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Pukunui Malaysia

Online learning: a competitive advantage for Malaysian companies

By  Vinny Stocker

Why online learning for Malaysian companies, is the new norm – 4 ways to do it effectively

The recent health crisis has turned the world of work on its head, with many people finding themselves working in a totally virtual environment or, in some cases, not working at all. As such, it is more important than ever for Malaysian companies to provide online learning opportunities for their people to develop their skills.

According to this Udemy report on Workplace Learning Trends for 2021, the estimated percentage of the workforce being upskilled in 2020 shot up to 38%, up from just 14% the previous year. Much of this upskilling happened online.

Traditionally, personal development is facilitated through face-to-face training, either in the workplace or offsite. However, MCO and other restrictions have closed off that option for now. That’s why companies should follow those in the education sector and move towards online training. If not, people development will suffer, and companies will fall behind any competitors who continue to upskill their people online while the pandemic remains.

Indeed, making the switch to online learning will give Malaysian companies a significant competitive advantage. Here are four ways to do it effectively:

The estimated percentage of the workforce being upskilled in 2020 shot up to 38%, up from just 14% the previous year.

Udemy report on Workplace Learning Trends for 2021

1 – Build the digital capability

More and more Malaysians are taking online learning courses in their own time, accessing a whole range of e-learning programmes on platforms such as Udemy or via university websites. This tells us there is a growing demand for online learning when it comes to skills development. But it also highlights a gap in training provision that should be coming from the workplace.

Wouldn’t it be great if companies could provide a platform for staff to take online courses that are relevant and specific to their industry or expertise? 

Pro Tip: Build a digital infrastructure that allows people to learn online from a variety of devices, including their smartphones. 

2- Regularly upskill and celebrate success

Even before the pandemic, remote working was becoming more popular. Now that companies have seen the benefits and learned how to compensate for the downsides, it makes sense to transition regular face-to-face training sessions into the online environment, too. 

Indeed, online learning offers advantages that are difficult to replicate offline. For example:

  • Utilises gamification
    Stimulates learning by adding gameplay linked to achievement with instant rewards and feedback. Significantly increases engagement.
  • Learners can progress at their own pace
    Training programmes are delivered in bite-size chunks that can be accessed anywhere on any device. People can learn on the go, whenever convenient.

Pro-Tip: Learning should be engaging and consistent, related closely to the demands of the job.  

3 – Gain insights and 360 feedback

One of the biggest advantages of online learning is that it generates lots of data. This provides plenty of opportunities for analytics and personalisation of learning content, as well as report making.

  • Automated feedback and certification
    Automation has become very sophisticated of late and can be employed to give instant feedback as well as record data and analyse it. AI also identifies gaps in knowledge and understanding, so these can be addressed with a personalised learning programme.
  • Links to external rewards system or appraisal process
    Performance data in e-learning programmes can be directly linked with other performance-related systems to inform further upskilling and reward staff accordingly. Staff should have access to this data, too, so they can monitor their own progress, adjusting their performance in line with expectations. 

Pro-Tip: Rewards should be timely and frequent.

4 – Create a cycle of continual monitoring and improvement

When the pandemic struck, many were forced to work from home, communicating with their colleagues and customers on BigBlueButton or Zoom meetings or sharing information on platforms ranging from messaging services to Google Docs. At first, those unfamiliar with these tools had to get grips with them fast, often with little guidance. If there had been some online learning provision in place, managers could have helped train people how to effectively use these tools quickly.

They say small changes produce big results, so it is good practice to have your staff train regularly, rather than intermittently. This is much more achievable with the convenience of online learning.

Pro-Tip: Learning happens best when:
Learning objectives are clear
Success criteria is well-defined
Peers learn with each other
Lots of discussion is involved
Tasks are sufficiently challenging for the learner’s skill level

When your organisation provides its workforce with the tools for continuous learning, it will enjoy an enormous strategic advantage. In the battle for talent, the opportunity to regularly upskill serves as great recruitment incentive, too. 

Whether we’re enduring a pandemic or enjoying life as normal, one fact remains: training is going through something of a revolution. Will your company be on the right side of history?

If you need advice on how to implement online learning for your company, Pukunui can help. Contact us today for more information.

Vinny Stocker


Vinny leads the Malaysian team. He's a published author, instructional designer, and Moodle consultant at Pukunui. Vinny also runs LMS training throughout South East Asia.

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