By Mr. Sachin Adhikari, India’s first Transformational Training Designer & Chief Mentor of Achiever’s Zone
In India, an estimated five million graduates will be passing out in 2015, out of which only 34% of them would be employable as most of them lack necessary skills required for any role in the industry. With so many graduates now on the market and employers looking for candidates with developed domain specific and soft skills, training the students is the key to solving the crisis of employability. In a study by CareerBuilder.com, one of the leading job portals in India, it was found that 71 percent of employers say they value emotional intelligence (EQ) over IQ.
Gone are the days when just a university degree could guarantee a job in a reputed organization. Most young candidates have similar degrees and skill sets when they apply for a job, but only a few amongst them get chosen. How do companies make that choice? There’s a saying that knowing technical skills can help one to perform well in academia and even an interview, but it is the employability skills of the candidate that finally gets him the job. This is so because we have transitioned in a society where technical knowledge is important but soft skills which determine how effectively they can communicate, be a team player, gain the confidence to work in the corporate environment, be proactive in taking initiatives and much more. Here is where Transformational training can help to integrate technical knowledge and interpersonal and management skills which can prepare students to keep pace with the growing challenges of the corporate world.
Employers are aware that professional and technical skills alone cannot help achieve organizational goals and objectives as their resources will also be involved in different levels of leadership and decision-making activities. They will also need to communicate effectively within the organization, with their customers and other stakeholders and therefore, a person who is better equipped in such employability skills are more likely to be hired.
There is a constant debate about whether it is possible to imbibe employability/soft skills in a person through external training, especially when one considers the fact that a person has lived with those traits all his life. It is true that the basic personality traits of a person are difficult to change but we need to understand that effective training metaphors can help strengthen the latent traits that lie in every individual.
In fact, training on soft skills/employability skills becomes all the more relevant in a country like India where the education system does not delve enough into personality development. ‘Transformational training’ can help bridge this gap and prepare organizations to keep pace with the growing challenges of the corporate world. Such trainings have a 360 degree approach and aim at developing its students from within and equip them with employability skills.
Corporates need to have an open mindset where they are receptive to new ideas, suggestions and recommendations from the entrants who would like to contribute and share their inputs with the team. Additionally, what is also important is the student’s ability to familiarize with the corporate environment, learn the processes, understand people behavior and be a positive contributor.
Some of the traits which organizations look for in students include interpersonal skills, communication skills, and behavioral traits such as attitude, motivation, time management, leadership skills and social grace. To be employable, students should participate in trainings which help build employability skills parallel with their formal education so that they are ready for their professional roles when they pass out.
Some of the highlights of an effective training module should incorporate:
Building Confidence: Students must be made aware of the difference between being confident and arrogant at their workplace and also have confidence in the company they work for. A good training should help students to overcome their fears/inhibitions and speak up before an audience effortlessly to facilitate better personal growth for them.
Creativity: Training modules should include fun with learning as a free flow of ideas is essential in bringing out leadership traits in a person.
Team Building: A good training is the one that helps students build positive working relationships and helps everyone achieve positive goals and business objectives. Thus they should be trained to be a good team player. An effective way to do this is by including an adventure experience which will involve students in group activities challenging them physically and mentally and teaching them the importance of working together as a team in order to succeed.
Contribute to the Society: A soft skills training can be considered successful if it can transform individuals to become leaders of tomorrow, successful in both their professional and social lives. It should aim to sensitize the youth on social issues prevalent in the society and encourage them to not only voice their opinion but contribute and make a difference in their own way.
Achievers Zone organizes similar trainings during vacations to allow students to use their holidays effectively. Emerge is one such training being organized by the company during the coming summer vacation which will focus on the key areas that every student must work on.
Though it is more complex than it appears, by trying to incorporate these changes in their daily activities through training students can start developing their soft skills and be better equipped to face the challenges that their professional lives bring. One of the most important factors of soft skill development trainings is that they can help one be a better person, which reflects in all aspects of his life whether, professional, personal or social and culminates into career growth and success.