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Crucial to train for behavioral & social skills

3 CHROs from the top BFSI companies in India open up about their training and motivation programs aimed at enhancing employee effectiveness. The story is divided into 4 parts: (i) functional and behavioral training, (ii) manager to leadership training, (iii) learning-based training, (iv) motivational programs:

Part 1:

New Additions: Functional & Behavioral

CHROs discussed the recent training programs introduced by their companies:

New Additions: Functional & Behavioral

CHROs among BFSI companies create customized training programs for each functional team, with a focus on improving their business acumen. This includes understanding financial statements, key performance indicators (KPIs), industry-specific terminology, and strategic objectives. Training is provided through interactive workshops led by subject matter experts, case studies that apply acquired knowledge to practical situations, cross-functional collaboration to promote communication and teamwork, access to online courses and resources for continuous learning, and mentorship programs to guide teams on role-related business aspects. To determine the effectiveness of these programs finance companies, conduct feedback surveys to study audience perception, and outcomes can be analyzed to ensure that the training is effective and relevant.

Abhijeet Bose, the Head of Human Resources at Yes Securities (India), suggests that HR should constantly strive to improve training effectiveness. This can be achieved by customizing training content to meet the specific needs and goals of each team, providing refresher courses and advanced training workshops, incorporating feedback to make necessary changes to training content and delivery methods, introducing gamification elements to make training more engaging, utilizing e-learning platforms, interactive simulations, and immersive learning technology.

Abhijeet further added: “Lastly, HR should focus on helping teams develop their soft skills, including effective communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.”

Functional & Behavioral

Shriram Finance offers training to its employees which includes a physical visit to their auto mall where they can learn about the functioning of live vehicles. After the introduction, the company provides a self-assessment tool to enable employees to map out their career growth within the company. Hands-on training is considered essential, specifically for those employees appointed for ‘Truck Products’ who receive specialized training called ‘Travel on Truck’. This training helps them gain a better understanding and proficiency as financiers.

According to S Sunder, the Joint Managing Director of Shriram Finance, the evaluation process involves quarterly reviews conducted by regional business heads and HR representatives. These reviews offer valuable feedback to employees, providing them with guidance and support for continuous improvement.

LoanTap conducts monthly ‘Functional and Behavioral Trainings’ that benefit both employees and the organization. Some of the key advantages of these trainings include promoting a cohesive and high-performing workforce. Ajit Yadwadkar, the Head of People Strategy at LoanTap, emphasizes: “Functional training encourages collaboration, knowledge sharing, and personal development, resulting in a more efficient, innovative, and engaged workforce.”

Ajit added: “Behavioral training is crucial because it improves interpersonal skills, enhances teamwork, develops emotional intelligence, manages conflicts, foster leadership qualities, boosts customer service, manages stress, promotes adaptability, creates a positive work environment, encourages personal growth, and upholds ethical behavior.”

Skill Based Training

Loantap analyses the necessary skills needed to perform tasks and tailor training programs accordingly. Each department has its unique skill set requirements, and we make sure to provide training that enhances its efficiency in carrying out tasks. Ajit mentioned that: “We measure progress using qualitative assessments, which involve evaluating factors like team dynamics, communication, and output quality. We rely on continuous feedback mechanisms to provide the appropriate solutions at every stage of the training process.”

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Part 2:

Developing managers into leaders

Finance companies have implemented various management programs to enhance the effectiveness of their employees:

Shriram Finance has a refresher training program at regular intervals, the company gives its existing frontline employees an insightful refresher training program. This program equips them with the latest developments in business and industry trends, enabling them to stay ahead in a dynamic business landscape. Through comprehensive learning materials, such as manuals, videos, and ready reckoners, available on our HRMS Portal, employees have convenient access to valuable resources for continuous reference.

Developing managers into a leadersShriram Finance offers an advanced eLearning and mobile learning platform called Mycoach. This platform acts as a comprehensive knowledge center, providing a complete understanding of important concepts, products, processes, and organizational policies. As per S Sunder, the platform is inclusive, with major modules thoughtfully incorporated into all South Indian languages and Hindi. The company values a culture of learning and empowerment, investing in the growth and success of its valuable human capital.

Leadership Programs

The Yes Securities leadership assimilation program is a structured learning process that aims to introduce and integrate a new leader into the culture and relationships of their team. This program aligns expectations and preferences while removing barriers to success for both the new leader and their team members.

Abhijeet disclosed that the program had a positive impact on the team’s relationship with the newly joined compliance head. During the session, several key issues were highlighted and resolved collaboratively by the entire team.

Programs for Emerging Managers

The Yes Securities professional development program aims to improve the client experience, sales force knowledge, and presentation skills. Abhijeet stated: “The program started with a two-day classroom training session on the equity market, followed by product presentation and knowledge assessment. Additionally, a seminar was conducted by a facilitator to provide the team with actionable insights on important aspects of sales and client service.”

According to Ajit, the purpose of providing training for emerging managers was to improve their abilities in leading and managing teams, projects, and responsibilities within a company. The participants were individuals who had either recently become managers or were being trained for future leadership roles.

Intelligence & Transactional Analysis

The transactional analysis technique is a valuable tool for gaining insight into one’s behavior and the behavior of others, particularly in relationships. TA training aims to improve communication, identify behavioral patterns, and foster healthy relationships to enhance personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Ajit says: “TA is a psychological theory and therapeutic approach that can be applied in a variety of settings, including workplaces and personal relationships.”

Yes Securities Power BI session was hosted to equip its business intelligence team with key aspects of data-driven insights that help the management in strategic decision-making. The four days of the program helped participants have a hands-on experience with the tool.

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Part 3:

Customers always better coaches

As employees interact with customers, they learn valuable insights that can be used to improve products, processes, and more. CHROs suggest sharing these learnings across the organization to benefit everyone:

Organizations need to collect and share insights from employees’ interactions with customers. By doing so, they can identify areas for improvement and gain valuable insights into customer preferences. Employee feedback can be shared with relevant teams, and customer service reports and analytics can highlight recurring issues and opportunities for improvement. Regular team meetings and huddles provide an opportunity for employees to share their experiences and learnings, and to discuss customer interactions and related insights. This helps to spread knowledge and improve processes across the organization.

Innovation workshops & brainstorming sessions

Innovation workshops and brainstorming sessions encourage cross-functional teams to collaborate and share insights from customer interactions. This fosters a culture of continuous improvement and purposeful idea generation. Post-project reviews on the completion of specific projects help identify successes, challenges, and learnings from each project. Insights gained from customer interactions during these projects are immensely valuable to design and deliver solution-centric initiatives. Internal communications channels like newsletters or intranet portals highlight customer success stories, feedback, and significant learnings.

Cross-functional workgroups

To ensure that the insights of frontline employees are communicated upward, management implements feedback loops. This is done through regular meetings, surveys, and channels dedicated to employee suggestions. Abhijeet suggests that cross-functional workgroups enable employees from various departments to collaborate on specific projects or initiatives. This facilitates the exchange of ideas and learnings gathered from different customer interactions. Additionally, training and development programs help employees understand the significance of customer interactions and provide them with the necessary skills to maximize these interactions.

Learning from upstream & sideways

Shriram Finance has a combination of various programs for employees collecting and disseminating employee learning both upstream and sideways. The NBFC has introduced a branch manager training program- every branch manager is being subjected to at least one training program for 2 days. This training program is being attended by JMDs, zonal heads, national heads, and product heads to update the current happenings and share their expectations. The BTL certification program- branch admin heads are being subjected to the “BTL Certification Program” by passing an assessment test to effectively carry out their assignment after going through a series of learning modules.

Shriram Finance has a talent pool among the front-line relationship executives identified and those employees are being given special training in terms of critical areas for 2 days to equip themselves as future leaders.

S Sunder shares: “This program is named as ‘Upcoming Leadership Program’. Through these initiatives, we make sure that insightful lessons from employee-customer interactions are gathered, communicated upstream to management, and distributed sideways among peers to build an organizational culture of continuous learning and development.”

Knowledge Café

Loantap has introduced a founders’ discussion program, these sessions are mostly organized for new joiners who have been in the organization for less than 4 months. The objective of this session is to give a sense of LoanTap as to ‘what we do & why we do’ to the new joiners. Everyone must complete 3 sessions on this program which helps them gain knowledge about the company and the entire fintech & NBFC space. The session is conducted by LoanTap founders since they are pioneers in their space.

Loantap has introduced a learning and knowledge-sharing platform which is called ‘Knowledge Café’ to accelerate its employees’ learning. As the company has different functions, an expert from each department conducts a knowledge-sharing session within his team and the company circulates the session details, to everyone in the organization. This helps everyone in the

organization to gain knowledge in their field as well as other functions, giving a deep insight into the fintech space.

Ajit stated that sharing knowledge promotes the exchange of various perspectives, which ultimately results in more inventive ideas and creative problem-solving. It also enables employees to enhance each other’s concepts, leading to better solutions.

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Part 4:

Motivating Employees

HR Heads discussed the employee motivation strategies adopted by their organizations:

When a company recognizes and celebrates its employees, it helps to boost their motivation and provides a reason for the business to celebrate as well.

Yes Securities HCM team introduced the Leader’s Talk to help leaders excel at value-added communication as an integral part of our 4 C initiative (Community, Care, Cost, Communication). This program helped leaders articulate and communicate their professional and personal challenges, as also talk about their achievements and learnings with employees.

Abhijeet says: “The leaders elaborated on diverse themes including organization growth, self-growth, inculcating reading habit in these sessions, which helped employees understand the larger vision of the management. The program established a better connection between the management and employees and the interaction was seamlessly aligned with the larger cause of achieving organizational goals and objectives.”

Rewards & Offsite Trips

Shriram Group has introduced Employee Rewards Program, under which there is a chance for every employee to come forward and express their ideas and views on the company’s products and process improvements in serving the community better. Any ideas that become the policy of the company result in the concerned employee being rewarded under the program, ensuring participative functioning within the organization. S Sunder added: “Such innovative programs have led to improved employee satisfaction, increased performance, better teamwork, and a positive work culture.”

Recently, Loantap organized a leadership off-site in Goa, aimed at aligning team members with personal and organizational goals. This event provided participants with a deep insight into their journeys and personas, enabling them to create a future road map. The objective of the off-site was to focus on self-awareness, personal growth, and identifying areas for improvement.

Ajit shared that the participants gained a deeper understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, values, and emotional triggers. They also developed better empathy, self-regulation, and social skills, which improved their interpersonal relationships. Additionally, participants worked on personal growth areas, fostering a more resilient, adaptable, and proactive mindset.

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