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Network services company Tata Communications coped well with the switch to remote working, but how is it future-proofing skills in a tight labour market where employees need to become comfortable with change?
It’s easy to assume that digital companies had it the easiest when it came to the sudden switch to remote work at the start of the pandemic.
But Ina Bajwa, global head of learning and development at Tata Communications, which provides carrier and network services for around 30% of the world’s internet routes, still found it took her team by surprise.
“As a digital transformation company we drive this sort of thing for our employees, mirroring the work we do for customers,” she says.
“So maybe we were a bit more prepared than organisations in other industries, but there were still a lot of challenges.” The company moved 95% of employees to remote working in the course of 15 days.
As the L&D team in an organisation that recruits around 3,500 people a year, one of the initial focuses was how it would onboard new hires and still give them “an experience of who we are and how our culture works”, she adds.
“Navigating through that was a huge shift. But our feedback from new joiners has been as high as other years because they understand how challenging this is in the current times.”
Easy access learning
The pandemic also hit just months after Tata Communications had launched a new learning strategy.
It had centralised learning resources onto a single platform, meaning employees and new starters could access learning content easily despite the sudden shift to working from home.
“Context is everything in L&D in terms of aligning with business goals,” says Bajwa. “Three quarters of our development and training is in te