Why should you upskill employees in Malaysia? A HRDF opinion
The HR dilemma: To train or not to train?
Expensive training courses take up lots of time, loss of productivity for the day, unsure what the boost of productivity is, and you’re not even confident said individuals will immediately look for greener pasture elsewhere in a larger company with better pay, a far cry from expecting loyalty out of them. So why engage in employee training? Why not simply select qualified candidates, and brace for a high turnover rate every two years or so?
The Borneo Post has a great article on the role employee training has in Malaysia. In summary, the article states that while SME employs over 65% of Malaysia’s population, there still has not been significant improvements in the 23 years the HRDF has been around. All the fears of business owners and HR personnel come true as mentioned earlier, and that’s why organizations are so reluctant to send employees to training, intentionally keeping wages low.
But see it from their perspective instead. As an employee, I want my skills and worth to be recognized. Being trained means that I am about to handle more responsibilities, and therefore should command higher wages, ultimately leading to recognition in order to gain what we all desire: a promotion.
Employees treated as treasured individuals, instead of a number
This study was done by Kelly Services, where they examined if people being treated as individual employees rather than a team. Malaysians are placed even higher than Singaporeans in their effort to grow, hungering for more responsibility and recognition, wresting strong control over their own careers. Loyalty once met a stable paycheck every month in the post-war world, but that has now changed towards being something employees can throw their full efforts into, and being rewarded in their eyes.
It’s why we at ACTS Asia believe that it’s possible to learn the wrong things at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Studies have shown that if unused, the corporate training spent will be forgotten quickly. It’s not enough for employers and HR to approve sending employees to training, but rather have a plan in place to continuously improve and maintain those skills, for a promotion that aligns with the employee’s goals one day. Sending employees to train for fun, or simply because there is a budget to do so is irresponsible and will see diminishing returns on those kinds of training investments, even if they are HRDF claimable.
Businesses need to work together with the employees picked/scheduled for training, in order to determine what their future goal is within the company, as well as what are their aspirations in life. As referenced earlier, employees want to be heard and recognized as individuals and will value this communication with loyalty if their needs for finances and growth are met.
So what to do?
Sounds great, so where can we start? Workable has a fantastic template that can be modified for your own business, to be implemented after the employee has come back from training. However, the conversation around potential promotion and thus training needs to be held in advance and requires consent from both sides before moving forward. Employers and employees both hate uncertainty, so it’s better to be clear from the onset rather than spring the training or promotion on anyone. Talk to us today, about setting up the right plan for your latest in house training program, and our consultants will advise you on the best time in conjunction with your shiny new Employee Promotion Form.