| Pic: Ojo Images/IndiaPicture |
Are high-performing individuals resistant to training and development programmes with the excuse of knowing enough already?
Experts have pointed out many a times, that in quite a few organisations, which have some of the finest managers, there is often a feeling of resistance when it comes to imparting training to them. They feel that with their academic and professional credentials being so impeccable and the fact that they are already working in a competitive environment, delivering on their job and are successful enough, where is the need to undergo training? So, is it really true that high-performing or smart (read:talented) people find it difficult to learn?
According to Rajiv Burman, senior director and chief people officer, Max New York Life Insurance, it is not about ‘smart' people finding it difficult to learn, especially in today's world where nothing is constant. "Organisations need to understand that the learner's context/style is changing rapidly and hence, smart or otherwise, it is critical to adapt approaches, which will make the learning experience something that a smart learner would look forward to. Over the last few years, the internet has had a profound effect on the private and professional lives of people, thus offering them an increasing number and a range of opportunities for accessing information, gaining and exchanging knowledge and realising personal learning goals," he points out.
It would not be appropriate to say that smart people find it difficult to learn, believes Narasimha Rao, vice president – HR, AgroTech Foods Ltd. "Smart young talent may not be interested in traditional learning models, but they always look for value-driven learning. The organisation's learning programme should motivate and engage individuals and teams to learn and develop skills," he asserts. Similarly, Dilip Kumar Srivastava, corporate vice president and global head – HR, HCL Technologies feels high-potential people do not have inhibitions as far as learning is concerned. "On the contrary, they are always enthusiastic to learn, be trained on new domains and acquire new skills. In fact, these individuals not only inform and educate themselves continuously, but also create a learning culture in an organisation, which inspires others to follow suit. Today, it is this ‘learnability' trait that influences an organisation's decision to hire a potential candidate," he expresses.
It is also said that it is often the prevailing intellectual arrogance in organisations that plagues the creation of a learning organisation? How true is this? Srivastava feels that while this statement might be true, there are certain ways that an organisation can employ to avert this situation. "Providing training programmes and learning and development (L&D) opportunities to all employees is a strong step in this direction. Employee mentoring across levels and locations is also necessary. Organisations can assist the intellectual growth needs of employees by providing online tools and portals, which have learning-oriented modules on various subjects. In addition to these measures, organisations should also encourage dialogue between the CEO, senior leadership and employees as this would result in a lot of learning for everyone involved," he suggests.
According to Rao, "High-performing people always look for value in their assigned project but if they do not see much value, then it may result in loss of interest. Instead of perceiving it as intellectual arrogance, the company should take it as a responsibility and turn it into an opportunity and strive to create higher learning environment for the employees."
Hence, it can be concluded that smart people are not the ones who find it difficult to learn; moreover, they are more enthusiastic to learn. Organisations just need to understand and introduce training initiatives that would entice them to learn more each day.
- Yasmin Taj
The writer can be contacted at email@example.com