling ourselves and our employees is our way to lead our organization towards a sustainable and prosperous future and create value for all our stakeholders.

In a nutshell, upskilling is an accelerator for growth. It helps us stay relevant, transform ourselves and the organization and gives us the wings we need to achieve our goals and aspirations.