Manager as a Coach: A Learning intervention for a Leading Multi-Business Chemicals Conglomerate on Helping Managers Put on a Coaching Hat

The Landscape: Our client has a large amount of age diversity in their workforce. A mix of Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z.

The management style of the legacy and tenured managers is very command and control. Gen Z is looking at a more participative, empathetic and engaged leadership style. They are eager to learn and want their managers to actively work with them on this journey.

The Solution: Through a simulation-based approach, managers identified specific issues their team members needed to be coached on. A structured coaching plan was prepared and implemented, first in the training room and then real-time at the workplace.

The themes that were covered:
1. Fundamentals of coaching
2. Prepare for a coaching conversation
3. Use the GROW model to coach
4. Drive productivity through coaching conversations

Program Impact: Participants were sensitized to the fundamental principles on using coaching as a tool, to drive productivity and engage with teams. They used this knowledge and awareness to initiate coaching conversations with members and drive growth.

Overcoming Unconscious Biases

The Landscape:
A global alcohol and beverage company had a clear vision to improve their gender ratio, especially in their sales teams. The first step was to make their teams aware of their biases and manage them, so decision making is objective. Building awareness on unconscious biases is critical not just to increase diversity in organizations, it has a compelling business case too. It directly impacts the bottom line of businesses and has significant implications for hiring, promotions, getting key assignments, building networks and general morale of the workforce.

The Solution:
An interactive discussion-based workshop, where the methodology was largely self-reflection and insight into personal biases was conducted. This was followed up by a structured personal action plan on managing the biases identified and moving towards more objective decision making in all spheres of work. The themes covered during the program were:

1. The business case for gender diversity
2. Origins of unconscious biases
3. Different kinds of biases and how they manifest
4. Techniques for building awareness of biases and managing them
5. Personal action plan

STRIVE: A First Time Manager Program

The Landscape:
The transition from an individual contributor to a First Time Manager is considered the most challenging one in an executive’s career. The endeavour is to empower managers to manage their individual KRA’s and to engage/manage/grow teams and drive results. Shradha HRD just completed a learning journey for 392 first time managers for a global IT/ITES company.

The Solution:
Through extensive consultations with stakeholders and participants, we identified the critical themes for the group. The program was contextualized and a robust mechanism to assess effectiveness incorporated This was a 7 part intervention, spread across 3 months.

The areas that were identified as challenging and we particularly focused on were:

1. Engaging with team members
2. Nurturing talent
3. Conducting performance appraisals
4. Giving feedback that leads to growth
5. Difficult conversation
6. Creating a psychologically safe environment
7. Coaching and mentoring

Our experience  across different industries has thrown up similar data. First time managers struggle, not so much with achieving targets or completion of individual work assigned to them. Their main challenges stem from their inabilities to engage and communicate with team members, manage teams and influence stakeholders.

A Diversity and Inclusion initiative: Interviewing skills for the Talent Acquisition team of a Global Tech Company to help hire People with Disabilities

The Landscape: A global tech company has a unique diversity and inclusion program where they are hiring, training and integrating people with disabilities into the organization.

A need was felt to make the hiring process easier and more humane for people with disabilities.

The Solution:
Shradha HRD ran a series of programs for the talent acquisition team where we focused on the following themes:

1. How to make the process comfortable for the candidate, given the nature of disabilities
2. Managing our biases and focusing on the candidates’ ability, instead of their biases
3. Being a champion of candidates with disabilities within the organization

A touching story that a recruiter shared during the program, summarized #beinginclusive.

At a career fair, this recruiter was interviewing people with disabilities. He said he was very impressed with one of the candidates with Orthopedic disabilities. She was bright, cheerful and well spoken. The candidate however, was not a fit in the Tech industry, but was extremely passionate about baking. This came out in the half an hour long conversation the recruiter had with the candidate even though he knew he was not going to hire her.

He said, people with disabilities have been through so many rejections, that is important to listen to their stories. They really need that. The passion of this candidate stayed with the recruiter. He began reaching out with in his network, to find someone that was looking for talent in the baking space. Someone did emerge. And there was a happy fit-both for the organization and for the candidate. Being inclusive is going beyond the buzz words, its truly reaching out. The pleasure of having helped, the pleasure of giving, is special and a reward in itself.

IWN Mentorship Program

The Landscape:
CII, the largest industry body in India, has a women’s network with professionals from different domains, entrepreneurs, and home makers. The objective of the mentorship program was to leverage the experience within the member base and help younger women upskill, upgrade and have a support structure through a senior member in their line of work.

We worked with the Thought Leadership team at CII-IWN on the Second Mentorship Program for Women. This was a group of talented women, from extremely varied domains (entrepreneurs, professionals, homemakers starting ventures and leaders in their domain), who are committed to their growth and the growth of others.

The Solution:
This was a six-month long journey conducted, based on mutually agreed on goals by the mentor and the mentee. A clear structure for the journey was provided and overseen through regular check-ins with both mentors and mentees. The clearly defined structure and regular touch points with the experienced support team helps mentors that have the domain knowledge but not the expertise of running mentorship programs, conduct the program with ease and realize the set objectives and goals for the program.

This program is one of the best examples of women supporting women and creating an ecosystem for growth.

Program on Communicating with Impact for a Pharma Giant: In person sessions across India

Over the last 20 years, #communication is a theme we have run in so many different sizes, shapes, forms and for participants ranging from fresh entrants to the workplace to senior leaders. It’s a critical competency that is needed, across levels. The forms may change, from communicating with peers to coaching direct reports; the relevance remains unchanged

Shraddha HRD recently concluded a program series on #Communicating with Impact for a Pharma giant. Over the last 2 years, a bulk of our interventions has been conducted virtually. However, our personal experience has been, for topics that require reflection, learning by doing and group work, nothing beats an in-person event.

Post the program, some thoughts the participants shared, was the real-life relevance of the case studies, exercises and simulations that we conducted.

Our experience of having trained on the “communication” competency over 25 years helps us add value to participants across sectors and levels, by contextualizing the learning material and sharing best practices from a cross section of industries.

A Unique Immersive Experience on “Understanding Luxury” for a Global Liquor Manufacture

The Landscape: Luxury is an #experience. How do you give participants an experience of #luxury, sitting in a training room? It was an interesting challenge for us, as learning partners to a leading #AlchoholBeverage company. The end result was an #experientialprogram that provided participants a wholly #immersive experience of the luxury Universe.

The #keyasks for the program were
1. To get key account managers to sell an #experience and not a product. While selling luxury goods, you cant really sell on price, it’s the entire experience the consumer buys. This is often a challenging mind-set for sales people to move to.
2. Move to #meaningfulengagement with consumers; ultra high net-worth consumers. This can be done by reflection on the mind-set, preferences and buying behaviors of HNI consumers
3. A transformation from transactional selling to #consultativeselling: being trend setters instead of just followers.

It was a fabulous experience putting the program together & executing it. The faculty for the program were industry stalwarts & were able to curate two fabulous #immersive experiences on luxury, which went beyond, just classroom learning. This added the extra bit required to move learning to an #experience

When participants stay on, much beyond designated training hours, asking questions on how to perfect their art, you know you the learning experience has been #successful

Using Business Storytelling to present data is a program we have conducted for five organizations from different sectors-Finance, Technology, Insurance and Manufacturing

This is a pressing need that is emerging, given the increasing digitization at work and the large amount of data that is generated. How do you help others make sense of this data.

An effective and time-tested strategy we use for this program:
1. What is your key message?
2. How do you drive home this key message?
3. Build a concise and compelling narrative using elements of business storytelling
The most important ingredient is to strategize, build and practice practice practice

We spent weeks and months putting the data together but how many minutes do we spend on structuring the narrative.

Data informs, stories persuade!!!!!!

Working with Emotional Intelligence: a Program for 600 Managers in a Manufacturing Company

The Landscape: Vision 2025 for this leading Fibers manufacturer, included the critical competency of “Emotional Intelligence”. There was a need felt to move away from the “command and control” system to a more “collaborative” system. Behaving and Demonstrating Emotional Intelligence was regarded as critical, giving the constantly changing environment and the advent of the millennials and Generation Z, into the workforce

The Solution: Shraddha HRD designed a learning intervention, spread over 6 weeks. Participants went through a learning intervention covering the different aspects of emotional intelligence through virtual instructor led sessions. This was followed up with out of class reflection on demonstrating emotionally intelligent behaviors and implementing action plans.

Some themes that were covered:

What is the relevance of #emotionalintelligence in a manufacturing environment? Is it a competency that should really be top of the heap? Isn’t operational excellence far more important and if the command-and-control structure has worked well till now, why change?

There is a thought process that emotional intelligence is far more relevant for the services sector. A detailed learning needs analysis clearly showed that managers today, irrespective of the sectors they work in, need to display emotionally intelligent behavior, with their teams.

The Result: As this was an extended learning intervention, we heard powerful and heart-warming stories and anecdotes of participants applying the principles discussed during classroom learning, with their team members.

Truly gratifying

Program for a Leading Indian Bank on Analyzing Data and Presenting Insights

The Landscape: The target audience for this session was the entire Human Resource team of one of the largest banks in India. The problem statement was interesting. The Head of the team wanted his team members to develop the capability to look at large masses of data, analyze it, be able to draw meaningful insights from it and then present to the top management.

Currently masses of data was copy pasted onto presentations and downloaded. This form of presentation did not help top management draw insights and take necessary action, either to course correct or look at alternative solutions

The Solution: The Human Resources department had several sub processes within it, each generating their unique data. We structured a program that focused on the fundamental principles of data analysis and viewing data to draw out insights. The idea was to help empower participants to

1. Analyze data, keeping in mind, the utility to business
2. Create a structured wire frame with clear goals and an easily understandable format to present data insights
3. Build a compelling narrative to present your data

The Result : Participants were able to review their current presentation style, study industry best practices on presenting data with insights and implement using workplace situations. They now had a clear template on reviewing, analyzing and presenting data using elements of story telling. The feedback from their managers, post the program was that there was a marked change in participant’s ability to structure and present data meaningfully.

Partnering with a large IT Major on an Initiative to Reduce Unconscious Biases and Deal with Unconscious Biases at the Workplace

The Landscape: One of the top three Tech companies in India have a clear mandate from the leadership team, to build a more diverse and inclusive culture. A mindset that makes this goal challenging is the Unconscious Biases all of us carry. This was coming during several employee engagement conversations and surveys. Executives and Managers felt they were at the receiving end of different biases, both conscious and unconscious

The Solution: As a part of an organization wide initiative to develop an awareness of biases and how to deal with these biases, we partnered with the learning team to structure a program that was designed to help individual contributors and managers

1. Reflect on the origin of unconscious biases
2. Relate to different biases they encounter at the workplace
3. Use simple techniques to reduce their own internal biases
4. Apply strategies on how to deal with biases at work

The Result: One of the principal outcomes was that Managers felt heard. They were able to discuss their challenges around biases they faced, in a safe forum and brainstorm on the best ways to deal with these biases.

Another key take away was a definite sensitization towards managers’ own internal biases and how it affects their decision-making processes and behavior with their team members. There were clear commitments made on practicing techniques that would reduce unconscious biases and help managers work with more awareness.

Stakeholder Management for Key Senior Managers at one of the largest Consulting Companies Globally

Key Stakeholder Management for Key Senior Managers at one of the largest Consulting and Technology Companies Globally

The Landscape: A critical group of senior managers of a Global, Consulting and Technology company had received feedback during their performance appraisal; they were unable to effectively deal with stakeholders. There was a tendency to get extremely aggressive during critical conversations. Their niche technical skills made them extremely valuable to the organization but stakeholder management was an area of improvement for these executives.

The Solution: Shradha HRD conducted focused group conversations with the participants’ line managers and their key stakeholders to identify where the challenge really lay. This was supplemented by a questionnaire to assess current capabilities of the participants.

We designed a learning intervention, which gave the participants key insights into dealing with stakeholders from across the spectrum: stakeholders from other departments, team members, external customers and senior global stakeholders. Some themes that were covered included

1. Taking ownership and adding value to key stakeholder relationships
2. Building meaningful customer relationships
3. Influencing, to get your point across effectively to key stakeholders
4. Assertive communication during difficult situations
5. Conflict resolution through a win-win mindset

The Result: Feedback given to line managers of the participant group saw a definite move in the positive direction. They felt their team members were now moving to a “respond” mode, instead of “reacting” to difficult situations. Participants were looking at alternate ways of influencing and handling difficult stakeholder situations.

Feedback conversations for Growth: a Program for Directors for a Global Electronics Giant

The Landscape: Directors of a Japanese global electronics giant, had challenges with feedback conversations. The challenge team members had with their managers was, they either received no feedback or very strong reactive feedback with little guidance on how to proceed in the future.

The Solution: Shraddha HRD conducted a detailed training need analysis to understand the ecosystem better. Technical competence of the participants was not in doubt. The managers knew “what” to say, it was the “how” that was missing. We designed a learning intervention, spread over 4 weeks where participants went through a structured program covering the core fundamentals of feedback

1. Using feedback as a tool to enhance productivity and not as a vent to frustration
2. Giving structured and data driven feedback that focuses on behaviors and not the person
3. Planning and strategizing to overcome resistance to difficult feedback
4. Implementing the concepts at the workplace, through a experiential learning journey

were some aspects of the intervention that were covered.

The Result: The participants felt the program added to tremendously to their feedback skills. The program design allowed participants to experiment and develop their feedback skills through real life feedback conversations. This was a space to seek answers and reflect on difficult situations that often come up during the course of work.

Virtual Team Building Event For A Global White Goods Manufacturing Company

Training landscape

While working virtually and being glued to our laptops, how many of us have missed conversations with our teams? Fun sessions where we could laugh and talk together?

Virtual Team building event

And this is where our client, a global white goods manufacturing company, reached out to us to conduct an outbound, fun-filled, team building event – virtually!

The pandemic has changed the way we interact with our social and professional ecosystem. This program exemplified this change

Shradha HRD solution

We ran a session with several fun activities and leveraged different aspects of technology to fulfil the twin objectives of teams having fun and bonding together. Participants worked together in teams, collaborated, shared ideas, creatively expressed themselves, and were fully engaged in the process!

virtual team events

Our activities inspired experiential learning on the following themes:

  • Ice-breaking and ‘getting to know you’
  • Building rapport
  • Team collaboration and interconnectedness
  • Overcoming perceptions and biases


Program feedback

The feedback for the session came with a request for repeat sessions for another team!!!!! The participants agreed that they absolutely enjoyed interacting with their colleagues beyond all the work-related tasks and everyday stress. Even though its not exactly the same as an outbound event, it came a very close second


We had a super time putting this program together and facilitating it too.

Webinar for Women Educators on The Theme of ‘Move Up’

Training landscape

Do we really pay attention to educating our educators? Our client, an interactive online tutoring platform, wanted to put some serious thought into this question.

women educator

And with International Women’s Day as the focus of the month, this was the perfect time for our all-time favorite theme of ‘Women Supporting Women’.

Shradha HRD solution

We ran a webinar for 1500 Women educators on the theme of ‘Move Up’, which is all about helping women break their self-imposed constraints and boundaries, brand themselves more effectively and stand up to be counted.

Program feedback

The feedback for the session came through a rather interesting route. A colleague has a daughter who takes classes with the same company. She logged into her regular session 10 minutes late and apologized for the delay. Our colleague asked, “You were attending the Move Up program?”. She explained she knew about the program because her company, Shradha HRD was conducting the webinar. The educator said, “Ma’am I just could not leave the session, it was so good!!!

Comments like these lend more meaning to our work.

Integrating into India

Training landscape

Our client is a leading multinational alcohol beverage company that holds a dynamic and premium portfolio in the Wine & Spirits industry. A group of their senior executives were moving to India and they wanted to understand the subtle nuances of what living and working in India was all about.

business training

When we conducted interviews with the group and brought in experts in the field of culture sensitization, we found that there are three main challenges that emerge while integrating into the Indian work ecosystem. These are:

  1. Our indirect approach to communication
  2. Meetings stretching way beyond the slotted time
  3. Our inability to “say no” to those in authority

Shradha HRD solution

Our learning journey was based on the fact that culture can be likened to an iceberg: what is visible (language, customs, dress..) is the tip of the iceberg. Attitudes, beliefs, thought process, etc. is what is beneath the water and not immediately visible.

The program was held virtually in an experience-sharing, case-study driven format, which focused on the following:

  • The different dimensions of culture and where India lies on each dimension
  • The extend of India’s diversity and how it affects business and social etiquette in India
  • How timelines, hierarchies, attitudes, and communication patterns play out in different workplace scenarios

Program feedback

While it was an interesting experience for us to look at “ourselves” through the eyes of “others”, our participants reported that they got some interesting new “perspectives” with the workshop. They found the case studies and scenarios “relatable” and the discussions helpful for overall cultural assimilation.

Virtual Train The Trainer

Training landscape

Given the shift to virtual training, facilitators require a better understanding of the best practices of training on this new medium. Shradha HRD has been conducting several training programs virtually for close to 5 years now. This helped us assist internal training teams of our clients make this transition successfully.

train the trainer

We recently ran another edition of our popular virtual train-the-trainer program for a global marketing communications agency. The participants were all senior leaders from different businesses. They conducted training on technical topics.

The main challenge the participants faced while training virtually was audience engagement.

3 hygiene factors for virtual training programs:

  1. Keep the cameras on and participants unmuted
  2. Leverage 3rd party technology tools (other than the one’s available on the platform) to keep participants engaged
  3. Develop & implement a clear strategy on active learning as opposed to a passive download of information

Shradha HRD solution

Recognizing that virtual training is here to stay, we designed the program with the belief that the more effectively we can harness technology, the better will be the end user experience.

virtual training

The program focused on the following:

  • Applying the principles of adult learning to the virtual environment
  • Structuring content effectively using the principles of instructional design
  • Using best practices for effective presentation
  • Exploring advanced facilitation techniques

training the trainer

Program feedback

Post the program, our participants firmly agreed with the realization that training virtually is not about more slide movement but about more audience movement! Most participants went away with new strategies for grabbing audience attention, keeping engagement levels going, and making the learning stay alive even after a session.

Managing Stress in Uncertain Times

Training landscape

We recently conducted a virtual training program for a large 2-Wheeler Manufacturing company. Due to the lockdown and the Pandemic, there was a general feeling of anxiety on 3 levels:

  1. What is the market going to look like for the next year or so?
  2. I feel isolated due to the lockdown and WFH
  3. I hope my family remains safe through the pandemic

managing stress

The audience included Production teams and Sales teams that were spread out across India. This was an initiative that the HR team ran to “connect and uplift” team members.

Shradha HRD solution

There is so much negativity and despondency all around us. Thinking Positively and looking ahead with optimism is the way to remain Happy and Productive. This was the key to our program design, which focused on the following:

  • Identifying factors that cause stress and anxiety
  • Discussing the importance of building self-awareness to reduce anxiety levels
  • Applying strategies to keep a positive mindset during difficult times

Program feedback

We had a fantastic audience who felt charged up & motivated after attending the training program. Many of our attendees mentioned that they were definitely feeling less stressed and were looking forward to adopting a “growth mindset”.

Giving and Receiving Feedback

Training landscape

Continuous learning is the key to thriving in the VUCA world. Well-designed interventions with a clear roadmap for implementation are critical for a tangible return on investment for the organization.

the art of giving feedback

We recently conducted an organization wide learning intervention for a Global Infrastructure Management company on giving and receiving feedback.

Shradha HRD solution

Our learning journey combined a mix of virtual interactive activities, case study discussions, role plays, and proven behavioral frameworks that highlighted the different aspects of giving and receiving feedback.

The primary focus was on the following:

  • Discussing the importance and qualities of constructive feedback for growth
  • Practical strategies for effective feedback conversations
  • Techniques for handling difficult feedback conversations
  • Identifying your style for giving feedback and adopting radical candor

Program feedback

feedback conversions

This is how one of our key client stakeholders, who was also a participant in the program, described their learning journey.

“I have been a part of several training programs focused on improving the critical skill of #feedback. This one was well thought out and brilliantly executed. I think the factors that helped the program achieve the desired objectives were:

  1. Collaborative effort (Client learning team and SHRD) at the design stage. It was contextualized to address the exact needs of the participants
  2. Optimal mix of great content (implementable models to #giveandreceivefeedback) & simulations to internalize learnings
  3. Well-spaced out program to give participants an opportunity to #applylearnings at work simultaneously
  4. High energy sessions conducted by an experienced #facilitator

Post the program, we are seeing a lot more openness to feedback and meaningful feedback conversation at different levels. This translates into higher productivity for the organization.”

Campus to Corporate Programs Conducted Virtually for a Healthcare Revenue Management Company

Training landscape:

Our client is a leading provider of technology-enabled revenue cycle management (RCM) services which transform and solve revenue cycle performance challenges across hospitals, health systems and physician groups. Due to the COVID crisis, our Client ask was to redesign the Campus to Corporate classroom intervention into a virtual delivery format.

The overall program objective was to equip trainees with the necessary knowledge, skills and mind-set to transition seamlessly into the workplace. Our classroom Campus to Corporate Program is high energy, very interactive & completely experiential.  We needed to run the same training program virtually, retain the interactivity & ensure that learning takes place.

Shradha HRD solution:

We had extensive conversations with the Learning &Development team and went through several iterations on the content and the activities to be used.

  1. We adapted some of the older classroom activities to suit the new virtual format
  2. Created completely new activities that were interactive& suited to the virtual format
  3. Used technology to promote interactivity and learning viz breakout rooms, virtual role plays, quizzes, polls, google forms to name a few.
  4. Creation of an SOP document to be circulated among-st the participants so that there would be minimum technical glitches during the session.

Program feedback:

At the end of the pilot session the Learning team took live participant feedback. Participants felt:

  1. They had enjoyed the session and learnt from it
  2. They were engaged throughout and did not feel like virtual training was boring or one sided
  3. They enjoyed the interactivity and the activities tremendously