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Roles of Corporate Training in Developing Human Capital in Malaysia
[Source: Training Guide 8th Ed.]

  • Introduction
  • Breakthrough in Corporate Training and Development for Employees
    - 9 Intelligences
    - What to look for in a Corporate Training Provider
  • Breakthrough Experiences in Today’s Corporate Training.....
    - Corporate Training Techniques
    - Corporate Training Effectiveness
  • Conclusion
Introduction
The development of workers and enhancement of human capital has gained much attention over the years mainly because companies have come to realise its importance as a key factor for growth and business success. This is now so in a globalised and competitive world. Properly planned and effectively implemented programmes for the development of workers have resulted in higher productivity, better financial results and wealth creation for companies.

Many companies are known to spend as much as 3 to 5 per cent of their payroll budget in staff training and development. Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the Government has allocated RM 4792.6 million (Ninth Malaysian Plan 20006-2010) for corporate training, and this include Industrial Training, Commercial Training and Management Training to further improve the quality of the labour force with an increased supply of educated and skilled human resource due to expansion in the capacity of education and training institutions.

To maintain sustainable growth, organisations have to continuously invest in sharpening and/or developing the skills and knowledge of their employees so as to reduce the gap between the requirements of the organisations and the capabilities of the employees. Training and development are useful tools in minimising these competency gaps.

Continuous training not only prevents skills and human obsolescence created by fast changing technology and the environment but also prepares them for absorbing the shock of future growth and diversification. Management development is any attempt to improve current or future managerial performance by imparting knowledge, changing attitudes, increasing skills and creating positive values. Miller(1991) defines it as “the identification of skills and knowledge needed by employees for the organisation to meet its strategic objectives and management of those processes necessary to produce them”.

  • Smiling instructors at the door to welcome participant.
  • Soothing classical music from the compact disc with speakers at the four corners of the room.
  • Inspirational home-made posters with sayings and quotations related to the subject of the course, on the walls of the training rooms.
  • Colourful rugs and mats on the floor to create an atmosphere of informality.
  • Low coffee tables, sofas and bean bags for participants to sit, besides the ordinary, straight-backed chair and tables.
  • Soft-lighting decorative table lamps, with lovely lampshades, instead of bright and stark lighting from the ceiling.
  • Pictures on the video screen to create visual images.
  • Fruits, nuts and sweets on a table at the back of the room.
Breakthrough in Corporate Training and Development for Employees
How many of us have walked into a training room on the first day of a course to be greeted in the following manner?
For most participants, this is a radical change from the normal classroom environment often seen in the training rooms. The conventional training event is often looked upon as a ‘tell, listen and act’ activity where the trainer and facilitators will initially provide some input or comments after which the participants react to the material through some form of individual exercise or group activity.

The commonly used approach is to present the new
material through some form of visual in a logical and linear manner. Participants will react verbally and perhaps discuss the new material with their colleagues in class. This approach tends to utilise mostly the left hemisphere of our brain and perhaps only limited aspects of our intelligence.

9 Intelligences
Recently, the traditional approach to training and learning has been strengthened with the use of 9 intelligences and whole brain learning. The 9 intelligences put forward by Howard Gardner are described in the books, Frame of Mind and The Everybody Genius. Their core competencies are shown as follows:

Using 9 Intelligences to Facilitate Learning

INTELLIGENCE DESCRIPTION FOUND IN EXAMPLES

LINGUISTIC
1
Sensitivity to language, meanings and relations among words Novelist, poet, copywriter, scriptwriter, editor, magazines writer, reporter, public relations director, speechwriter

• Reading out what’s written
• Writing
• Mathematics

LOGICAL MATHEMATICAL
2

Constitutes
abstract throught,
precision, counting,
organisation, logical
structure
Mathematician,
scientist, engineer,
animal tracker, police
investigator, lawyer
and accountant

• Reading
• Writing
• Mathematics

MUSICAL
3

Sensitivity to pitch,
rhythm, timbre, the
emotional power and
complex organisation
to music
Perfomer, composer,
conductor, musical
audience, recording
engineer, maker of
musical instruments
speechwriter

• Use songs for rote writing
• Have music in the background when trying to
remember facts

VISUAL-SPATIAL
4
Keen observation,
visual thinking, mental
images, metaphor, a
sense of a gestalt
Architect, painter,
naturalist, theoretical
physicist, battlefield
strategist

• Use pictures, poster, models, diagrames, mindmaps, information maps... or via guided imagery which is an internal visualisation method...

BODILY KINESTHETIC
5
Control of one’s body
and of objects, timing,
trained responses that
function like reflexes
Dancers, athletes,
actors, inventors,
surgeons, karate
teachers and the
mechanically gifted

• Establish pre-verbal basic ideas in maths, language via multiplication tables, globe models, diagrammatic sentence, ‘living’ sculptures

INTER-PERSONAL
6
Sensitivity to others,
ability to read the intensions and desires of others and potentially to influence them. Includes consideration
of others
Politician, teacher, religious leader, counsellor, shaman, salesperson, manager, ‘people’s people’ and therapists

• Group behaviours... say good or bad about something... think, listen, go-around, speak out, validation circle, self estimation

INTRA-PERSONAL
7

Self-knowledge,
sensitivity to one’s
own values, purpose,
feelings, a developed
sense of self
Novelist, counsellor, wise elder, philosopher, guru, person with deep sense of self

• Interpret information
through body sculptures, skits,
creative writing sessions... subjective experience
• Expand a story’s approach

NATURALIST
8

Ability to recognise
and categorise plants,
animals and other
objects in nature
Scientist, naturalist,
landscape architect

• Recognise one’s connection to nature
• Apply science theory to life

EXISTENTIAL
9

Sensitivity and
capacity to tackle deep
questions about human
existence, such as the
meaning of life, why do
we die, and how did we
get here
Scientist, philosopher,
theologian

• Reflective and deep  thinking
• Design abstract theories


So, how can we explain using the 9 intelligences for learning? The answer is relatively simple-remember what we use to do in kindergarten when our teachers got us to sing and play as we learn the letters of the alphabet. Singing nursery rhymes and acting out various fun scenes made the learning process come alive, memorable and lasting! The use of music, poster, poems, relaxation methods and bodily - kinesthetic movement can go a long way in breaking through learning barriers and enabling learners to attain individual and group achievements that were previously thought not possible. Also by using the 9 intelligences, both our left and right brain will be utilised even more. Recall will be enhanced, according to brain experts, because the limbic system that is the seat of emotions is now evoked and liked to the neocortex - thus making learning more holistic. Learning, in this instance is not just cognitive, but also emotional and physical. This also enchances the learner’s creativity potential.

Breakthrough Experiences in Today’s Corporate Training…
Have you (as a trainer) ever tried the following in your training room?
  • Recalling your childhood memories in a visualisation exercise to help you search revered values of your ethnic culture.
  • Drawing images to illustrate your true feeling about an event.
  • Writing poems or rhymes to express your understanding of concepts.
  • Singing an inspirational song at the end of the course to bind participants together.
Corporate Training Techniques
The following are some corporate training techniques which trainers may want to consider using in corporate training programmes.
Training Beliefs
What to look for in a Corporate Training Provider?
The answer is simple - good corporate training lies in the hands of the trainer himself or herself. The trainer must be able to do the following:

1 Design an interactive learner or trainee-centric training methods
2 Cultivate a non-threatening, informal learning environment that produces enthusiastic participation through participation through facilitation rather than teaching
3 Arrange the classroom in such a way as to encourage participants’ involvement; and to bring out the best in people and their experience
4 Foster a positive relationship with the participant who needs to view the trainer as approachable and accessible
5 Encourage reflective learning through knowledge sharing

1 An icebreaker exercise may begin with participants standing up and sharing ‘what’s good and new’, and then in teams they develop a name and a cheer for their team (inter-personal). Have them use simple musical instruments to accompany their cheer (musical) in a most interesting way by using hand gestures and body movement to accentuate key message (body-kinesthetic), which they have composed and displayed on the overhead projector (visual-spatial).

A musical group cheer can generate a high sense of involvement right from the start of the class. This enables participants to ‘break the ice’ in a fun and creative way while they get to know each other better and learn to work together.
2 An information gathering session on values can be conducted by a visualisation exercise. During the exercise, participants will be required to relax and listen to a piece of baroque music. The trainer will give a set of instructions (linguistic) to enable the participants to recall some of the happy moments when these values are acquired and to capture these moments of childhood or period of growing up. Once this exercise is completed, participants are asked to reflect individually and present them in a piece of paper on the whiteboard (visual-spatial). Participants will then do a summary (linguistic) and share their common values (inter-personal) with the group.

A visualisation exercise is a powerful intervention that helps participants bring to the surface old thoughts and feeling about previous experiences, which influences their current behaviour.
3 Participants have a creative and fun session in the class, work together in small teams (inter-personal), draw colourful posters (visual-spatial) with inspirational sayings or quotations relating to the subject of the programme. The class will then present their work (verbal).

Poster drawing is a powerful exercise for participants to articulate their feeling, which they may not have otherwise expressed verbally on the subject, in the most creative and fun way. Illustration making is one of the ways of communicating where the right hemisphere of the brain is more fully utilised, especially when colours are used and the symbols represent significant emotions on the subject. Peter Kline, Author of The Everyday Genius ( Arlington, Great Ocean, 1998) stresses the importance of whole brain learning where one integrates the functions of the both left and right brain hemispheres. When this is done, learning and recall of the subject matter is reinforced.

Corporate Training Effectiveness
The evaluation of corporate training effectiveness is conducted to see how well the active experimentation on the job reflects the internalisation of values imparted. Corporate training and development are only the means. The end result is effective job performance. Unfortunately, most organisations show little concern for evaluation and still less interest in the results of the evaluation when they emerge.
The reasons for not evaluating training are varied and many. The main objective of an evaluation is to prove that a corporate training programme has actually taught what was intended and to improve
1 Organisations may not understand the importance of evaluation training programmes.

2 Evaluation is difficult. It is almost impossible to  determine which of the participant’s results are attributed to corporate training and which to other causes.

3 The methodology of evaluating may look fair but may make it hard to express cogent critism.

4 Results of the evaluation have been found to be positive and furthermore, positive results are often expected.
  Training should be evaluated to learn what was
missed. Selection of the criteria for evaluation
should be liberated and should represent more than a value judgement by people.

An evaluation programme should specify the
contents and dimensions of what is learned.
These are two kinds of inputs that may be useful evaluation from participants with respect to learning and behavioural performance standards.

The reliability of the system could be improved by making some methodological changes. A precourse evaluation questionnaire can be incorporated in the system. Designed to improve learning, precourse questionnaires can both ask the participant and the immediate supervisor their expectations from the training programme and what they hope to achieve as an end result.

Conclusion
In the good old days, there used to be three categories of employees- the master, the apprentice, and the journeyman or yeoman. The master owned raw materials, tools and gave direction to work. The apprentice lived with the master, received  no pay except maintenance and training. The  journeyman had graduated from apprenticeship but was not qualified yet to be a master. In today’s  context, a manager is like a journeyman, no longer an apprentice but not yet a master. A well-designed corporate training programme can make the world of the master come alive for our journeyman.

Investment in the corporate training in Malaysia to develop holistic human capital will be given greater emphasis during the 9th Malaysia Plan period to build world class workforce who will enable organisation to sustain economic resilience, grow and drive a knowledge-based economy as well as foster a community with an exemplary value system. This will be achieved through greater collaboration between the Government, the private sector and the community in order to produce the towering individuals needed to meet the challenges of the knowledge-based and globalised economy.

References
1. Ninth Malaysia Plan 2006-2010, The Economic Planning Unit, 2006
2. Frame of Mind, Howard Gardner, Basic Books March 1993
3. The Everyday Genius, Howard Gardner, New York: Great Ocean Publishers, 1988
4. The Everyday Genius, Peter Kline, Great Ocean Publisher, 1998
5. Management, Asma Abdullah, The Malaysia Institute of Management, 1994
6. Managerial Training and Development in Malaysia, Saiyaddin & Ali, The Malaysian Istitution of Management, 1995

Article is contributed by the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM)
About the Malaysian Institution of Management (MIM)

Amongst MIM’s core products and services are professional membership, professional certification management, leadership development programme and management development programme designed for the improvement of skills and knowledge of participants. To inquire about management development programmes and other products and services by MIM, please contact MIM’s Customer Service at Tel: +603-2165 4611 Fax: +603-2164 3171 Visit our website at www.mim.org.my or email us at inquiries@mim.gov.my

 
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Ministry of Human Resource, Malaysia Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Malaysian Institute of Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran (DSD) Institut Bank-bank Malaysia MAPS
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