Tuesday, August 20, 2019

How Language Skills Will Help at Work?

language skills crtical for employment

Language skills, especially English, are far more important than most people realize. Even in countries where English is the spoken language, or is one of the predominant languages, some people may have poor language skills.
Most important work language
Increasingly, English is becoming the most important language for business globally, even in non-native English-speaking countries.
The four language skills
Employers look for proficiency in the four language skills which are reading, writing, speaking and listening. According to Cambridge English, the most important language skill in most industries is reading, followed by speaking.
International journals, contracts and instructions are in the English language and that is why reading skills are by far the most important in the legal, financial, medical, business and engineering world. Articulating in proficient English is also a crucial element for many of these careers, while the service industries (hospitality, travel and leisure) also require spoken English.
English skills and employment in Malaysia
The number of students rejected by employers, because their language skills are inadequate, is quite high, close to 48% in Malaysia, and proficiency levels differ between the public and private sectors.
Interview assessments include an English assessment and the biggest problems faced by Malaysians are limited vocabulary and the inability to structure proper sentences. This causes problems in communication during the interview.
There is a misconception around learning English with many people thinking that vocabulary and grammar are the most important aspect of the English language. Students need to also learn listening and communication. Difficulties arise because of the differences between the Malay and English spoken language which include different stress patterns and intonations.
Communication in English can be perfected when students get the opportunity to practice in real-life situations, where they can boost their confidence and enrich their vocabulary.

Monday, August 19, 2019

No Age Limit for Skilling

skill development, Malaysia

Increasingly, people are seeking skilling training. The reasons for this can be for to find employment, a career change or even to up-skill within their current work industry.
Malaysia currently does have a skill shortage and this is a great concern for employers as they seek to attract skilled individuals to give them the competitive advantage required in the local and global economy. The main industries where there are skills shortage is in financial services, information technology, and manufacturing.
There is no age limit for skilling, and employers in Malaysia are consistently seeking ways to up-skill existing employees through sponsorship. They don’t hesitate to employ foreign nationals with the necessary skills required.
However, tightened labour laws, and the brain drain will require that country addresses one of its main economic weaknesses, 'skills shortages'.
The problem in Malaysia can be solved by skilling employees already in the place of employment. Since people in Malaysia tend to retire from at an earlier age, they could be kept within the workforce, contributing to the economy. It is a myth that older employees are not willing to learn, are not adaptable or flexible.
Ongoing training and career progression should be encouraged for workers of all age groups. Employee skilling reduces the need for constant staff recruitment, which in turn increases productivity and decreases hiring costs.
Skilling programs, within the existing workplace, also ensure that all employees have the same level of skills and knowledge. This reduces weak links and team work is greatly improved. This consistency allows for increased efficiency, greater productivity and higher quality standards. New ideas are born out of skilling with an increased chance of discovering talented individuals.
Skilling within the workforce can be best achieved with on-the job learning, in-house training, and individual courses, while government programs are also helpful. There are also programs for older people who have never been employed.

Skilling Makes One a Global Citizen 'Universally in Demand'

skill develeopment for global citizen

Flexibility and the ability to be prepared to change career paths are important in the universal employment sector. People today are faced with opportunities from across the world, but need skills that are transferable (employability skills) in order to become a global citizen. 

These are the types of skills that go beyond education and experience, and are known as soft skills. For employers these are far more important than the basics, because they are willing to teach new employees other job-specific skills. 

In Malaysia, but not only, employers find that there is a general lack of these skills, not only in graduates and young school leavers, but also in employees. A great deal of time and money is spent by organizations to teach them and when unemployment figures are high, applicants with all-round employability skills are more likely to find work. 

Important skilling for a global citizen
·       Communication and interpersonal skills show an ability to get along and work together with other people. Besides working effectively within a team these also indicate a willingness to satisfy customers, negotiate, make decisions and solve problems. Perhaps not all these may be required for every type of employments, but some are worth developing. 

·       Meeting deadlines and punctuality at work indicate that the person is reliable, trustworthy, conscientious, and dependable. These are part of emotional intelligence. This comes out of self-motivation and can be developed through a willingness to learn.

·       A willingness to learn, whether these are general or job-specific skills. Besides the improvement of skills and knowledge it is important that the person be open to new ideas and experiences. Workers who realize that a continued skilling make them valuable employees and offers them more opportunities than threats are resilient, adaptable and flexible, making them highly sought after.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Digital Twin for faster production

Digital Twin Technology

Digital twin technology refers to a virtual model of a process, product or service. These are then paired with physical scenarios and are analyzed and monitored to help ward off problems. This brilliant technology not only prevents problems, but also downtime, develops new opportunities and plans for the future.
For companies that want to stay ahead in an ever more competitive market, it is an imperative process.
Implementing a digital twin
A cloud based system is used to connect and process data about real-time status, working conditions or position with a physical item. This input is then analyzed against other contextual data which offering ideas and opportunities that can be applied to any real business.
The importance of digital twin technology
Innovation is one of the most important outcomes of digital twin technology, and its equivalent to having highly technical innovators on hand. Companies that invest in the technology see an increased improvement in cycle time for critical processes and the possibilities for implementing digital twin technology are endless.
Some of the most important benefits are improved customer experiences through a better understanding of their needs; existing products can be enhanced, with improved operations and services. Innovation is one of the most important areas where digital twin technology will play a vital role.
Digital twin technology
Simulating situations before going live can help to solve problems for many industries and businesses for faster production, while employees have the opportunity to get comfortable with Internet of Things implementations. It can also revolutionize the healthcare system where patients can be monitored and doctors can even practice procedures before they undertake them.
Digital twin technology could also help create the infrastructure and foundation for smart cities in the future, where urban planners will be able to plan cities that function perfectly.
The deployment of digital twin technology is the advantage that every industry needs today.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Knowledge, Skill or Attitude? Which factor gives actual performance.

Which factor gives actual performance: Knowledge, Skill or Attitude?

Knowledge, Skill or Attitude

Every company prefers to hire employees that have knowledge, skill and attitude all rolled into one. However, in the event that they would have to pick one of the three, which one would be the most important?
Which of the three can be taught?
According to the experts, the only one of the three that cannot be taught is attitude. Attitude, it seems, is the important motivator for gaining knowledge and skills. Skills and knowledge can both be mastered quickly with the right attitude. However, improving attitude is linked to behaviour and behaviour is very difficult to change. Change of behaviour can only really happen if the individual has the right attitude, something quite difficult to achieve.
Attitude affects performance
When employees have the wrong attitude, they don’t fit in easily. This leads clashes with the culture of the organization and often disrupts teamwork.  This causes a lowered overall performance on their part and often leads to tension with other team members.
The term “addition by subtraction” is often used in scenarios where someone very intelligent or a very good sportsperson cannot fit in and causes problems and discontent, affecting the performance of everyone else.
Attitude overrides problems
During moments of crisis in a work situation, determination, tenacity and resilience are needed. In the event that a highly skilled worker does not offer these then challenges cannot be overcome in the workplace.
Challenging questions to determine attitude
HR departments, trainers, and employers need to determine more than just the knowledge and skills a future employee has. They need to focus more questions on attitude rather than aptitude. Some important employee attributes that need to be determined are honesty, initiative, determination, staying power and resilience.
Hiring employees that make a good fit for an organization is the best way to ensure that business in Malaysia will continue to compete efficiently in the global economy.

5 Key Driving Factors of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship skills

Across the world, entrepreneurs are faced with various constraints and opportunities, depending on the political economy. In Malaysia entrepreneurship is encouraged through a number of diversity programs in order to develop economic growth.
However, entrepreneurial success relies on five key driving factors:
Creative thinking and remembering ideas
Entrepreneurship is not always about original ideas and creative thinking is what can spark the improvement of products. Creative ideas are the driving force behind many entrepreneurs and these may appear at the craziest of moments. Fresh ideas may not be easy to implement immediately and successful businessmen always write them down for later use.
Acceptance of risk
There can be no gain without risk and many initial ideas depend entirely on the risk that the entrepreneur is willing to take. Investors are more confident, especially with start ups, when they see that the entrepreneur is willing to take a risk, including financial, and believes in the idea.
Risk involves financial and emotional strength and good entrepreneurs usually have the self-worth to believe in their strength and idea.
Grabbing opportunities
Opportunities don’t come around often and when presented the good entrepreneur responds instantly. Today, information reaches everyone faster with the internet and entrepreneurs need to be ready to respond immediately. Rigidity and an unwillingness to spring into action burdens business, whereas flexibility and a reserve of resources allows fast action.
Leading and inspiring
Entrepreneurship is not possible without leadership. The entrepreneur has to take possibilities, inspire those around him and make the product or idea sellable.
Protection of ideas
The creation of ideas and products are expensive because they need to be researched and developed. These ideas are the intellectual property of the entrepreneur and need to be protected otherwise they can be copied, for much less, and they lose their competitive advantage.
Besides planning, risk and ideas, every good entrepreneur knows how to embrace failure and turn it into an opportunity through a lesson well learnt.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Design Thinking enhance employee engagement and satisfaction

design thinking Malaysia

Design thinking goes way past designers and is all about innovation in all areas including literature, science, engineering and business. It’s the development of processes, designed to systematically extract, learn, teach and apply problem solving techniques. These can then be applied to create alternative strategies that can improve many spheres in every day solutions, in a creative and innovative way improving everything in peoples’ lives. 
Tackling problems with design thinking
Design thinking is taught at some of the leading universities of the world and has been adopted by some of the world’s leading brands. It provides a solution-based approach to solving problems in a methodical, hands-on manner. 
Design thinking aims to question a problem, its assumptions and implications before re-framing the whole approach to create a prototype for testing and trying out. 
Various phases of design thinking
Its use today has many variants, from three to seven stages and all are based on the principles laid out by Herbert Simon (Nobel Laureate 1969). The phases in design thinking are not always used in the same sequence and do not always need to be followed in the same order. 
The five main steps in design thinking are: Empathize, Define, Idea, Prototype and Test.
Design thinking in Malaysia
Malaysia has not stayed behind in this field and design thinking is taught at many universities where students are trained to improve the work process with new initiatives that can help organizations at home and globally. Its applications are especially useful for HR departments where employee experience design is used by organizations to enhance employee engagement and satisfaction.

Customer experience is another area where design thinking emphasizes on user needs and values. Seeing the world from the consumer perspective can have a positive effect on brands.
The constant search for the development of new ways of thinking and innovation is where the future lies. 

GIG Economy is speeding up

gig economy, malaysia

Business market is always dynamic due to fair competition. However due to global business cycle, economies are facing continuous Volatility, Uncertainty and Ambiguity ( VUCA). Facing this VUCA, companies, corporations and governments are working towards the welfare of the people. In this business situation, there is another economy getting bloomed, its termed as gig economy ( "a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.")  or a large number of freelancers.

The trend is to have independent workers. An economy with freelancers such as architects, designer, influence rs, micro-entrepreneurs and consultants.  They are passionate about their job, seduced by work independence, your boss is your customer, and that gives greater satisfaction.

There is a vast number of online portals such as  AirBNB, Atwork, Freelancers.com, Fiverr Zaarly, Peopleperhour, and many many more, that connects these independent workers to get contracts. Interestingly, the majority of them are paid upfront, and platform ensures pay and quality for work.

The challenge is that you to be an expert. Every day, you have to question yourself. Acquire a skill, polish it and upgrade frequently.

Here are some statistics that will tell us that the world of work is undergoing an unprecedented revolution. The life of  full-time employment is no longer going to be the default model:

Another survey was done by , 54% of young Americans showed interest in starting their small businesses and be an independent provider, gig economy model.

Source: https://www.kauffman.org/~/media/kauffman_org/research%20reports%20and%20covers/2011/11/millennials_study.pdf

Currently, in the United States,  Independent service providers, generally called freelancers, independent consultants, and independent online services account for 16 million people.   This  number will become a majority by 2020,

Source https://gigaom.com/2011/12/08/mbo-partners-network-2011/

 Next statistics is interesting,  in any country, SMEs hold 80% of the total businesses. According to the OECD, 90% of the SMEs have fewer than ten employees. In Malaysia SMEs hold near 92% out of total businesses.


 Similarly, there is plenty of research conducted by policymakers that derive to the fact that self-employment is becoming a trend. According to  McKinsey Global Institute, 11% of the 1.46 billion service jobs in the world could be done remotely with a work from home infrastructure.

Due to infrastructure, and technology support, gig works at a speed delivery are being accepted and promoted. What is interesting about the world of freelance work is that there is a very positive form of dynamics that results from the creation of new and very successful employment and business opportunities.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Problem Solving Techniques and Productivity Improvement

problem solving techniques

Productivity is measured against the efficiency between input and output, and how smartly they can be coordinated. As the 4th Industrial revolution is upon us, we now no longer perform repetitive tasks and employees need to constantly grow their knowledge and acquire critical thinking. In Malaysia, these problem solving techniques can be taught and implemented through schools and colleges to encourage a new generation of productive individuals. Employers can also play a major role in how their employees perform.
Problem solving can be used to create productive and satisfied employees:
It is human nature, especially; it has been proven, among ‘millennials’, to meet challenges head on with a sense of purpose.  This often leads to some wonderful solutions for increased productivity in various departments f enterprises. Employees can take advantage of this by offering challenging issues in the creation, production or sales side of their business. Problem solving becomes the motivator for employees to perform at their best.
This sense of purpose that employees have can also be used to challenge them to turn repetitive tasks into well executed ones by allowing them to find the best ways to solve issues.
Employees can be encouraged to feel that their activities are measured as opportunities for the business and for them, since with growth, everyone benefits.
Compensating for problem solving often has a negative effect on employees. They need to feel that the value of their work is intrinsic otherwise they tend to be less motivated to participate.
What employers look for in employees?
Today’s employer is looking for smart employees that are capable of finding solutions to problems through creative thinking. Employers need to show their management skills, by leading and trusting their employees and their capabilities. That is when they perform best to find business solutions that will increase productivity.

Visualization Era and Skill Development

Communication through visual imagery has been around forever. In science, business, education and engineering today computer graphics are one of the most important developments in visualization. We live in a data driven world and the skill sets for informing through data are important.
Where is visualization used?
Helping people to understand important data is the main reason why visualization skills are needed. Data visualization tools or software is what is used to create the data and the way that it is presented is becoming ever more sophisticated.
Visualization is important to most industries and these include government, finance, marketing, history, education and so much more. This is almost certainly one of the most useful skills to develop.
Other duties include transforming improving and integrating data; combining data results across multiple sources and delivering the data in an understanding an appealing way.
Visualization skill development
This is the type of career that requires clarity, accuracy and efficiency and requires the use of some specialized visualization tools such as Tableau, QlikView Data Wrapper, 3D Max, Engineering visualizations tools and others.
The right candidate for a career in visualization will have excellent analytical skills, the ability to wade through large amounts of information, and be able to juggle facts, figures and numbers. Critical thinking is essential as is attention to detail and excellent mathematical skills.
The educational criteria are usually a Bachelor or Master’s Degree in Computer Science or something that develops analytical skills like mathematics or statistics. There are also postgraduate degrees in data visualization.
 Malaysia has become a hub for many industries and even small businesses and startups rely on data. That is the reason why the demand for analysts, data scientists and visualization skills has grown over the last decade and there are job opportunities available in the sectors such as Automobiles industry, Telecommunications, Banking and Manufacturing. Industry 4.0 and Digital Manufacturing systems and process definitely requires visualization and designing, thereby employment opportunities.

Steps to Take Against Harassment and Violence at Work

Harassment and Violence at Work

Harassment and violence at work can come in many forms. The signs are not always visible, even to the most experienced people in HR. In Malaysia, recent developments have ensured that individual plaintiffs can bring civil suits against perpetrators of sexual harassment, but the Employment Act does not currently recognize other forms of aggression.
Types of harassment:
Discrimination - quite common and includes racial, gender, religious, sexual-orientation and age-related harassment.
Personal – Bullying and includes unnecessary critic remarks and other offensive behaviours. It can also include cyber bullying.
Physical – Includes gestures like ‘playful shoving’, direct threats, destroying property, and other physical attacks or threats.
Power – Includes both verbal and physical attacks, usually exercised by someone in a position of power.
Psychological – Isolation, belittling, discrediting actions all constitute this type of harassment.
Sexual – Unwanted sexual advances, conduct or behaviour is believed to affect at least one in four women in the workplace across the globe, and includes exchange-based sexual harassment from someone in a more senior position.
Steps for employees to counter harassment:
Firstly, the most important step is the filing of a complaint or the request for a meeting with the HR department. In the event of no response, legal advice can be sought or the matter van be reported to the police. Any type of harassment needs to be spoken about to colleagues or supervisors; by rallying support and making things known, many battles have been won.
It is also important that every employee is aware of their rights, even under perfect employment conditions. Finally, publishing any personal matters on social media should be avoided as they can backfire and harm any person’s career.
Management can tackle harassment:
HR departments should be open-minded and approachable so that workers can feel free to complain. They need to seek transparency and by taking immediate action they show willingness to get to the root of issues.
It is essential that every organization has a code of ethics to which everyone has to abide or be held accountable. An in-house councillor is a valuable asset to every organization; they deal with far more issues than just harassment.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

SMEs need to create a work environment that inspires creativity and innovation

creativity in SMEs

Every manufacturer, who wants to succeed today, needs to enable creativity and innovation. Even though the same applies for large manufacturers, the survival of the small and medium manufacturer (SME) is always a bigger challenge.
Since 2014, manufacturers qualify as a SME if their annual sales turnover is less than RM50 million and/or employs less than 200 full time employees. SMEs are the backbone of the Malaysian economy. These SMEs are important because they provide significant employment opportunities and create a source of qualified talent for larger manufacturers.
Importance of enabling creativity
Creativity and innovation is what allows one SME to stand out above the rest, otherwise all would manufacture and sell the same types of products. The competitive edge of any manufacturer improves with innovation and results in dividends that include internal motivation and engagement.
Employers need to understand that too many rules and procedures discourage employees so they need to allow them to implement initiatives that will offer the business the agility and push creativity forward.
How can Small and Medium Manufacturers achieve this?
Some employers believe in working from within the company, while others speak of the importance of sharing ideas from beyond the bounds of the enterprise. For this, manufactures need to create a work environment that inspires creativity and innovation. Now, how to create that work environment is the next question.
Sharing with others can include collaboration, sharing of knowledge, networking all which can bring in some new and fresh ideas.  However, if this path is chosen, it is important to protect the internal data and secrets of the enterprise.
If internal creativity is preferred then, the team can be creatively challenged to come up with ideas. This needs to be done in the right measure so that the effects of the challenge don’t lead to stress, or sometimes boredom, if not challenged enough.
Thinking outside the box will allow manufacturers in Malaysia to meet the demands of the global economy through the creation of innovative products.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Human trafficking is a heinous crime. This must stop.

Human trafficking is understood to mean recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving or accommodating a person, using force, with the aim of exploiting that person. The exploitation is the core of human trafficking. This exploitation is mainly taking place in the sex industry, for example when someone works involuntarily for someone else in prostitution, but also in other economic sectors. It is about such poor working conditions and conditions that human rights are at stake.
Trafficking in women is no different from trafficking in human beings. Human trafficking is the gender-neutral term.

Men and boys can also become victims of human trafficking. The term trafficking in women emphasizes the gender-specific nature, and that is important to keep in mind.

Forced crime also falls under human trafficking. Also criminal as human trafficking is the forcibly recruiting, transporting, etc. of another person with the aim of removing organs from that person's body.

Internationally there are estimates available in this report: 2017 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labor and Forced Marriage, a collaboration of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with International Organization for Migration (IOM):

According to this report, an estimated 40.3 million people are victims of modern slavery at any given time. Of these, 24.9 million were forced to work and 15.4 million were forced to marry someone. Of the 24.9 million people who do forced work, 20.1 million (81%) people are victims of other labor exploitation and 4.8 million (19%) people are victims of sexual exploitation.

We have to stop this and World Day UNODC is focusing on highlighting the criticality of this issue and responsible governments and local authorities can take  action in the interest of victims of trafficking. The call to action is not only to governments, it is for everyone who find such activity in their locality can report  to prevent this heinous crime.

The human trafficking care coordinator are available in all countries and they are special coordinators in a region for victims of human trafficking. They can refer the identified cases to institutions that can help you with problems or concerns.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Skills for the differently abled person in Malaysia

A person who is differently abled may have bodily or mental functions that are partially impaired, but may have talents, skills and strengths that can be utilized in the workforce.
Initially, parents were not too keen to have children classified as special needs, but these attitudes are now changing, resulting in far more children with special needs getting an education, often even a tertiary one.
The recent implementation of the Education Ministry’s “zero reject” policy is an important step in ensuring that children with special needs grow up with the same opportunities as other children. The aim is to also prevent school dropouts among this group.
Since the schools now have to accept these students and prepare an individual education plan for each child with a special need, far more teachers need to be trained in order to be able to identify problems and to teach each child according to the particular problem.
The differently abled in Malaysia still face many challenges between primary school and finding a job. These include early detection of the disability, timely intervention, lack of infrastructure and accessibility, financial constraints and lack of qualified educators.
Public sector is pushing this mission by employing more disabled people. Many companies in Private Sector have decided that this group within the population deserves to have the same opportunities as the rest and are offering jobs and the relevant training. 

There are also many people with disabilities who have, despite the challenges, managed to complete their higher tertiary education and to hold jobs in legal, tech and economic activities.
The differently abled persons  can and will play an important role in the economy of Malaysia.

Improving Functional Illiteracy in Malaysia

The population of Malaysia has a satisfactory rate of literacy and this is mostly because of the national policies implemented since 1961. A variety of programs, established to assist adult learners to attain the necessary skills, have enabled many to become productive citizens of a growing economy.
Literacy is one of the most important indicators of a country’s human capital development. Functional illiteracy does not allow for people to be employed and nor can they attain their desired quality of life.
For Example: There is a study by National Focus on Literacy, that 22% of the adult U.K population is functionally illiterate Costing the U.K £81billion annually Highest cost of any European Nation.
However, functional illiteracy, when the reading and writing skills are inadequate for employment, still prevents many people in Malaysia from getting employment opportunities or education at a higher level.
The national education system’s main goal is to provide literacy proficiency.  Unfortunately, there are still higher levels than desired of students who do not master the required reading, writing and arithmetic skills by the end of primary school. The drop out levels from both primary and secondary school levels are still at a higher level than desired.
Critical and creative thinking can be taught, but is often hampered by background, family situations, culture, environment and socio-economic factors. Education policies in Malaysia still need to address the fact that teachers need special training where they will be able to teach students the learning process of understanding or as it was put in one study, “to learn to learn”.
Students need to be given strong skills in comprehension, intensive writing, collaborative learning and self sufficiency in learning which builds a positive culture in students.
Encouraging young people to want more than just functional literacy and to move into the realm of critical literacy should be the top priority of the education system.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Time Management Skills create improved performance

time management

Employees that are taught to manage their time correctly are better at accomplishing business targets and also reach personal goals within their career faster.
Time management skills encompass 7 areas that reflect on the performance of daily tasks. 
They include organization, prioritization, goal-setting, communication, planning, delegation, and stress management.
Any employee that can learn to effectively manage their time will be able to carry out all the demanding tasks that include maintaining a calendar, meetings and tasks in the correct order of priority, helping the company that employs them to achieve the desired goals.
Excellent time management skills also allow employees to be completely focused during meetings, instead of fretting internally about something important that was forgotten. It also allows employees to have creative and proactive thoughts leading to positive outcomes for the company and for their personal career.
Time management skills can be taught and people who have them are very sought after by employees.
There are 3 important steps that can be taken to improve time management and they include:
1.     The creation of short and long-term goals which should be specific, measurable, relevant, and achievable.

2.     Managing a calendar where tasks are prioritized according to importance and adhering to it.

3.     Assignments should be prioritized according to their due dates and the importance of this cannot be ignored, since they can affect business goals.
Time management skills and future skill development go hand- in-hand when it comes to ensuring a stronger workforce in Malaysia.