Today’s Advisor reports on how one company leverages informal learning for Millennial employees
With 86% of its employees in the Millennial generation, Virtusa Corporation takes a cutting-edge approach toward employee development and retention.
In 2013, Virtusa, a provider of end-to-end information technology services, deployed its “V+” proprietary social media platform to fulfill its Millennial business strategy, said Sundararajan Narayanan, senior vice president and global HR head for Virtusa. “The vision of V+ is to transform the way we work, learn, share, and connect with each other. The main focus of V+ is to enable team collaboration [and] easy access to company information, create transparency, and build a platform to share recognition and feedback,” promoting “a smarter, [a] more social, and a fun work environment,” he said.
“… V+ relies on the principles of gamification to encourage team members to solve problems and increase productivity,” the company explained in a statement. “The system provides a real-time ‘leaderboard’ across its offices to showcase top performers, a ‘RAVE’ feature to solicit constant and immediate feedback, and the use of ‘badges’ to highlight team member accomplishments.
“Our 24/7 access to resources, data, and colleagues via internal systems, instant feedback, and appreciation have improved the informal learning experiences of our employees to a large extent,” Narayanan said. Virtusa fosters a “strong” learning culture, he said. “Our training program is deeply engrained in our culture and aligns with our PIRL [Pursuit of Excellence, Integrity, Respect, and Leadership] core values.”
Employees’ individual development plans (IDPs) encourage retention and help the company groom 70% of its leaders internally, said Narayanan. In addition, role-based training is used with employees “to accelerate growth in the[ir] current role and to prepare high-potential employees for core positions.”
The company also offers Career Compass, a program that allows every employee to validate his or her competence in “different career tracks and to identify areas for their professional development,” Narayanan said. Employees participate in career development and coaching programs and then receive “assessment evaluation feedback and growth metrics.”
Virtusa also uses mobile learning to develop its workforce. “Through mobile learning, we have enabled our employees to access course contents from anywhere across the globe,” said Narayanan.
In addition, “our certification reimbursement policy provides employees an opportunity for continuous learning and education to fulfil individual aspirations [that] are in line with the organizational requirements,” he said.
It is important for employers to provide learning and development opportunities to their employees—both to appeal to employees’ strong desire to grow and innovate and to engage them in their work, Narayanan said. “Understand what your workforce wants, how they learn, motivate them, and align the learning interventions to the business goals.”
Virtusa’s training and development efforts have been recognized with several awards, including an Award for Innovation in Learning at the World HRD Congress Best-in-Class Learning and Development Awards. “A key tenet in our corporate mantra of ‘People Excellence’ is to provide our people an environment conducive for continuous learning and personal growth. We believe in the power of innovation and empower our people to achieve higher benchmarks for self and for Virtusa through a strong framework of learning and development,” said Dr. Murali Padmanabhan, Virtusa’s senior director and global head of Learning & Leadership Development.
Other recent Virtusa awards include a Silver Stevie® Award for Human Resources (HR) Department of the Year—Computer Software and Services and a Silver Stevie® Award for Human Resources (HR) Department of the Year in the 12th annual American Business Awards.