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September 4, 2020

We may be under lockdown physically, but our minds cannot be forced into shutdown. By now, most of us have found our own internal rhythm to cope during this pandemic. Every aspect of our lives has been affected in the last few months of 2020 in unforeseen ways. If there is one thing that makes all of us  subconsciously evolve, it is "learning" – be it in terms of coping with constraints like curfews, figuring out workarounds like video-calls, optimizing scarce resources (for instance when the supply of daily essentials is hit), sharing our good practices through social media, weeding out fake news from real, and watching just enough news to “know, but not panic”. Moreover, from dealing with future plans on #NewBeginning to surviving the daily crisis, we are growing stronger, learning new skills, habits, technologies. Undoubtedly, learning is a key element in our survival kit.

Being the architects of change in a turbulent world

Learning is the biggest and most effective tool to evolve professionally and personally to be better individuals. Some people have successfully transitioned into the digital mode of learning while the rest are in an evolutionary phase. The surge of online professional development has strengthened the fact that when the freedom of time and space is bestowed, we are steadfast learners. This, in turn, forms the core that sustains us as resilient professionals.

In the womb of any crisis, lies the promise of new possibilities. The world is changing and with it, are its people, technologies, industries and jobs. Relevance seizes the top priority in our resumes. Staying relevant calls for enhancing our digital competencies and learning interventions that not only fit a job profile but goes further beyond in deep-skilling. Hence, engaging in the active process of learning and un-learning just like any other daily chore revitalizes and bolsters our foothold in modern existence.

Learning: The TCS Way

The dawn of the COVID-19 crisis redefined  “normalcy” into “new normal”.  Offices and off-shore development centers (ODCs) have been replaced by remote and virtual workplaces thereby transforming the crux of work life into SBWS™ (Secured Borderless Work Spaces™). Learning & sharing being one of the core values TCS upholds and nurtures, a range of surplus learning platforms, extensive training programs, certifications to equip employees to deal with this new beginning are enabled by TCS Talent Development. The road to resilience and adaptability is becoming a lot less bumpy as we shape our employees into certified professionals and upskill their career journey via their learning.

With internally developed virtual learning platforms as well as partnerships with global leading online content providers, expanding our intellect is now just a few clicks away. These are coupled with exhaustive faculty-led programs in areas like development of first-time leaders , transformation of mid-level managers into growth and transformation leaders, coaching and finding your career and purpose, design thinking, and deep skilling technology programs through a complete virtual delivery mode.

When we come together as #OneTCS, mountains move. Working in SBWS™, saving time on commute, becoming more real-time and increasing productivity – all of these must come bundled with committing to upskilling ourselves.  The start of this fiscal year saw our global teams competing with each other on innovative methods of engagement through learning - contextual to work, relevant to upcoming jobs and career progression. -, #LearnInLockdown was trending in no time! This involved 50K learning relays, learning for a cause, project academies, personalized digital marketing and ideas aplenty, executed in style.

 Breaking our own learning records became a smart and effective way to tackle the current crisis and navigate to the post-pandemic era, with the motto being “Turning our lockdown into a Learning advantage”.

Gamified learning is a well-known and cherished practice at TCS Talent Development to boost our learning quotient with enthusiastic participation from our associates in our quarterly Global Hackathons. Associates from all countries with TCS presence log in to a cloud-based hack platform anytime in the duration of the day or 2-day event to participate in solving the business challenges thrown at them using a particular tech stack. Participants learn as they go during the hacks. In April 2020, we launched, a series of weekly two-hour energy-boosting capsule hack-a-thons envisaged as launchpads for all the uninitiated programmers who are yet to taste the hackathon experience. It’s an opportunity for all those associates to cast away their inhibitions and engage in an open, fear-free, friendly environment to experience a hands-on hackathon, across all key technologies. We are consistently maintaining a record 70% first timers who are participating in these launchpads and getting encouraged to participate in the next big one - all the time learning on the go!

Resilience is about thriving back from a situation. However, accomplishment is when we bring more power and energy. The launch of the Elevate program, which is curated for various levels linked learnings of associates to their careers. Associates are now embracing SBWS™, investing their time effectively and focusing on their journey, as TCS has shown them the path to build a great career also by providing the best to our customers and business.

So, let’s visualize in data what I had earlier mentioned about us humans being steadfast learners. With a wide range of interactive and engaging learning platforms and measures, especially the  #LearnInLockdown challenges and Hackathons, the results were phenomenal. After the first 1.5 months of SBWS™, TCS associates had clocked in over 4.2 million learning hours, acquiring 460k+ competencies, technical competencies encapsulating 47%, the remaining having up-skilled in leadership, behavioral and culture-based competencies across the organization. At the end of the quarter ending June 2020, while still in SBWS™, we have broken our learning records with 974K+ competences, 8.8+ million learning hours and greater than 20 average learning hours per associate. 

In the end, it is all about paying attention to your inner radar.

As we keep building and polishing this enormous learning wheel, we invite you to challenge yourself and break your learning records. You are incomparable with anyone, let a better version of you be your benchmark always. Let us roll forward with pride to the rest of 2020 and beyond.

TCS Talent Development Head Janardhan Santhanam has over 22 years of industry experience across the Retail, Consumer Goods and Manufacturing industries. He is responsible for the growth and transformation process of TCS Talent -- from fresh recruits to senior leadership. Janardhan has a sound grasp of skill sets and traits needed across technologies, domains and processes, especially in the context of Business 4.0TM. He has performed key roles like consulting, program management, client relationship and delivery partnership with global enterprises. Janardhan holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. He likes long walks, gardening, and enjoys listening to podcasts.


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