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top challenges with employee training and development in malaysia

7 Employee Training And Development Challenges In Malaysia (+ Solutions)

Statistics from Ranstad’s 2023 employer brand research report stated that that out of the 2,529 Malaysian respondents:

  • 50% would switch companies for better work-life balance
  • 36% would switch companies due to lack of growth opportunities
  • 27% would leave due to poor leadership

A 2023 survey of 800 HR professionals across APAC also suggests work processes in Malaysia are among the most impacted by digital transformation and hybrid-working.

disgruntled employee to show the challenges of training and development in malaysia
Couldn’t even be bothered to send an email.

All this is to say decision makers for employee training and development in Malaysia will play an even more important role in supporting a business.

If that’s you, this article summarises the seven top challenges you’ll face, as well as our suggested solutions.

Let’s begin.

1. Determining and aligning needs

It’s not just about identifying skill gaps, but determining which skills to develop.

the difficulty of assessing training needs that benefit the business

Think of company plans as an umbrella. Overall company goals determine department-level goals, which in turn reveal gaps between competencies that are needed vs current levels

These gaps are what must determine training needs.

The order in which to teach skills also needs thought, as some must be delivered sequentially, while others should not coincide with peak business periods. 

Solution:

Determine skill gaps based on input from team members and managers, which should then be compared against department and company-wide goals set by the leadership to shortlist skills worth the time and resource allocation. 

2. Measuring impact

a tape measure to show the diffilcuty of measuring training impact

Quantifying improvements and tracing them back to training and development initiatives is another major concern for HR practitioners, especially soft skills. 

However, it’s important to measure training effectiveness as this information has a huge influence on future decisions. 

Solution:

Naturally, the training provider should implement evaluation methodologies such as:

  • pre-and post-training assessments
  • performance metrics, and
  • feedback surveys

Meanwhile, on the part of the business, there must be clarity on what skills a training session seeks to develop and what business outcomes can be expected to improve.   

3. Evaluating trainers from providers

a trainer to show the challenge of evaluating a trainer sent by a prover in malaysia

Many training providers in Malaysia work like employment agencies: they don’t conduct training themselves, but instead tap into a network of trainers to find the right fit for a client. 

This sometimes means the provider hasn’t met the trainer and lacks first-hand experience on their working style. As management models vary from company to company (LEAN, Six Sigma, Blue Ocean, or a frankenstein of all three), a trainer who is unfamiliar with your way of working is a bad fit no matter how knowledgeable they are.

Solution:

It is essential to meet a shortlisted trainer face-to-face to understand their preferred training style, tech-savviness, and above all else flexibility. 

4. Getting authentic employee feedback

thumbs down to show the importance of getting authentic training feedback from employee participants

There is simply no substitute for genuine feedback from training session attendees on what went well and where there is room for improvement, 

However, creating an environment where employees are comfortable enough to speak their mind is difficult. This is especially true due to many Malaysians believing that honest feedback is disrespectful and can invite negative consequences.

Solution:

Anonymous feedback mechanisms can encourage employees to share their thoughts and experiences openly. It can be as simple as a survey through Google Forms!

5. Actioning training knowledge

turning knowledge into actions to show how hard it is for employees to fully apply their training

The training went great and feedback from employees was that they learned ‘a lot’. 

The challenge now is translating ‘a lot’ of learning into ‘a lot’ of doing! 

How attendees can apply their new knowledge in their respective roles won’t always be clear, and there is a real risk of the team falling victim to the forgetting curve

Solution:

Ask for a post-class action plan from each attendee, listing two to three things they learned to apply at work. 

Managers, naturally, must then provide opportunities to practice these skills and monitor progress.

And if it’s a training program for managers, then bring in the manager’s manager!

6. Focused ongoing training and development

college degree to show the best employee traiing initiatives are long term

While schools will organise the occasional one-off event like a field trip, the vast majority of learning takes place as part of a long-term plan – what they call a syllabus or curriculum. 

As long-term business goals should be firm, the challenge for employee training and development is putting together a comprehensive syllabus that will reliably equip even the most inexperienced intern with all the necessary skills to become a productive team member.

Solution:

Implement a mix of compulsory and asynchronous learning initiatives that allow highly motivated employees to learn at their own pace, while average performers will still be taught the necessary skills in due time.

7. Allocating HRDC funding properly

As the HRDC levy is a mandatory payment for any sizeable business, there can be pressure to ‘get your money’s worth’ by selecting training courses that are HRDC claimable, such as those under their SBL-Khas scheme.

However, without insight into needs and training provider suitability, this often ends up an unproductive use of time as employees are sent for unnecessary training.

Solution:

Select HRDC claimable initiatives based on their potential to positively impact key business KPIs and leverage cost-effective solutions, such as online learning platforms and internal expertise.

Let MISHU help with your training needs

With multiple HRD Corp Certified Courses under SBL-Khas, MISHU’s team of dedicated trainers and coaches are ready to help you provide targeted corporate training for every level of talent in your organisation, from executives to C-suites.

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