Communication and Soft Skills Training for IT engineers

Problem Statement 

The senior management of a large IT sector multi national with over 200,000 employees, as part of their growth and brand building strategy identified a few key aspects of their core business that would ensure its success. One of these aspects was to address the gap in communication skills and soft skills of their IT engineers. These engineers needed to represent the brand and deliver on the promise of the company’s services efficiently and effectively. The new engineers came from Tier 1, 2, 3 cities with a major fluency gap in English among other areas.

The Approach

The opportunity in this project was to build a program from its foundation. We created a competency framework based on extensive interaction with HR, management and the target audience. We developed a task oriented program that evaluated each skill mapped to the competencies. We conducted a study of the tasks and activities of an Engineer’s client interactions to arrive at a set of competencies and skills needed on the job. Training content was aligned to CEFR guidelines. The new ‘Fluency’ program developed by us addressed the following skills:

1. Language Enhancement
2. Oral Fluency
3. Comprehension Skills
4. Business Writing
5. Retention Skills
6. Typing Skills

The structure of the content collateral was created in a parallel to ensure that each segment of the content to be delivered was measureable at the trainee, trainer and program level. A content versioning system was implemented to ensure business continuity, where the client would eventually be able to manage the program independently. 

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documents were created for the training program, train the trainer program and data reporting. The client’s requirements for data reporting were gathered to create custom reports and automated data decks for weekly and monthly reviews. The data generated was critical to measuring training and program effectiveness. 

We implemented and managed the governance plan to enable smooth execution of the program, addressing the variability in training demand over each quarter of the year.

Specifically, each trainer in the program was mandated to undergo a comprehensive train the trainer program. They were provided with detailed day by day plotters to follow with content to deliver, guaranteeing success on the training metrics. Content was developed to address each skill leveraging both e-learning and instructor led learning strategies. Daily assessments conducted, were customized to reflect the content. This demonstrated the growth and gaps for each individual throughout the program.  

The Results 

60,000 + candidates across 12 locations in India were trained in business communication skills. The majority of engineers were able to identify and correct themselves in real-time during final assessments. They were also able to achieve the defined benchmarks for clearing the program. It was observed that those not achieving the bench mark took extra lab time over a period of two week to clear the fluency assessment. The program delivered a significant return to the client in identifying the strengths and weakness of each participant. In addition, a number of days were reduced in the entire delivery of the program which resulted in both hard and soft cost savings over the longer term.

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