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

A Program on Empowering Women to Create a Personal Brand

This initiative was rolled out to Women Managers for a Global Telecom Company.

Women as a group tend to be largely reticent in talking about their work & their USP’s. Very often they struggle to highlight their achievements. Research has shown that Men are far more comfortable creating a Buzz around their work. These inherent traits sometimes account for the Achievement gap between the Sexes.

With this context as a background our clients felt that an intervention which helped Women Managers explore what they would want their Personal Brand to say & then use the right tools to make their Personal Brand come alive would help Young Women leaders in their Organization.

Some aspects that were discussed in the training were,

  1. What is Personal Brand
  2. Discovering your Personal Brand
  3. Tools to build your Brand
  4. Using Social Media effectively to Network & Build a Brand

The Lockdown necessitated that the program was delivered Virtually. The program needed to be thoughtfully designed, keeping in mind that our participants were Working from Home and had limited bandwidth. The technology tools used were largely Audio and Chats. The bite sized nature of the training was found to suitable for the virtual platform, and it succeeded in keeping the participants engaged and informed.

Participants felt that the Program allowed them to introspect on what they wanted their Personal Brand to stand for. In the day to day rigor of work and home, we often don’t get this opportunity to step back and look at where we want to go and if the path that we are on will take us there.

During the Program Recap, 2 Participants told us about their Personal Action Plan and how they were going to actively leverage Social Media for Building their Professional Networks.

Shradha HRD is a Women dominated organization and it is immensely fulfilling to conduct Programs where we can share our experiences gathered over 20 years to help empower Women Managers. We are Extremely Thankful to our Clients that continue to give us interventions like these, that allow us to add value in so many different ways !!!!!!!

Move Up: A Program to Promote Gender Diversity

Our client is a Fortune 100 company. They have a Global mandate to increase participation of Women at Senior Management levels. To achieve that Vision, our clients have a structured Growth Plan for their Women Managers. This program was a part of an organization wide initiative to empower Women Managers with a Growth Mindset & tools to showcase their inherent talents and Go-to Skills.

500 Women Managers at Middle and Senior Management positions have attended and benefited from this program over the last 2 years.

The Program systematically addressed the challenges that Women Managers face at the workplace. The program includes the following elements:

  1. Acknowledge Mind Conditioning & Self limiting beliefs
  2. Build Confidence to shatter the Glass ceiling
  3. Use simple tools to Network and establish a Personal Brand
  4. Create partnerships and build a support structure

The feedback from Participants was that it helped them to work on their self-limiting beliefs, incorporate behaviors that lead to Growth and above all create a strong support system to overcome hurdles and surge ahead.

Our motto at Shradha HRD is that Learning Must Continue and our clients support this vision. We successfully conducted MOVE UP over MS Teams for Women Managers across India. The training activities were tailored to keep in mind the technology and the Virtual Medium.

The Feedback for the program was, “Highly Engaging. We felt just like we were Learning in a Face to Face mode”.

We are set to continue this program series, Empowering Women Managers across India, Virtually !!!!!!

Train the Trainer Intervention for Facilitating Virtual Programs

Program Overview: We recently conducted a program for the training team of a large French IT Company. The audience was the internal training team that largely conduct Technical training for team members across different locations in India and even for Onshore teams. The challenges identified during the course of the Training Need Identification were:

  1. Keeping Participants engaged during long Technical training’s, that sometimes stretch up-to 3 days
  2. How to make the best use of the Technology tools available to make training interactive?
  3. Changing the training format from a monologue to a dialogue by effectively using Adult Learning Principles
  4. How do you ensure learning happens, even while training large groups? 

Shradha HRD Solution: The group of Facilitators that were a part of this program had all been facilitating for 10-15 years and were Subject Matter Experts in their individual domains. What was important for us was to help them facilitate more effectively, especially while training large group sizes.

The program was held virtually using the same technology that the participants used to train. This ensured that they had an actual feel of how to implement the learnings from the program, real time. The idea was that the program should be hands on and experiential as opposed to theoretical. 

The Key areas covered during the program were: 

  1. Applying Adult Learning Principles to make learning more retentive
  2. Using Visual Aids effectively
  3. Integrating simple activities & techniques and Making Virtual training engaging
  4. Sensitization to best practices of Non Verbal Communication and Body language to make training come alive

Considering that we were working with a team of very experienced facilitators that had already been conducting so much training virtually, the response we received to the program was simply outstanding. We had participants fully engaged for the entire 8 hours of the program & they felt that they had tangible take-away they could implement in their training programs.

A Train the Trainer program is always special because you are training peers, in a sense. We thoroughly enjoyed, creating and delivering this intervention.

Program on Negotiation Skills for the Procurement team at a 2 Wheeler Manufacturing Company

Training landscape:

Most Procurement teams look at Negotiations through a Win-Lose lens. The Vision for this program was to sensitize participants to the idea of approaching every Negotiation with a Win-Win outlook. As the Supply chain and Procurement teams had long standing relationships with their vendor partners, taking a long term view of the entire process as opposed to extracting the maximum concession in the short run, became even more critical. 

Shradha HRD solution:

Post detailed conversations, we designed a program that covered

  1. Conducting collaborative and principled Negotiations: look beyond the traditional ways of viewing negotiation
  2. Reduce the threat perception and create an environment that is trust filled
  3. The 4 Negotiation styles& table skills during a negotiation
  4. Creative problem solving for a Win-Win situation

The most critical part of a program on Negotiations is to be able to give participants a real life feel of Negotiating. Designing customized role play situations in such a situation requires time and effort. This however ensures that participants are able to take away learning that they can actually implement during their Negotiations.


Program feedback:

Participants really enjoyed the session and felt that not only did they learn new techniques of negotiation skills but it gave them confidence in their interactions. They also understood the criticality of creating an atmosphere of trust and positive communication during any negotiation. In fact some of them said that there were many situations in their work when they felt blocked and were unable to find a solution to move forward on their negotiations. However, after attending this particular workshop due to the very customized role plays they were able to find resolution to many of their issues.

Program for a 2 Wheeler Manufacturer on Proactively Embracing Change, in line with a Changing Market & Ecosystem

Training landscape:

Our client is a multi-national company manufacturing 2 wheeler’s motorcycles.

The company was going through a change viz. its culture, there was a shift in strategy in which the focus was to become a niche player in the two-wheeler market. The leadership team felt there was a lag in reaching set goals as most teams were comfortable following their old approach to working and Communicating. Despite a comprehensive transition process having been kicked off the employees did not understand that in the new growth phase the processes had to be more structured and process driven. They needed to be more proactive in implementing changes as it was critical for the organizations next growth trajectory.

Shradha HRD Solution:

The program that we designed was around recognizing the importance of adapting to Change and Communicating effectively with teams to drive the Change. Some of the topics we covered during the session included –

  1. Recognize the importance of Change in our lives
  2. Sensitization to how the mind normally reacts to Change
  3. Successfully dealing with the new & embrace it as an opportunity to Grow
  4. Communicating effectively and Working together as a team to drive the Change

 Program feedback:

Participants felt that they were more comfortable with the idea of Change after they had the time to reflect on critical it was to drive the Change. The most important take away for them was the recognition that we naturally resist Change, its important to recognize that & deal with it.

Most individuals working in today’s world know how Critical change is. Yet there is a natural inclination to resist anything new and proactively embrace Change. Interventions like this are critical to support team members make the transition and proactively embrace Change and Growth.

Diversity and Inclusion Truly!!!!

Our client is an Irish-domiciled Multinational Company that provides Services in Strategy, Consulting, Technology and Operations. With about 150,000 employees in India, a Country synonymous with Diversity& being Inclusive, our Client recognized the importance of Promoting Diversity & helping their Organization become more Inclusive.

The Organization has a structured policy of integrating employees that are Physically Challenged & Disadvantaged. While working with Participants from disadvantaged communities, it is critical to provide them the necessary support to “truly” integrate & become productive employees. To fulfill this Vision, we were chosen as training partners.

The Participants in this program were a mix of Differently abled individuals (Vision and Speech) as well as members from the Transgender Community. They had been recruited to work in Back end Processes which required effective communication skills for smooth functioning.

Shradha HRD conducted a series of programs spanning over 30 hours. The topics ranged from building confidence, English language training, functional grammar and Writing skills. To maximize learning, Individual Action plans & One-on-One coaching sessions post over a 4 Week period.

The Participants enjoyed the learning journey immensely. They felt it increased their confidence levels & helped them increase overall productivity.

We were glad that to be a chosen partner to make for this noble initiative to make our Society Inclusive. Truly Inclusive !!!!!!

Master Class for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH)

Our Client for this program was a Global IT and Outsourcing Company. The Master class was conducted for over 120 participants at 4 different locations across India. The Participants were all part of the Internal Complaints Committee for their regions.

There were participants present in the classroom and there were others that logged in via the video conferencing facility from different locations within the region. Anyone that has trained in such a situation would realize this is a challenging situation& requires specialized methodologies to drive learning effectively.The challenge was to effectively engage employees in a classroom setting as well as on the virtual platform.

There were 2 facilitators that ran the Master Class. The facilitators were both Subject Matter Experts in their respective fields: Human Resources &Law. This allowed each of them to expand on different dimensions of the POSH ACT & give participants a complete 360 Degree view of the Act and its implementation.

For members of the ICC it is critical to know, both the HR perspective and the Legal Perspective in order to effectively deal with such a sensitive and critical topic.

The objectives of the program were:

  1. Create awareness about different aspects of the Sexual Harassment,
  2. Recognize the different forms of harassment&its widespread nature
  3. Expand on the different provisions of the POSH Act
  4. Discuss the technical aspects of handling a complaint & the functioning of ICC

The Methodology was completely experiential and based on actual situations that had occurred in the IT sector. The role plays on dealing with a complaint em-pathetically and following all the provisions of the law, made the Master Class relevant and a great learning for the Participants.

The informative and solution oriented nature of the training was greatly appreciated by the participants. The simultaneous facilitation of classroom and virtual modes was well received, and skillfully managed.

Case Study – July 2019

Training landscape:

Our client is a multi-national company developing and delivering technology to the petroleum refining, gas processing, petrochemical production, and major manufacturing industries. There was a clear need felt to sensitize participants to embracing Diversity and being Inclusive. This event was part of the yearly meet for the entire function of 100+ participants that ranged from front line executives to the head of the team. Our participants were all engineers and a male dominate audience. The ask was to be able to drive learning but in a completely experiential and fun environment.

Shradha HRD solution:

We put together a series of well thought out experiential activities that allowed participants to come to critical insights around why it is important to embrace Diversity. In this program Diversity was defined as a difference in thought that could up due to any number of reasons. Themes of Unconscious biases and how it affects our decision making processes were explored. The program was high on energy, laughter, fun and learning.

Program feedback:

During the recap activity there was a clear sense that emerged on why Diversity is critical for personal growth, organizational productivity and for a general sense of fairness to all. Participants had a great time bonding and stayed on post completion of the program to extend the enjoyment of the session. The head of the vertical told the team of facilitators that he thoroughly enjoyed the program with the participants.

“SANTULAN”: Program on Achieving Work-Life Balance & Reducing Stress for Blue Collar Workers at A Japanese Manufacturing Company

Training landscape:

Our client is a Japanese Motorcycle manufacturer that has 3000+ employees at their plant in Gurgaon. The shop floor operators are vital for successful operations and high productivity. A common concern often voiced was the mental and physical pressure of managing work & home. For a productive workforce, overall mental & physical well being is critical.

Shradha HRD solution:

Shradha HRD started a program initiative aimed at lending clarity to participants on what they really wanted to achieve & the most efficient and systematic way of going about this challenge. Some of the areas we explored were:

  • Reflecting, recognizing & quantifying personal goals
  • Working systematically to achieve set goals
  • Incorporating simple tools to better manage life & time
  • Practicing time tested tools to reduce stress

Facilitation with a blue collar population requires a completely different approach & methodology. Learning is driven through experiential activities, questioning & discussions that lead to insights for participants.

Program feedback:

The highlight for us always is when several participants walk upto the facilitator and say “it was an eye opener. I’m definitely going to try it” or “I never thought its possible to handle this situation differently. I’m glad I came”

Communication and Customer Centricity Program: A Leading Chain of Hypermarkets, Pan India

Training Landscape:

Our client is a market leader in the retail Segment, with a wide variety of quality products in every retail category. The vision for client is to be the most engaging and innovative hypermarket in India. It operates 24 stores across 9 cities in India and was looking to equip all customer service agents with language skills in order to be able to communicate confidently and enhance the in-store experience of store guests

Shradha HRD Solution:

SHRD designed a comprehensive training intervention to boost communication and customer service aspects for customer service agents. The program comprised of an in-depth need analysis , extensive instructor led classroom training and post training impact measurement.

The training modules used real-life scenarios and interactive activities to enable dialogue between various store functions. This in turn empowered colleagues to develop greater individual and collective clarity on their role within the organization and forged customer service mindsets

Training Outcomes:

As a result of this immersive bilingual training interaction, Customer service agents across stores were equipped with skills to better understand customer mindsets and communicate in a manner that is more affable and comprehensive to the customer. The program saw a clear measurable positive needle movement on learning and implementation of customer service scores and language skills.

“HAPPY ME”: Program for high achieving sales managers and sales directors of a Global Tyre manufacturer on Staying Happy in a highly competitive & stressful environment

Training Landscape:

Our client is one of the largest Tyre manufacturers in the world. They have an annual strategy meet for dealers & their sales teams. The idea behind this exercise is for the organization to build deeper connects with their distribution channel, recognize high performers and share best practices.
Selling, ever-increasing targets and the VUCA world often lead to escalated stress levels within sales teams. Organizations are now focusing on this critical area, to ensure they have a happy healthy and de-stressed employee base. The organization thought they would like to use this platform to help their sales teams cope with the rising stress levels they were witnessing. This meet was held at a beautiful resort in Kerala

Shradha HRD Solution:

The program was run by 2 facilitators working towards the same goals BUT using completely different methodologies:

  • Part 1 of the program focused on how the brain responds when faced with stressful situations; the effects of centuries of conditioning and the standard reactions of people under stressful conditions. The focus was on becoming aware of this mechanism of the brain and finding ways to beat it
  • Part 2 of the program explores the fundamental principles of Yoga & how simple exercises done everyday can keep stress levels in check.

    Program Feedback:

    This program was brilliantly received by participants. The feedback participants gave was:

    “I got a much needed break to just sit back and think about the damage my thinking can cause. I must work on reducing stress consciously”

    “I feel I now have a choice. I can choose to control my reactions & not let them spoil my day”


Decoding the Customer Mindset: A Leading Multinational Financial Services Company

Training landscape:

As a market leader in financial and asset management services, our client operates a global in-house center (GIC) in India, with offices in Bengaluru and Chennai. These function as a microcosm of all businesses in the U.S. market, providing strong support to the global business as well as the customers. Hence, it comprises of large teams continually servicing internal and external clients located in several geographies. They were challenged with ensuring that their technically adept workforce is just at adept at understanding customer mindsets, expectations and being able to communicate in a manner that boosts incident resolution and enhances service efficiency and continuity.

Shradha HRD solution/training intervention:

In keeping with the clients vision of “CustomerObsession”, this learning intervention on decoding the customer mindset was designed to enhance both verbal and written communication skills along with a keen understanding of the customer’s expectations. This engaging and experiential workshop aimed to equip professionals with tools and insights to be establish meaningful connections with customers, structure written communication for impact, articulate confidently with key stakeholders and in turn achieve higher levels of personal and customer satisfaction.

Training Outcomes:

As an outcome of this training intervention, participants were equipped with insights and developed skills to take ownership, enhance Emotional Intelligence to comprehend stated and unstated customer needs and structure customer centric verbal and written responses to meet these expectations. This training program was extremely well received and has since been scaled to meet similar training needs of the various business units of the organization.

Advanced Facilitations Skills Training: A leading Japanese Auto manufacturer

Training Landscape:

Our client being one of the top 4 Car manufacturers in India, operates its manufacturing plants in Bidadi Karnataka with an employee count over 6000 people. Our client industries is known world wide for being a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement. They develop exceptional people and teams who understand , follow and live the company’s philosophy. They also have a culture of such leaders moving into a mentoring and training roles and teaching employees, new recruits and trainees. Hence, it is critical for our clientto have a learning journey to enhance the facilitation skills of such trainers who have organically grown into their roles.

Shradha HRD Solution/Methodology:

With its keen understanding of Androgogy ( Adult learning) and its research in neuroscience and human behaviour, Shradha HRD designed, developed and delivered a training intervention to help learning facilitators with our client, enrich their overall training effectiveness. The highly interactive program equipped trainers with skills and tools to make their training sessions brain friendly, engaging and impactful.

Training Outcomes:

This training intervention equipped trainers with a keen understanding of the challenges of Androgogy (adult learning). With exposure to various tools and techniques based on brain science and Human psychology, participants learnt facilitation and training methodologies that will help them efficiently meet the different needs, expectations and challenges of adult learning.

Participant feedback post the training was that they felt far more confident of being able to engage their trainees, even when they were training on technical and often “dry” topics that have little room for engagement.

The Power of “Samwaad”: Program on Career Development for Program Managers of a National TV News Channel

We conducted a large intervention for young executives at one of the top news media companies of the country. This was a very exciting intervention for us. We had an audience that included several young news anchors, managers that look after a program series on television, program editors etc.

The overarching program objective was to help participants:

  • Reflect on the ever dynamic nature of our world & the exciting opportunities that are constantly being generated
  • Define a clear vision on what success looks like for them
  • Set clear career goals in line with their personal competencies and plan effectively to reach their goals

This program enabled participants to leverage the current information about the organization and future trends to create more realistic career development goals. The feedback from participants was that the program helped them achieve a greater sense of responsibility for managing their careers and take steps in an organized way to achieve their professional aspirations.

Move Up initiative for Women Empowerment: Program series on Women Empowerment for a gender-neutral workplace

Our client, a global management consulting organization aims to be gender neutral by 2020. To achieve this objective, they engaged with Shradha HRD to design and deliver a series of initiatives to empower women executives and managers within the organization. This program series aimed to enable participants to break mental conditioning, to harness the power of the mind and to effectively develop interpersonal skills that they need to “Move Up”.

Some client testimonials – quoted verbatim

  •  “This program helped me learn some really useful tips on striking work-life balance and take charge of my life”
  • “After attending this training I am really inspired to challenge myself and not take people’s criticism to heart”

Train The Trainer program – (R1RCM): Train the trainer program for managers that deliver departmental inductions

Shradha HRD trained the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) of a well-known Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management company this month. These SMEs conduct induction sessions for new joiners and are responsible for familiarizing them with the company’s policies and procedures around a number of areas like Finance, Compliance, HR, etc. The problem statement was how to make their sessions more engaging within the limited time of 30-40 minutes.

Training focus areas:

  • Understand the scope of content that could go into each presentation
  • Structure content for greater retention
  • Build audience engagement by donning a trainer’s persona
  • Making a professional power point presentation

By incorporating concepts like the principles of adult learning and storytelling, this program helped participants remarkably improve their overall presentation skills. During final presentations, there was a marked difference in the ability to structure subject matter, engage participants and increase the overall engagement levels in the training room.

Program on Executive Presence: Program on Building Executive Presence was custom created for middle level managers of a large Japanese multinational conglomerate

The objective of the program was to help participants integrate their internal confidence to power-up their external behaviors.

In order to do this, the program was designed to help participants fine tune their personal operating style and exude the key executive presence skills of listening mindfully, speaking clearly, responding thoughtfully and asking great questions. This in turn, would help them successfully engage with people across all levels, both inside and outside of the organization.

The main focus areas of the program were:

  • how to establish credibility in the long term
  • business etiquette and developing one’s own style
  • creating a personal brand that distinguishes oneself from others