How can Learning & Development help thrive organizations in Pandemic

1# In the current times, how can Learning & Development help thrive organizations?

The current Pandemic has brought about a 360-degree change in the way we all have been working for the past so many years. The “New Normal” way of working requires organizations to take Learning & development far more seriously than they ever have. The current times have necessitated a change in the mode of L&D, with online & distance learning courses being the most preferred ways to train employees. Companies are now realizing that these are not only more flexible and easy options but also extremely cost-effective ones. L&D is the need of the hour. Employees need to be trained to adapt themselves to the changing skill & competency requirements in the current times. Organizations are also recognizing that upgrading their employees with enriching and impactful L&D interventions will help them have a robust workforce which shall eventually help them wade through this crisis and come out of it successfully. However, the structure of L&D has and will undergo a vast change with more emphasis on “Employee Driven” training needs rather than “Employer Driven” Needs.

2# What if employees leave the organization after getting trained and developed?

I have two main issues however with the premise the questions posed:

  • There is an assumption in the question that training and development ends
  • The question should be, what do I need to do to make the workplace so good my employees want to stay?

I would like to answer this question with an example.

Once a CEO asked the HR Head: “What if we train our people & they leave”. The HR Head says: “What if we don’t train them and they stay”

This is a beautiful example of the perils of “non-training” – How harmful is it for the organization if it is full of employees who are not trained and who don’t choose to leave. 

So training is a “Necessary commodity” for any organization. Without it, your organization will surely fail. In comparison to having trained employees leave. 

Organizations need to ask themselves “Are you training your employees to leave or developing them to stay”.

Research indicates that not only do you have to train your employees; you also have to give them a chance to use their newly acquired skills to move up the organizational ladder. In other words, they have to also grow. If you are giving them an opportunity to train & upgrade their skills, you also have the responsibility to then complement their skills by either giving them a higher position or a new role or an added responsibility, factors for which typically people leave.

If you want to increase your chances of retaining valuable employees, then you need to both train and promote them. Then if they still leave, you’ll at least know that you’ve done everything that you could.

Some organizations believe that having Training Bonds or Contracts will help in holding back trained employees. 

Well let me bust this myth: Contracts & Bonds don’t work!


If you’re using contracts to deter employees from leaving, you are only postponing their intention to ultimately leave you. If they do not have the desired engagement levels with your organization, they will surely leave once the bond period is over. Also, you may ultimately be hurting your chances of recruiting good people. In today’s market, no one wants to walk into something that would be a negative,” Morello said. “It is a disincentive. If I go to an organization that promises to train me, to equip me to be able to do their work, then that’s because of the work that they need me to do. It’s a give & takes. So in my experience, bonds do not work in building employee engagement! 

Make sure that Training and Development don’t stop – When it does people will leave or look to leave. Training and development are not about formal courses, but about continuously learning and growing, both personally and professionally. 

Last but not the least, employees who see you as an organization that is committed to not only your growth & development but also theirs, will not leave you easily unless of course there are certainly other issues. Organizations also need to understand that People leave managers and not companies. So you need to make sure that they feel valued and listened to, they feel part of the business and they are well aware and appreciated& rewarded for their contribution towards the organization.

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Author / Educator – Shivani Malhotra, Co-Founder, Positive Vibes Consulting / Director Strategy & Head People & Culture, Vega Schools

Shivani is an award winning seasoned HR & Learning specialist with over 16 years of experience in various senior HR positions at reputed Indian and Multinational Companies in India & abroad. She has been awarded the prestigious “Business World Education 40 under 40” award which makes her apart of the elite club of top 40 education/training leaders of the BW club. Having worked in prestigious companies such as DCM Shriram Ltd, Yum! Brands (Parent Company of Pizza Hut & KFC) & KPMG (Qatar & Bahrain), Shivani started her own venture, Positive Vibes Consulting, in 2016, a fast-growing HR & Training consulting firm based out of Gurgaon.

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2 Comments

  1. Hariharan Appathurai October 8, 2020 9:37 am  Reply

    yes Shivani, rightly pointed out – Once a CEO asked the HR Head: “What if we train our people & they leave”. The HR Head says: “What if we don’t train them and they stay”, we do not have complete control, other than creating a amazing working and learning culture, where people can learn and perform well.

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