Saturday, August 31, 2019

Acquiring new skills is the capital in the world of work.

new skills

Today, skills is the capital in the world of work. Whatever the sectors and jobs, today's job seekers must constantly adapt to meet new requirements, especially due to technological developments. In parallel with the regular college education, new skills building must be essential element for the future of our societies and economies.

The manufacturing economy is moving ahead with use innovative technologies such as  smart factory systems. Skills of the manufacturing workers also need to evolve with the arrival of digital. On the employment front, the deployment of the industry of the future regularly provokes heated debate. In another two decades some low skilled would  be completely disappear and new form of employment would be the transformation in factories. Factories will go for auotmation in those processes where, automation is possible. Robotic Process Automation software are already in place in services Industry such as banking, Insurance and Customer relations processing centres.

Creating jobs in the digital age with new technologies requires relevant workers with relevant skills. The needs are constantly increasing for these profiles and we are already seeing shortages. Specialists in data management, programming,  training. cyber security, financial analyst, maintenance of the software, digital design, solution providers, and many more new skills related to Industry 4.0 are in need.

The necessary skills are not only for the the use of digital technologies and  but also other technical, cognitive, social or situational skills.

In fact, digital is the whole work environment that changes, the tasks and the professional interactions. The firm Roland Berger estimated in a report that 42% of trades were automatable within twenty years.

Recent work shows a significant rise in automation jobs in the coming years or decades. According to another study from Oxford University, "47% of US jobs are at increased risk of automation in the next 20 years". While the numbers and methods used in these reports are far from unanimous, many experts agree that the content of the jobs and the skills required will change significantly.

While automation may have a short-term negative effect on employment, but it gains in productivity, competitiveness and quality that may lead high Industry growth. It must our constant endevour to do skill building to develop for today's and also for the long term needs.

Skill development for Industry 4.0

Skill development is a crucial factor in manufacturing productivity. We all know Skill building is an essential driver of growth through an improved job opportunity, generation of income, productivity and support for overall economic development. For sustainable development and inclusive growth, skill development will ensure high productivity, skill development must be in place. However, how does it impact manufacturing productivity in the near future? What are the skills that improves productivity for Industry 4.0? 

Digital technologies are transforming the manufacturing segment, and our companies are adopting Industry 4.0 Traditional manufacturing is labour intensive. However, new-generation manufacturing workplaces are going to be digital. Technologies such as design applications, 3D Technologies, design automation, factory automations and robotics are already in place for some units and showing high productivity. 

The new-age manufacturing is a skill-intensive. It demands a variety of skills, even at the lowest level in the skill. Even if we all protest, global Industry is adopting machine run factories or robotics solutions to increase productivity. Our workforce also needs to be ready and fill-up the gap to manage automated production lines. Data and visualisation is critical. For a huge amount of data transaction and analysis of these data, computational skills such as data analysis, big data and its visualisation are required

Digital Assembly lines:

Companies realise high productivity and business efficiency through factory automation and robotics.
For this, a variety of digital production line and assembly line skills are required. There will be another set of people with analytical and predictive skills. Though machines will do a particular process in a assembly line, the decision making has to happen by us. For that, we have to be ready that match the skills with the machine/robotics skills. Our Human Resource departments have to do proactive matching of skills and talent with the Industry 4.0.

Role of HR:

Recruitment is now an end-to-end process beyond finding out the skills and competencies. The skill development initiates the skill profile adjustment processes and prepares the selection decision. They have identify skills, competence and leadership skills. Assess the change management mindset and any specific and future goals with n the organisation.

They have to find innovative ways to recruit, maintain and retain highly skilled talents for sustainable growth for the organisations. If the skills gap is observed very early, practical training and skill development can be provided that aligns with the business goals of the organisation.

Monday, August 26, 2019

New Technology Adoption by SMEs and Job Opportunities

SME Malaysia
Photo credit to

 SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) in developing and industrial countries provide a significant amount of jobs. Two-thirds of all formal jobs in developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America are created by these enterprises, which employ anything from 5 to 250 employees. 

Small businesses however, often seem reluctant to adopt new technologies, either out of ignorance, too little time at their disposal or fear that it is unaffordable. However, internal and external pressures have helped SMEs in Malaysia realize the importance of adapting, by adopting new tech. 

Some of these technologies are as simple as having an up-to-date website that is also mobile friendly. On the other hand, SMEs can benefit greatly by adopting new IT, AI, and digital technology so that they can have a more competitive advantage in the revolutionized way of doing business. 

E-commerce, mobile-commerce, and social-commerce platforms have been embraced by an average of 88% of Malaysian SMEs and this is expected to contribute to increased revenue and job opportunities. SMEs, after all, form the backbone of Malaysia’s economy and are an engine of growth. 

The incorporation of Industry 4.0 technologies have also been embraced in Malaysia and even though these are coordinated to perform tasks that meet human needs, they also require personnel that have high technical skills. These technologies include mobile payments, automation software, big data and its analytics. 

The challenges faced by SMEs in adopting new technology are many. They include lack of sufficient financing and often a shortage of skills needed to implement these.

With the adoption of new technologies SMEs acquire the boost needed to enter new markets, improve customer service and customer experience. They also increase the demand for, and offer job opportunities for employees that have the hard and soft skills to implement these powerful technologies.

Continuous simple upskilling a must

Picture credit to 

Continuous professional development in the form of upskilling is undoubtedly something that has many benefits for the employer and employee alike. 

Unfortunately, some employers don’t feel the need to contribute toward the expenses incurred, leaving it entirely up to their workforce. For those that are still procrastinating, here are a few reasons why contributing to simple upskilling skills can have numerous benefits for their business and their employees; making it a worthwhile investment. 

Attracts jobseekers
Without a doubt, most people seeking employment are not only seeking the security of a paycheck, growth and developmental opportunities are just as important. Companies and small businesses that offer these prospects tend to attract more talented individuals. 

Retains the workforce
It has been observed that two in three employees tend to quit because of a lack of learning and development prospects. The opportunity to have these within their workplace is an incentive to stay on and to continue to contribute their skills (together with their newly learnt upskills) to the organization.

Reduces brain drain
Losing vital skills or workers that hold key positions with important knowledge can set back most businesses. Upskilling ensures that skills and vital knowledge about the business is spread and enhanced. 

Identifies and develops future leaders
Finding the right candidates for leadership roles is important to businesses, even small ones, and upskilling allows employers to see which people have the ability to take on these challenging positions. Upskilling also helps to prepare employees for these leadership positions. 

Most important simple upskills sought by employees in Malaysia today:
In order of importance they usually are technology skills, management and leadership skills; specific skills for their role of employment; communication and collaboration skills, problem solving skills, and time management skills. To a lesser degree employees also seek public speaking and emotional intelligence skills.

Teachers and their skill contributions

Teachers and skill

This is the digital age and the significance of teacher contributions to the skills of their students is more relevant than ever before. Youth unemployment is a global trend, as it can be minimized when teachers contribute the skills and mindsets required. 

Technology – The foundations for digital literacy are not just the practical skills of how to use technology, but also include how to integrate new technologies as they are developed. The more familiar students are with these the better their job prospects are. 

Innovation, knowledge, curiosity and entrepreneurship – The internet has made it easier for people to create their own business opportunities. Teaching of entrepreneurship, innovation and adaptability are vital skills that giving a strong foundation, whether this will be to work for others or start a business. Innovation, adaptability and advancement are bred from curiosity and students can be taught to thirst for learning and to have a curious mind.

Emotion management skills – This is not a trivial skill as it prepares students to confront and control their emotions. Emotional intelligence makes for successful communication. 

Global society – Industries have very few borders today and business is conducted across the globe.  Students need to have the open mind required to collaborate with individuals across the globe. 

Adaptability- Challenges need to be met with changes in strategies so that job responsibilities can be met and unexpected circumstances overcome. 

Knowledge to assess and analyze business information- Performance needs to be measured and analyzed so that future strategies and decisions can be taken.

In combination with all of the above, students need to also learn about their strengths and weaknesses in order to be able to contribute and collaborate in teams. A good dose of empathy is also an important skill that teachers in Malaysia can impart to students today.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Skill up-gradation and increase earning potential for women

skills upgradation for women

Women today are far more fortunate than their grand-mothers when it comes to studying and landing the job of their dreams after graduation. However, in the fast-paced work place environment it has become extremely difficult for people to stay on within a job, unless continued learning is undertaken to keep up with developments. 
These developments are in every field of employment and women cannot afford to sit back otherwise they may find that they are retrenched or may never get desired promotion.
Benefits of up-gradation for women
·       A boost in confidence, acquired from the training, is one of the most important benefits of up-gradation for women.
·       Gaining a good reputation and admiration from colleagues, because of the special knowledge learned, affords women well-deserved respect in their workplace. 
·       Understanding breeds familiarity with the work and this creates a climate of contentment at work, which leads to a healthier employee. 
How women can seek up-gradation?
Many organizations and businesses offer training programs. Often, employers don’t consider up-gradation important but women can draw their attention to its significance. The internet is full of resources for learning and there are also online e- courses (easy to follow at own pace) in just about every field. 
Earning potential and up-gradation
Up-gradation allows women to have more skills, which will in turn increase their productivity. The cost which companies lose in manpower is soon made up by increased productivity. Increased productivity inevitably means an increased salary because of the added skill and a far greater chance for promotion. 
Many companies feel trepidation about up-gradation because they fear losing trained employees, but without improving skills, employees cannot be more productive. 
Skills Up-gradation provides income security and for many women that equals an improvement in the quality of their life.

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,, 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.


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,


 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.