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VOL2 / NO. 1 / 2016 / RM10




KDN NO: PP18646/10/2014 (034058)

ISSN 2289-8832




A-2, Block A, Level 2, Sunway PJ51A, Jalan SS9A/19, Seri Setia, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia.


PUBLISHER S.T. Rubaneswaran

he first quarter of the year has begun well with the Malaysian economy slowly picking up the pace again. Before long, we will be right on track, full-throttle ahead towards Vision 2020! In line with the government’s vision towards a highly skilled workforce and high income nation, Malaysia is well ahead of schedule. However, it is important that everyone still plays their part in helping build the nation and its economy to its full potential. It is important for us to remember that upskilling of the human resource in the country is a crucial part of this vision. A lot of plans have been set in place by the government, especially through the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) where grants are offered to facilitate training and upskilling. Also, agencies such as the Department of Polytechnics Malaysia is workwing hard to ensure that young Malaysians are given a chance to be equipped with skills to gain employability in the workforce and contribute effectively to the economy. I am happy to present this issue of UP Magazine that explores the potential of training and upskilling in Malaysia for 2016. You can read about how the industry is moving forward this year by filling in the gaps for re-skilling, upskilling and training the workforce. Also, it seems that the focus has also shifted towards keeping up with the rapid changes that technology has brought upon us. This issue is packed with various stories on the latest trends and plans for training in 2016 and will be a beneficial read for all those in the industry and for those who are interested in training and upskilling for themselves or for their employees. Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone who had a hand in making this issue a success. To the valuable contributors, I wish to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude for sharing your experience and expertise with our readers. May we all work together to make ourselves and those around be the best they can be by bringing out their full potential. Happy Reading!

ST Rubaneswaran


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CONTENTS FEATURE HRDF Pool Fund 04 What’s in store for 2016 – SME.CORP Malaysia


MEF: Highly-Skilled TVET Graduates Required JPP, Facilitating Upskilling and Training

From Knowledge To Wisdom: Fast tracking emerging leaders by Cath Duncan

18 22 28

HRDF Contributor – Renesas Semiconductor KL

30 HRDF Contributor – Harvey Norman 31 New approaches in the digital and mobile age A proactive plan for growth and success

36 38

2016 is a year to invest in talent development


The ripple effect of minimum wage increase in 2016


Non-traditional Talent Supply Chain Management Strategy It’s time for that bonus

Using Performance Appraisals to Measure Employee Performance

58 62



EVENTS HRDF Conference and Exhibition 2015 HRD Awards 2015 MRCA Retail Conference 2016

06 10 24

PERSPECTIVE Training your staff by Daniel Burrus


INDUSTRY INSIGHT Branding done right – Evelyn C’hing We have been taught to follow instructions haven’t we? Comfort Zone = Success Zone


32 34 35


24 New approaches in the digital and mobile age


LIFESTYLE From the boardroom to the mat Training venues Gadgets A Pick Me Upper

48 42 52 68




HRDF Pool Fund:

Towards Fulfilling The National Agenda For A Developed Malaysian Workforce

The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) has created a different approach to facilitate the development of the Malaysian workforce through the HRDF Pool Fund. The move from employer centric to a national agenda approach creates a macro level intervention that will have a more focused direction to create an advance economy status by 2020, transition of all economic sectors towards knowledgeintensive activities, create more High-Skilled Jobs to Produce 35% of Skilled Workers, promote Investment to Spearhead Economic Growth and Sustain Economic Development. 04 | UP MAGAZINE

WHAT IS THE HRDF POOL FUND? The HRDF Pool Fund is sourced from the employers’ individual HRD fund accounts and to be used especially to implement certification or development programmes or activities that correspond with the Government strategic directions / agenda and the advancement of technology, system and processes within the industries in order to enhance the employers’ level of competitiveness.


Up-Skilling (Retrenched Workers) 2. Train and Replace Training



Individual Employers


HRD Fund


(Replacement of Foreign Workers) 3. SMEs Up-Skilling & Re-Skilling Programmes 4. Programmes for Future Workers 5. 1Malaysia Globally Recognised Industry & Professional Certification (1MalaysiaGRIP) Programme 6. Certification / Value Added Identification Programmes and Identified by the Sectorial Training Development Committees (STCs) / Special of New Fund for Industrial Association Programmes Programmes

Employees’ Training by Employers


• Provide avenue for employers and the industry to capitalise the improved

quality of their workers that have gone through the up-skilling process, to enhance their level of competitiveness. • Increase the supply of quality workers to support the business expansion needs of the industry.


• Equip Malaysian workers with specific skills needed by the industries. • Reduce the employer’s and the country’s depend on foreign workers especially on the skilled job categories. ASSIST SME EMPLOYERS WITH INSUFFICIENT LEVY BALANCE TO CONTINUOUSLY TRAIN AND UPGRADE THE SKILLS OF THEIR EMPLOYEES

• Continuously assist SMEs to develop their human resources capability and capacity by acquiring the latest knowledge, expertise and technology through continuous up-skilling process of their workforce. MORE FUNDING COULD BE GENERATED TO THE INDUSTRIES THAT HAVE IDENTIFIED THEIR SPECIFIC TRAINING NEEDS

• More funding could be provided to the industry, through employers’ associations, to implement high end technical courses / programmes that have been identified.

HOW WILL IT BENEFIT THE INDUSTRY? The HRDF pool will Increase labour supply in strategic and high impact areas that have been identified to reduce the country’s dependency on external expertise and support the Government’s aspiration to achieve developed nation status by the year 2020 through a 35% skilled local workforce. Equip the Malaysian workforce with more certification-based courses that will enhance the quality of their work; positively impacting the performance of their organisation. Tactical driven skills certifications will allow the Malaysian workforce to gain a competitive advantage over their foreign counterparts working in Malaysia. In addition, employers with skilled workforce will be able to explore new and bigger business opportunities as they become more competitive in the global marketplace. Assist employers of SMEs with insufficient levy balance to continuously train and upgrade the skills of their employees through the use of the pool fund. 4) More funding could be generated to the industries that have identified their specific training needs.

1 2



• Support the National aspiration of

having 35% skilled Malaysian workers by the year 2020. • Shifting Industry from LabourIntensive to Knowledge-andInnovation-Based Economic Activities • Encourage existing employers to train their employees through certification programmes recognised by professional bodies. • Assist industries in identifying training that suit their needs.



Read about HRDF’s flagship event held from 8-9 December 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.



HRDF Conference and Exhibition 2015


he Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) or Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) hosted the annual event, HRDF Conference and Exhibition 2015, from 8-9 December 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The conference was officiated by Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Haji Saripuddin bin Haji Kasim, the Secretary General of Ministry of Human Resources, Malaysia. Themed: People, Prowess, Progress, the conference deliberated on the power and potential of people with great competencies or prowess to uplift the Malaysian economy as it progresses towards the aspirations of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Datuk Seri Haji Saripuddin in his speech said, “The AEC, as it takes shape, will be a good platform for us to tackle global economic challenges and foster robust productivity through mobility of human capital,

“The AEC, as it takes shape, will be a good platform for us to tackle global economic challenges and foster robust productivity through mobility of human capital, supported by innovation and technology.” – Datuk Seri Haji Saripuddin

The conference was officiated by Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Haji Saripuddin bin Haji Kasim, the Secretary General of Ministry of Human Resources, Malaysia.

“We hope that the conference, inspired others to develop their talents in order to improve the quality of life of the nation,” – HRDF Chief Executive CM Vignaesvaran.



supported by innovation and technology. There is both an opportunity and a pressing need for us to re-skill and up-skill our labour force in emerging sectors, with export potential and regional opportunities.” “In line with its theme, renowned speakers from all over the world convened at this Conference; sharing global insights, trends and best practices in the HR space to derive solutions and mitigate various human capital development issues plaguing the industry and the nation at large.” The event provided participants with an opportunity to nurture pragmatic HR solutions and outcomes that will help improve labour market efficiency which will accelerate economic growth. Over 15 industry experts – locally and from abroad took on key roles as speakers, panellists and moderators adding a variety of insights and rich content for participants. Key speakers for the Conference included Maybank Group Chief Human Capital Officer Nora Abd Manaf, Mydin Managing Director Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin and Petronas Group Human Resources Management Senior Vice President Datuk Raiha Azni Abd Rahman. The event attracted over 1,800 participants for its 19 highly interactive and content- rich sessions this time. “The theme of the conference this year reflects our commitment in supporting the government’s aspirations of accelerating the growth of our human capital. We hope that the conference, inspired others to develop their talents in order to improve the quality of life of the nation,” said HRDF Chief Executive CM Vignaesvaran. “HR practitioners, employers and trainers gained valuable insights that will help drive a collective mutually beneficial collaboration to build a globally competitive workforce that will drive the AEC.”

RECOGNISING THE BEST HRDF also held their annual HRD Awards night as part of the 2 day event. The awards successfully gave recognition to industry players (employers and training providers that are registered with HRDF). There are four categories which included, Human Resources Minister Award; Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Award; PSMB Innovation & Creativity Award; and Pearl Award . It is awarded to exemplary HRDF registered employers and training providers who have put in place strategic and concerted efforts to drive a world class training culture within their organisation and circle of influence. The two day event proved a success with participants coming away from the event more savvy on how to build a more progressive and talented human resource for Malaysia. 08 | UP MAGAZINE



Congratulations To All The Winners Of The HRD AWARDS 2015!


Celebrating and awarding excellence in Human Resource Development, the HRD Awards 2015 was held simultaneously with the HRDF Conference and Exhibition 2015. The HRD Awards was created to provide recognition to employers who have contributed significantly in the field of human resource development. The winners were awarded based on their promotion and enculturation of a learning and development environment to enhance the competencies of their employees. The awards also provides recognition to training providers who have consistently provided and delivered quality training programmes to HRDF and nonHRDF registered employers, adopteding systematic methods of developing training curriculum and programmes.


SME Manufacturing Sector HOLCIM (MALAYSIA) SDN BHD







Large Service Sector JOHOR PORT BERHAD









SME Corp. Malaysia : What’s in store for 2016? Dato’ Dr Hafsah Hashim, CEO of SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp. Malaysia) lets us in on what SME Corp has planned for this year.


ME Corp. Malaysia is a Central Coordinating Agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia that formulates overall policies and strategies for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and coordinates the implementation of SME development programmes across all related Ministries and Agencies. Read about the plans they have set in place to facilitate in the upskilling and training for SME’s across the board. Could you share some of the initiatives that have been set in place by SME Corp. Malaysia for year 2016 to facilitate upskilling and training? The 2015 IFC World Bank Doing Business Report, which covers 189 countries, placed Malaysia at 18th position, sitting among the top five economies in East Asia and the Pacific in seven areas: protecting minority investors, trading across borders, starting a business, getting credit, enforcing contracts, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency. In addition to the positive reflection of Malaysia’s economic in the Report last year, for 2016, SME Corp. Malaysia will continue to implement existing and new programmes for SMEs and at the same time increasing entrepreneurial knowledge and employees’ skills through effective programmes. Other than upskilling and training programmes, what are other highlights or programmes organised by SME Corp. Malaysia that SMEs can participate in to elevate their businesses? Apart from human capital development programmes, SME Corp. Malaysia continues to promote the development of competitive,


innovative and resilient SMEs through provision of capacity building and financing programmes as well as facilitate the access to market such as our annual events namely SME Annual Showcase, SMIDEX’16, and SME Week 2016. This year SMIDEX marks its 19th year of organisation, and will be officiated by the Deputy Prime Minister. SMIDEX’16, which will be held from 17-19 May 2016 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, is a platform to showcase innovative SMEs and provide opportunity to forge linkages and networking between SMEs with potential buyers and financial institutions or venture capitals. This year’s theme, “SMEs Rising to the Challenge”, is chosen in reflecting the resilient and competitiveness of local SMEs in overcoming all kinds of challenges during the uncertain economic outlook. SMIDEX’16 is expected to draw about 10,000 visitors throughout the 3-day event. The main activity in SMIDEX’16 will be Business Matching Session where a potential sales of RM425 million is expected to be generated. Other activity includes Pocket Talks by renowned entreprenuers and those who have made success in the business world. Immediately after SMIDEX’16, SME Corp. Malaysia will be organising SME Week 2016 across all states from 23 May – 3 June 2016. SME Week is aimed at promoting awareness of SME products and services, showcasing their products as well as services and as an avenue to recognise the importance of SMEs as the backbone of the economy. For more information on SMIDEX’16 and SME Week, kindly visit or Infoline 1300-30-6000.







• With the objective to develop and nurture high-potential Malaysian CEOs of SMEs, SME Corp. Malaysia in collaboration with Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) established the SME@ University Programme in 2011. • The Programme, based on the model of SME University of Japan is designed to help develop capable human capital that will drive diverse m a n a g e m e n t i n n ova t i o n and creativity in developing business acumen among new and existing entrepreneurs. • Since its inception, a total of 10 universities have embarked on this programme and this programme has benefited a total number of 444 CEOs. In 2016, we would be targeting to increase the participation in this programme and we are calling for all CEOs to grab this valuable opportunity in order to expand and enhance their knowledge and skills on entrepreneurship.


SME-UNIVERSITY INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME • Based on the feedback from participating CEOs, below are some areas where they derived some value out of the programme: − 66% of the total participants (293 CEOs) had indicated that their sales had increased where the highest increment recorded was 100%. − Better knowledge on refining their business direction and business plan; − Articulation or formalisation of the business vision and mission in their organisations; − Confidence in bidding for overseas projects and attracting investors from within and outside the country for business expansion; − Opportunity to promote their products and services through “Business Pitching” for overseas investments; − Encouragement for the CEOs to pursue their MBA studies; and − Exploring business opportunities with other CEOs of SMEs, who participated in the programme.

• This collaborative effort with Ministry of Higher Education is an initiative to link SMEs to the universities as part of the Government efforts to enhance the synergy between the industry and university to upgrade the SMEs’ capacity and capability. • Apart from helping the university students to acquire the essential skills required both, either for working in small firm or to start their own enterprises upon leaving education, the Programme provide exposure on real life business environment among the students. To date, a total of 1,714 students from 16 Universities and 338 SMEs have benefitted from the SME-University Internship Programme.




• By participating in the program, the students were able to assist the SMEs achieve the following outcomes: − Increased company’s profit of up to 15-20%; − Assisted company in obtaining the HALAL and GMP certification; − Improved the companys’s product packaging including company’s website; and − Improved the company’s operation and internal procedures.

• In the spirit of Public-Private Partnership to assist the SME Communities bridge the gap between policy implementation and on the ground challenges through pragmatic solutions, SME Corp. Malaysia strategically collaborated with Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad and Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) to initiate the SME Mentoring Programme in 2009. • With demonstrated leadership and mentorship in the Halal sector, Nestlé has inspired and motivated the participating companies to undertake Halal-related initiatives after undergoing the programme. Since 2010, a total of 320 SMEs with 452 participants benefited from this programme and we are targeting more participation from the industry this year.

• After 3 months of attending the programme, various SMEs were motivated to undertake several initiatives such as: − Setting up of the Halal Committee to monitor the halal matters in their respective companies; − Initiating the process of obtaining Halal certifications, MS ISO 9001:20088, MS ISO 1480:2007, GMP/HACCP by the Ministry of Health; − Strict adherence to documentation as per the Food Act & Regulations especially for food processing i.e. Food Act 1983, Poison Act 1952, Veterinary Surgeons Act 1974, Feed Act 2009, and Dangerous Drugs Act 1952; and − Aggressive promotion of their product and services through various media and other new distribution channels.



MEF: Highly-Skilled TVET Graduates Required During the recent Polytechnic Industry Advisory Council Meeting 1/2016 held at Putrajaya Marriot, UP Magazine had a one on one with the Chairman of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) who is also the Chairman of Industry Advisory Council, Department of Polytechnics Education, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Shah Haron.


n 23rd Februar y 2016, Department of Polytechnic Education held their first Advisory Council Meeting for 2016 chaired by Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Shah Haron and focused on Industry Outlook of 2016: Challenges & Expectations. The meeting dealt with many reoccurring challenges faced by Malaysian employers. Appointed by the Minister of Higher Education Malaysia as the chairman of Polytechnic Industry Advisory Council, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Shah Haron, is also the chairman of Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) for the past 8 years. Established in 1959, MEF promotes and safeguards the rights and interests of employers. Besides, MEF is also the central organisation of private sector employers in Malaysia recognised nationally, regionally and internationally. With a strong secretariat of about 60 staff, MEF provides a forum for consultation and discussion among members on matters of common interest, and seeks for the adoption of sound principles


and practices of human resource and industrial relations through information, advice, research and information, training and other activities. Apart from Chairman of MEF and Chairman of Industry Advisory Council, Department of Polytechnics Education, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Shah Haron is the also the Chairman of Confederation of Asia-Pacific Employers (CAPE). Tan Sri’ Dato Azman founded Holiday Villa Hotels & Resorts and serves as its Chairman. His former roles include among many, Managing Director of Central Holdings Management Services Berhad, President of the Malaysian Association of Hotels and a member of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board for over a decade. He was also the President and board member of ASEANTA (Asean Tourism Association) and AHRA, and contributed significantly towards the promotional and expansion of tourism activities in the ASEAN region. Last year some twenty six thousand

workers from various industries have been retrenched. Are you expecting this number to rise and if so, why? Once there is retrenchment we know that certain industries are in trouble. Here in Malaysia, the industry that is most affected is the oil and gas industry as well as the sectors related to oil and gas. We are optimistic and hope the numbers don’t go up any further. Retrenchment is easily executed but rebuilding the industries after the fact is the difficult part. Skill sets take time to develop so the decision to retrench doesn’t come easy. Developed countries have a method of containing the problem then re-hatching the workforce. This means they re-train the workforce to expand to other industries. It is my hope that Malaysia follows in these footsteps so we do not lose our skilled workforce. Unfortunately certain things are out of our control, for example the falling price of oil which has taken a toll on the Malaysian economy. Our hope that is the economy will recover quickly and get back on track.

Y Bhg Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Shah bin Dato’ Seri Haron.



Tan Sri Azman receiving his appointment by Honorable Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia Dato’ Seri Haji Idris Bin Jusoh, witnessed by Director General, Department of Polytechnic Education, Y.Bhg. Datuk Hj Mohlis Bin Jaafar.

Do you believe that the government should work harder to increase the skills of the Malaysian workforce to reduce the dependency on foreign workers? How do you recommend they do this? Of course. The polytechnics have been set in place to do this, however, the demand is so great they are struggling to keep up with the demand. The current enrolment is more than 98,000 students in 34 institutions. Before their students even graduate, companies are waiting to employ them. Today, being the preferred choice of TVET Institution in Malaysia, Polytechnics play vital roles in providing needed highly skilled labours to fill the gap in industries. Aspects that would boost and activate the industries today are research and technology. Foreign workers are then needed to fulfil the demand for 3D jobs in Malaysia (Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult). In your opinion, does this justify the 1.5 million Bangladeshis under the G2G Plus deal? We are encouraging the government to legalise illegal workers. There are many 20 | UP MAGAZINE

“Today, being the preferred choice of TVET Institution in Malaysia, Polytechnics play vital roles in providing needed highly skilled labours to fill the gap in industries.”

Tan Sri Azman chairing the meeting.

illegal foreign workers that need to be legalised first. Although the G2G Plus deal states that 1.5 million Bangladeshis will be recruited, this will be done in stages. Malaysia is in fact an attractive place for foreign workers so they don’t mind coming here even if they have to sell their land and houses. There are many jobs in various industries that need foreign workers for example in the plantations, factories and others. All foreign workers in any country in the world have one thing in common – they work hard. Malaysia isn’t alone in this issue, it is a problem in most developed or rapidly developing countries. For example, one of the most debated topics in the American presidential elections is the immigration problem. But it is important for Malaysians to realise that we will always have the 3D jobs. The solution is to regulate these workers, so that they are accountable and legal. This way, potential crime and social issues can be avoided. What are your thoughts on the public outcry when this was announced?

Tan Sri Azman with Datuk Hj Mohlis Bin Jaafar during the recent Polytechnic Industry Advisory Council meeting in Marriot, Putrajaya.

Malaysians need to understand that there will always be a need to fulfil the 3D jobs. They want the work to be done, but who will do these jobs? For example, when Malaysians patronise the ‘mamak’ to get their ‘Nasi Goreng’ or ‘Teh Tarik’, they have to realise that they are being served by foreign workers. With development, comes the issue of filling the gaps for blue collar jobs and 3D jobs in the workforce MEF welcomed the government’s decision to create 60% workforce in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) by 2020 which is in line with Malaysia’s aspirations to emerge as a developed country. What are the plans that have been set in place by Polytechnics to do this? They’ve got various programmes “I believe that as an authority on all aspects of human capital development, we will foster economic development of Malaysia through various value-added interventions and initiatives, building a competent workforce necessary to meet our set in place already and MEF

are in collaboration with them debating the issues at the focus group level and drawing out plans based on input from our members. This way, we will have a clearer picture what the various industries expect from TVET graduates. People in the industry are the ones who are familiar with the problems and challenges so they need to advise the education ministry accordingly. The relevancy of the programmes offered is very important. We need to evaluate and change our programmes to keep up with the various industries. But the process takes time. When I started out, there was no hospitality training school so I had to go overseas to get my education. At that time, we needed the expertise from overseas. Today, Malaysia has a very well educated workforce. We will reach our desired goal of a highly skilled and high income workforce by 2020 but our mentality needs to change accordingly as well. In those days, Polytechnics were playing second fiddle in delivering tertiary education. However, today Polytechnics are among the prime players in strengthening high skilled based human capital development in Malaysia. Therefore, there is a need to change the perception towards polytechnics education as skill sets are becoming important in various industries. What are some of the recurring challenges that were brought up in the industry dialogue today? Apart from the usual challenges that were discussed one major issue was highlighted. From my understanding there are a lot of people wanting to develop skills from the various ministries, therefore it looks like there is a lot of duplication of responsibilities. A long term solution is to consolidate and focus our work and come up with one qualification that is of world class standard. Moving for ward, I believe that this will do a lot to make the Malaysian workforce relevant and to help the various industries move forward successfully. UP MAGAZINE | 21


Facilitating Upskilling And Training: Towards TVET Industry Driven Lifelong Learning


ifelong learning (LLL) enables Malaysians to meet the required skills of a high-income economy and maximises the potential of individuals through reskilling and upskilling opportunities. In Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), it is shown that the current trend of employment markets is changing very rapidly. Therefore skills and qualifications need to be updated to enable high income economy. Reskilling and upskilling in LLL is seen as flexible mechanism of learning and training process. These will enable Malaysians to meet the required skills of a highincome economy.

Enculturation Of Lifelong Learning Towards Human Capital Development Lifelong learning is the third pillar in human capital development from the Blueprint on Enculturation of Lifelong Learning for Malaysia (2011-2020). The Blueprint represents the important component in the nation’s educational agenda. In achieving the developed nation status, lifelong learning, the education of working adults and the labour workforce play a significant role. Therefore, in line with that appreciation, currently Polytechnics have offered approximately about 14,000 short courses and programs with over

The Signature Program: Industrial Development Program (INDEP) with Western Digital Sdn Bhd 10 Days Training (CTT Training)

6 Months Industrial Training

6 Months attachment + Final Year Project 22 | UP MAGAZINE

375,000 participants. These are run by Polytechnics around Malaysia and those polytechnics are recognized as HRDF authorized training centers. The courses and programs offered by Polytechnics enable the public to explore knowledge based on technologies and values in order to be continuously competitive in the market. This is seen as one of the initiatives towards industry driven that will expose various routes of upskilling and reskilling integrated training programs in the future.

Lifelong Learning: Industries Collaboration The Department of Polytechnic Education (DPE) has propagated collaborations with numerous industries that include the Government Link Companies (GLC) and Industry Lead Bodies (ILB) years ago. One of the prime achievements was the collaboration with Western Digital. The collaboration does not only focus on a single component, but it encompasses staff and students mobility, staff attachment and students’ internship.

The Signature Program: Industrial Development Program (Indep) With Western Digital Sdn Bhd The Industrial Development Programme (INDEP) Western Digital is a structured internship program. This collaborative effort between the DPE and Western

Digital started from the year 2011. Upon graduating from polytechnic, participants for INDEP Program will be offered employment at Western Digital Malaysia. INDEP program is expected to end in December 2016 and at present a total of 150 polytechnic students have undergone training under this program. Apart from that, this program does not only focus on helping students to be industry-ready but it also supports the personal development in cross-cultural program and International mobility. To further foster the collaboration and strengthen the program, 20 students have undergone an industrial training attachment in Western Digital, Thailand in 2015. The successful collaboration of attachment in 2015 has inspired Polytechnics to send the second batch of 20 students to experience internship in Western Digital, Thailand in February 2016. Spinning off the successful model

of the existing program with Western Digital, DPE has broadened the initiatives in customizing Executive Diploma and Professional Diploma with other industry players such as Advance Pact, Panasonic, Dong Hwa, and Masters Builders.

Frameworks And Programs Of LLL: Customizing Executive Diploma And Professional Diploma Moving towards TVET industry driven, DPE has developed frameworks and programs of LLL in customizing Executive Diploma and Professional Diploma through prior learning (APEL). APEL is Accreditation of prior and experiential learning (APEL) and the aim of APEL is to develop connections between lifelong learning based on the substantial compatibility of the previously acquired knowledge, skills

and experiences. Accreditation of prior and experiential learning is seen as a process that might save time in reskilling and upskilling and it provides an opportunity for individual with working experience but lack of formal academic qualifications to pursue their studies in Higher Level. Therefore, to materialize the agenda of Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), DPE in collaboration with Knowledgecom has developed the program structure on Electric & Electronic, Mechanical Maintenance, Manufacturing Automation, Event Management, Retailing and Marketing. In general, the system enables knowledge to be obtained through formal education and working experience. Employers will also have the opportunity to help workers to upgrade their knowledge and skills as part of their company’s learning and development plan. UP MAGAZINE | 23



Unleashing Borderless Business Opportunities

Officiated by Chief Executive of the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), Dato’ CM Vignaeswaran, the Malaysia Retail Chain Association conference held on 2 March proved to be a great success.


alaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) organised the second ‘MRCA Retail Conference 2016’ on 2 March 2016 which was officiated by Chief Executive, Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), Dato’ CM Vignaeswaran (Dato’ Vicks). The theme of the conference was ‘Unleashing Borderless Business Opportunities’ and it discussed and addressed the effects of globalisation and technology that can either prove challenging or alternatively, propel it to a new dimension of growth.


In his speech, Dato’ Vicks explained that he felt the theme to be fitting in this digital age. “Today, the customer is in control so just being the nearest store to them is no longer enough. It is said that people don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” He continues to explain that the biggest challenge for the retailer of the future is attracting and retaining a customers’ loyalty through “service differentiation”. The MRCA is an association for leading retail-chains store

operators and franchisors in Malaysia. It was established in 1992 to assist its members with their store expansion and to promote growth in the retail-chain and franchise industry. It is recognised by many as one of the most active associations in Malaysia, playing an important role in promoting Malaysian franchise brand names abroad and at the same time actively supporting the government’s policies in promoting Malaysia as one of the top shopping destinations in the world. “With MRCA members’ capacity for competency and effectiveness, they play a role in aiding the Government to procure and boost the economy,” says Dato’ Vicks. He promised that HRDF will continue to fulfil their responsibility of regularising competency needs assessment across priority sectors; identify suitable value programmes as well as pioneer new training content to meet the industry’s expectations (locally and internationally). “However, what is most critical is to educate and raise awareness through various promotional initiatives on the need for effective skills enhancement programmes for Malaysian businesses and so their employers remain competitive on a global platform.

Dato’ Vicks adds that HRDF takes the task of spearheading the human capital learning and development in the country seriously. “We are continuously working towards prioritising the national agenda of achieving a 35 per cent skilled Malaysia workforce by the year 2020 from the current 28 per cent.” The President of MRCA, Dato’ Liaw Choon Liang said that the conference was graced by prominent speakers from global and local brands sharing best practices from across the world. The two keynote speakers, were Dato’ Dr Hafsah Hashim, the CEO of SME Corp Malaysia and Joel Neoh who was instrumental in the growth of online business Groupon in this region and also founded the startup K-Fit. The conference had something for everyone be it established Malaysian retailers looking to take their business to another level either through global expansion or product innovation, or even start-ups and students looking to draw inspiration from the success of entrepreneurs. Ecoworld, Samsung and HRDF are official sponsors of the MRCA Retail Conference 2016.

“With MRCA members’ capacity for competency and effectiveness, they play a role in aiding the Government to procure and boost the economy.”



Training Your Staff:

Harness the Future Of Training To Develop The Best Talent By Daniel Burrus


ver the next five years, how you train and educate your staff won’t just change; it’ll transform. What’s the difference? Changing means continuing to do essentially the same thing, only introducing some variation in degree. Transformation means doing something utterly and radically different. For example, moving our music from cassette tape to CD was simply a change. But going from


a CD to having all your music in digital format on your smart phone and with you at all times was a transformation. Exponential changes driven by processing power, storage, and bandwidth are now impacting how organizations need to train their workforce, and this transformation will certainly accelerate. The only question is whether your organization will take advantage of it.

SO WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF TRAINING LOOK LIKE? TO GET A CLEAR PICTURE, YOU FIRST HAVE TO KNOW A FEW FACTS: • Your employees’ phones are actually multimedia computers with internet access. That alone has huge ramifications for training them. • One-third of all PCs sold globally are tablets, and most of them are iPads. So smart mobile devices like phones and tablets are the new platforms for training and education. • These smart devices will get exponentially smarter every year, giving us new capabilities. Previously, you had to be a university or a major corporation to access a super computer. Today, even a small company can access (from their phone) a super computer in the cloud and run advanced simulations. Knowing these things, it’s time to rethink how to train your employees from here on out. Here’s how to do it:

IMPLEMENT JUST-IN-TIME TRAINING For most people, the best way to learn something is by doing it. That’s what just-in-time training enables people to do. Rather than sit in a classroom or one-on-one with someone and learn, people can learn in real-time. Remember, most employees have a multimedia computer with them at all times (their phone or tablet). With just-in-time training, they can access any element of what they need to know at the moment of need. If they have a question or need assistance, they simply touch an icon on their device’s screen and are connected to a live trainer who can help. If the trainer needs to see something to give assistance, the employee can aim the device’s built-in camera to the problem so the trainer can see it. This alone would cut training costs tremendously. Does this mean we eliminate classroom or other formal training sessions? No. There will still be formal training, but less of it because now we can have distributed training in real-time that’s just-in-time. So this isn’t about getting rid of something; it’s about using a new tool for training and education.

CREATE INTERACTIVE TRAINING MATERIALS We also now have the ability to create interactive training manuals and textbooks. In the past, e-books have been static, basically an electronic PDF of the book. Now they are becoming dynamic e-books where you have embedded audio, video, and links to other resources.

And thanks to visual communications, you can even have a way for employees to tap a special button in the training manual and be connected to someone who can give more advanced training on a specific subject. Additionally, employees can tap into a series of videos that allows them to personalize the training for their specific needs. Since the training manual is no longer static, employees can personalize the manual by plugging into a menu of more advanced training options embedded within.

TAP INTO THE GAMIFICATION OF TRAINING AND EDUCATION Gaming isn’t just for kids. Interactive gaming is a tool that can transform training and education. I’ve identified five core elements of gameification that when applied together can dramatically accelerate learning. They are: 1. SELF-DIAGNOSTIC. Interactive, competitive, and immersed training modules can know each person’s skill or knowledge level and progress accordingly. It can know where someone left off and give next steps from that point when the person logs back in. This is the best way to allow for individual training and learning. 2. INTERACTIVITY. Regardless of someone’s inherent learning style, learning is much more effective when you’re interacting with the material, not passively sitting there. When you learn by gaming, you’re interacting with the information and concepts and actually doing things. It’s no longer passive training. 3. IMMERSION. In the recent past

to the present, video games use interspatial 3D, where you go into worlds. So instead of images popping out at you, you go inside to them. That’s how games on the Xbox 360 and others have been working for years, by using a regular television set or flat panel display. This sort of technology gives an immersed effect, which engages people more. 4. COMPETITION. Humans are naturally competitive beings. When you’re sitting in class or doing one-on-one learning, there’s little competitive value. No one advances until the session is over. However, when you’re competing, as in a game, there’s an adrenaline rush that keeps you engaged and focused on the task at hand. In an effort to “win,” people master concepts faster. 5. FOCUS. When you’re playing a game, you’re forced to focus. You have to do A in order for B to occur. If you don’t do A, then you won’t get far in the game. Focus is the result of interactivity, competition, immersion, and self-diagnosis. When you can focus, you can learn virtually

EMBRACE THE NEW ERA OF TRAINING The ideas mentioned here are already possible. Use them to redefine how your company trains its employees. Since businesses spend large sums of money on training and education, anything that can accelerate or enhance learning will save both time and dollars. And always remember, if it can be done it will be done; if you don’t do it someone else will.

ABOUT THE WRITER DANIEL BURRUS is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and innovation experts, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous untapped opportunities. He is the author of six books including The New York Times best seller Flash Foresight. Daniel Burrus is also the creator of The Anticipatory Organization™ Learning System, a training process for executives and their teams to develop the skills to accurately foresee and take critical actions before disruption strikes.



From Knowledge to Wisdom:

Fast Tracking Emerging Leaders

Cath Duncan from AsiaAus Leaders explains why she believes it’s time to get disruptive.


he world‘s leading hotel operator, the Accor Hotel Group began in 1967 and now boasts: • 17 brands, • 180,000 employees • 500,000 rooms • 3,800 hotels • Capital infrastructure worth $US1.0 billion But Accor isn’t the largest provider… or the most successful… Coming in ahead is a company that has an incredible two million beds and services. It is located in 34,000 cities across 190 countries and only got into 28 | UP MAGAZINE

business in 2008. It does not employ housekeeping staff nor does it have a real estate portfolio. AirBnB disrupted the accommodation industry to completely redesign the model. It is at the forefront of what is now known as the sharing economy. At AsiaAus Leaders, we like to think of ourselves as the AirBnB of the professional education and training marketplace. Our company has no certificates of learning to present, no students, no courses. It has no classrooms, no teachers or professors and certainly no hierarchy. It is bringing the sharing economy to talent aspiration – it is redesigning how leadership is developed and experienced because the old model isn’t working. My problem with training is it is often rote, one directional, one dimensional, one size fits all – an authoritarian process that imposes static, out-dated information on people. The majority of training takes place within a monologue, a lecture or presentation rather than a dialog. Perhaps worst of all, training usually occurs within a vacuum driven by “best practice” not the next practices needed by tomorrow’s world.

FROM KNOWLEDGE… Tertiary institutions and training providers churn out thousands of knowledge professionals each year (ie engineers, mathematicians, scientists) who:

• Think analytically: approaching issues

in a systematic and critical way in search of underlying logic; • Value objectivity: trying to avoid emotional responses in favour of evidence; • Evaluate by assessing information based on the validity of the data and the reliability of the source; • Question the things they are told and the things they don’t understand; and • Trust facts and evidence. AsiaAus Leaders researched the experience of emerging leaders, CE’s and business owners, and of HR/ OD professionals which has led us to challenge the assumption that knowledge is the topmost thing needed by emerging leaders.

WHAT (YOUNG) EMERGING LEADERS TELL US: • There is workplace bias against them • University doesn’t prepare them for the real stuff • Training courses don’t prepare them or are irrelevant • Bosses say they want leadership when what they really want is compliance • Not enough professional experience and few opportunities to learn • The stress is too great • Not sure what leadership is

WHAT CE’S AND BUSINESS OWNERS ARE SAYING: • Graduates are technically and academically savvy but not ready to hit the ground running • Leaders think too small (or too big) • Problems don’t go away, we manage through them • We can’t seem to get the culture right • The ‘people issues’ hold us back • There’s a lack of accountability

NONE OF THAT SOUNDS LIKE GREAT NEWS, DOES IT? …To Wisdom There are four things to recognise about leadership in a dynamic world: Sustainable leadership is not an individual activity. The leadership required to meet the needs of the future must always be spread throughout the group, team or enterprise. By connecting ‘leadership’ to ‘change and transition,’ effective decision-making is much more about collaborative leadership. The role of the positional leader is as the decision process facilitator, coach and/or a communication consultant. The implications of decision making and actions can no longer be considered to be isolated to just one localised team or enterprise (the decision made by Lehmann Brothers in 2008 had devastating impacts globally causing the GFC).

1 2 3 4

Leadership, as redesigned to meet the challenges of tomorrow, has an emphasis on wisdom acquired by: • Thinking creatively and critically; • Taking risks, being disruptive and holding ambiguity; • Exciting, comforting, and motivating others; and • The notion there are many truths and that evidence/ facts can be manipulated and unreliable.

WHAT HR/OD PROFESSIONALS ARE SAYING: • Lack of budget to upskill and build leadership talent sustainably • Off-the-shelf training courses aren’t as effective for ROI • There’s a gap between hype and readiness of graduates • There is no visible leadership strategy or pipeline • Employee engagement is declining – 80% of people are unhappy in their jobs (Forbes study 2014)

WHY FAST-TRACK EMERGING LEADERS? Because the world isn’t what it used to be and won’t ever be the same again! AGEING WORKFORCE: A generation will be forced to retire soon leaving a leadership gap like we’ve never seen before. PACE OF CHANGE: And the nature of business eg Air B&B, Ubertaxi, Alibaba, freelancers and entrepreneurs are disrupting traditional notions of business. ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY: As fast as they enter the marketplace some businesses leave, for example, MySpace? POLITICAL SCENARIOS: The ASEAN economic community is an example of the political influence on business. TECHNOLOGY: Business Insider Malaysia predicts these technology advances in the next decade: dementia will decline; solar will be the biggest source of energy; there will be safer, healthier drugs to fight cancer; we will create DNA maps at birth to manage disease risk; and teleportation will be tested… PERSONAL MOBILITY: Corporates will expect employees to work from any country and to relocate often. Careerists will look forward to the opportunity to translocate. GLOBAL BUSINESS DRIVERS: Yep, the marketplace really is global!

How to fast-track emerging leaders? AsiaAus





ENESAS Semiconductor KL Sdn Bhd (Subsidiary of Renesas Electronics group) is a semiconductor manufacturing company and was established on July 3rd, 1974. Formerly known as NEC Semiconductors (M) Sdn. Bhd, on 1st April 2010, NEC Electronics merged with Renesas Technology, and RENESAS Semiconductor KL Sdn. Bhd (RSKL) was born. Now, they are one of the largest semiconductor manufacturing companies in the world. Located in Telok Panglima Garang Selangor, with 2300 employees, RSKL manufactures high quality semiconductor products including integrated circuits, transistors and diodes for application in an extensive range of high performance industrial and consumer products. They are committed to providing customer satisfaction through best quality, competitive cost and on time delivery, and contribute to a world where people prosper in harmony to build the future together. Their continuous efforts in achieving excellence is evident in their technical innovation and comprehensive employee training programs.

As a contributor to HRDF, share with us how this has benefitted, your Company in terms of training and upskilling the employees. RSKL provides employees with access to training that is relevant to their work needs and encourage them to participate effectively in the training offered. We also encourage employees to be skillful in their work and continually seek better ways of working. As a committed contributor to the HRDF fund, we manage to utilise our contributions to upskill, reskill and train our employees. This has helped to fulfill the company’s mission of productivity and quality as well as enhance job satisfaction and career development. 30 | UP MAGAZINE

We have also continuously utilised HRDF funds to grow our employees, which was evident when RSKL was invited to participate in HRD awards 2013 and further shortlisted as a finalist (Employer category). We won the award for HRDF Excellence Award (Employers category), which was presented by the Honorable Minister of Human Resource.

What are some of the challenges the organisation faces in attracting, growing and retaining talent which are key factors necessary for growth? The main challenge that we have faced all these years is the location of our factory. Most of the time, candidates are not willing to travel to this side of Selangor. But once they join the Company, they are content because the cost of living is generally lower than in KL city. The young generation these days are looking for flexible working hours. But due to the nature of our business, we are unable to cater to this especially for the production and engineering department.

What are the measures taken to address these problems? Location and nature of business are factors beyond our control, therefore we

continuously take positive measures to attract, grow and retain our employees. We strongly believe in work life balance, safety and health of our employees. Apart from sponsoring Gym membership for all employees, we have in-house Badminton and Futsal Court. Our Sports & Recreation club organises various activities like treasure hunt, marathon, walkathon, funrun, caving, bowling, KL Towerthon, family day and our Annual Dinner. These activities are championed and coordinated by various departments (HR Department being the adviser). This gives exposure for employees to enhance their leadership and other soft skills. Also, In order to encourage gender diversity in the workplace and to address the issue of retaining women in the workforce, we also have embarked into family friendly initiatives such as allocating designated car parks for expecting mothers , nursing rooms for mothers which is equipped with air-conditioning, sink with hand soap and tissues, comfortable chair and small table and refrigerator to store breast milk. We believe that by providing additional amenities/facilities and care for our employees, this will motivate them and further increase job satisfaction and productivity.



s a household brand in Klang Valley and Penang, Harvey Norman has been in Malaysia for more than 12 years. Their first outlet at Ikano Power Centre was opened on 17 December 2003 and currently remains the flagship store providing a wide range of Electrical, Computers, Furniture and Bedding products. The Company has expanded its presence in Malaysia with 14 outlets in total. It is in the strategic plans of the Company to expand its wings to all major cities in Malaysia.

As a contributor to HRDF, how has it benefitted your company in terms of training and upskilling your employees. Our company as with most prosperous firms globally, see a shift from financial and physical capital to human and intellectual capital as the main source of profitability. Hence, there has been an increased focus on human capital development and its retention over the past few years. The HRDF has elevated itself to one of the most progressive and dynamic business support institutions that we have seen in recent years. There has been a paradigm shift in the management and administration of the training grants. A

whole new range of flexible and attractive training schemes have been made available to companies and individuals alike and it has been a major talking point for all the stakeholders. The new focus on certification programmes (such as 1-Malaysia Grip) that envisages a long term emphasis on learning and development; and a structured skills-development programme for the various industries is a major and welcomed transformation. The opportunity to be certified by reputable local and global institutions has been a major driving force for employees to pursue training courses more vigorously and with a zest never seen before. The assessments at the end of certification programmes by independent bodies ensures that some form of learning has taken place. The programmes are also very much sought by employees who have no academic qualifications but who have the necessary working experience. These certifications proffers them with a chance of authenticating their knowledge and skill levels. There is certainly room for improvement for the certification programmes but a major leap has been made, and it should be the way forward. The long and short of the foregoing is that contributing to the HRDF has brought far more benefits than we could have originally anticipated. Our preliminary calculation shows that we are getting overwhelming return of investment (ROI) on training. But the real, intangible and immeasurable value of training and development is in the growing confidence within the organisation.

What are some of the challenges the organisation faces in attracting, growing and retaining talent which are key factors necessary for your growth? Currently, like the majority of the firms

in the wholesale and retail sector, we too find it difficult to attract qualified staff for sales and customer service fronts. Many of the job-seekers do not hold qualifications above SPM level and quite often seek the retail organisations for transient job opportunities until they can find better jobs. Even in the back-end jobs, many do not view us at the same level as banking, engineering or other illustrious industries – and often retail jobs are not their first preference. There is also a general perception that there is a lack of training and career opportunities in the retail sector. The truism is that there is rapid technological and consumer lifestyle changes provide steep and exciting learning curves which augurs well for their personal learning and development.

What are the measures taken to address these problems? We are presenting retail as an attractive and promising career. To attract the newer generations we are providing the opportunity to use and develop technologybased skills and knowledge within the retail career path. Success is determined by the individuals themselves but we will offer the organisational support factors that includes coaching and mentoring to help them realise their potential. Our company is genuinely committed to grooming talent and creating a good work environment. We strive to provide career growth opportunities that conflates with a rapid learning environment and good work-life balance. Our efforts are best epitomised by the award, “Syarikat Contoh” that we received from YB Senator Dato’ Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in 2013 for our significant role in the Skim Latihan 1 Malaysia (SL1M). UP MAGAZINE | 31


Branding Done Right Evelyn Ch’ng, certified personal branding consultant, AICI FLC shares the 5C system for effective branding.



The first thing you need to do to build your personal brand is to have clarity. A successful entrepreneur always works with the highest value of passion, they know exactly where they are going and they are determined to be the market trend setter. Are you able to convey your mission powerfully to the press and audience in a consistent way?


ecently, I have witnessed more and more SMI entrepreneurs from the new generation coming out to promote their brands actively. Some of the big names include the CEO of Andaman Group, Dato Sri Vincent Teo; CEO of Chatime, Bryan Loo; CEO of BMI organics, Terry Lee; Founder of MaskSlim, Estee Leong and many others. Usually, brand ambassadors are made up of celebrities but today brand owners are keen on using themselves as ambassadors to promote their own products. They are very passionate about sharing their brand and products through the press, social media and other media which has turned the tables on conventional branding,

THE NEW WAY TO ADVERTISE Today, you can be your own brand ambassador with the progression of social media, especially if you are a SMI who has a limited budget to promote your brand! So using your own personal touch will be the alternate way to get extra coverage and create that personal touch for your potential customers. Therefore, looking into the demand of the market and the effectiveness of self branding , Emage has developed a systematic 5C’ system™ to help entrepreneurs build their brand consistently while being cost effective to create the highest ROI in the long term. 32 | UP MAGAZINE



If you have the clarity to establish yourself, then, this is the time that you have to go out there to make connections and promote yourself. Although you might have a lot of online media presence, your offline presence is still very important! So, have you polished your image from the inside out? Do you know how to carry yourself in style for any occasion? Can you charm the press and attract free media interviews? So polish up your image from the inside out because charm is the key to get you what you want in life!


Business etiquette and social grace is another area that entrepreneurs should work on as your potential business partner might judge you on it. For example, are you able to handle the variety of utensils during fine dining or are you able to be socially elegant without hard sell? Your nonverbal communications actually contribute to 93% of your first impression. Thus, I always tell my clients, business etiquette coupled with social grace is fundamental if you would like to be successful in business!



A successful brand must be engaging and connected with their audiences, speak to their heart and be able to empathise their needs! Therefore, if you would like to be an empowering brand, you need to understand your target, you need to constantly stay in touch with them through social media. I was surprised to find out that during America’ s last elections, Barrack Obama himself wrote email to all his citizens, kept it short and personal with “Hi friend………” and sent it out through his personal mail box! This allowed him to connect with his citizens in a way that was never before possible. Technology today has advanced making the connection with large audiences possible, so connect with your fans and audience consistently. You don’t have to hard sell but create value and continue building on the relationship!


If you would like to empower your brand, continuous learning is certainly essential as it will drive you ahead and enhance your credibility in the long run. In your opinion, do you speak with credibility and are you able to convey the message powerfully? Successful entrepreneurs will work to acquire public speaking skills as they know someday they will need to be on a big stage. Besides your confidence and experience, you still need to polish up your verbal and language skills. You might need voice coaching and public speaking skills to enhance your presentation. I have seen extremely successful entrepreneurs get up on stage as a keynote speaker, had inspiring content but unfortunately lacked the perfect intonation and body language.


Being the ambassador of your brand is certainly cheaper compared to engaging a celebrity to do it for you. You can save a lot of money, build a more sustainable brand that can touch people’s hearts and create a more lasting impression. Think about Victoria Beckham, Sir Richard Branson or even Malaysian Amber Chia and you will know what I mean! Let’s embrace our strength, learn how to manage our personal brand to sell our products and services effectively, because now, everyone can be a STAR! Get in touch with Evelyn to find out more at



We Have Been Taught To Follow Instructions Haven’t We? Hoping for a positive outcome, Farhani Lee shares a conflicting truth in most organisations.


Farhani Lee is a Personal Brand Strategist, Entrepreneur & Author of “How To Market Like Lady Gaga”. She is also the Founder of Karl Consult Sdn Bhd, a business-consulting firm that focuses on employees and entrepreneurial development systems, as well as enhancements of brand and marketing processes for business stakeholders and scalable corporations. To find out more about CTP or other entrepreneurial development systems, visit www.FarhaniLee. com or email

s time changes, almost everything under the sun changes. Today, the global economy has also impacted the way organisations operate. When the heat is up, the pressure escalates to meet business achievements, people performance and timely execution. Employees are expected to outperform through self- initiatives and start taking ownership to deliver what is expected of them, instead of waiting to be told what to do next. Almost automatically, we have always been taught from the very first day we report to work, that we wait for our superior to instruct our responsibilities. What we should be doing daily, what our task list is for the day and so on. Perhaps, that is also how the designation ‘Director’ has come about. Sadly, this robotic behavior is imprinted in our employee’s soul from the very first day. Human beings are unable to affect a quick change and is the slowest creature to affect a change at any point of time. It is in this affect that managers manage their employees, yet at the same time, expecting employees to take their own initiatives along the way.

WHERE ARE THE SELF – EMPOWERED EMPLOYEES Today, organisations are craving selfempowered employees. Top leaders in many multi-national corporations have brought this to the forefront when trouble-shooting challenges in their organisations. However, the search for effective solutions to affect selfempowered employees are near critical. Management can no longer spend time 34 | UP MAGAZINE

thinking for their employees, because to keep up with today’s business needs they are now more concerned about putting their energy into thoughts and effort to generate quicker business speed while achieving monthly targets to keep them afloat through the competitiveness. At times of desperation, organisations take a shorter drive by ‘shifting gears’ through employment trimming and cutting down overhead costs. The aftermath of this exercise can result in employees becoming more resistant to change, feeling insecure, losing focus and control of their work while becoming more defensive in protecting the career they have built for themselves.

CULTURE TRANSFORMATION PLUG-INS Now, organisation can have an option to consider deploying a 360-degree culture transformational exercise to balance both management wants and at the same time fulfilling the expectancy of employee needs. I call this the ‘Culture Transformation Plug-Ins’ (CTP). CTP is known to deliver better profitable, invested returns and reliable results, because the key component of transformation is trackable. CTP is initiated over a minimal period of 12 months where all parties need to be engaged fully throughout the entire process. With CTP, both management and employees can now form an intriguing alliance platform to meet both parties’ expectations and results will be fast if carried out effectively. This exercise alone can pull in huge gains for both the employee and organisation.


C.Z. = S.Z. Comfort Zone = Success Zone E.T. Khor, Culture Transformation Expert talks about stepping out of your comfort zone to achieve success.


n every organisation, everyone must play their part and put in their best in order to achieve the vision, mission and strategic goals of the organisation. In the book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”, by T Harv Eker, he said this: If you want to move to a new level in your life/career, you MUST break through your comfort zone and practice doing things that are not comfortable. For many people, being comfortable is their biggest priority in life. It makes you feel warm, fuzzy and secure, but it doesn’t allow you to grow. To grow as a person, you have to expand your comfort zone. If your goal in life is to be comfortable, I guarantee two things: 1) You will never be successful or rich 2) You will never be happy The only time you can actually grow is when you are outside your comfort zone. From now on, whenever you feel uncomfortable, instead of retreating back into your old comfort zone, pat yourself on the back and say, “I must be growing”, and continue to move forward. Allow me to enlighten you on what this formula is all about: Your COMFORT ZONE (CZ) = SUCCESS ZONE (SZ) By learning how to S-T-R-E-T-C-H yourself, you are indirectly expanding your Comfort Zone, which as a result expands your Success Zone. Success and happiness comes as a result of continued growth, constant

personal development and fulfilling our potential. My aim is to immensely contribute to the lives of people by helping them harness their talent and potential. This is achieved with the aid of cutting edge technology and systems. The PEAKS Psychometric Profiling System helps my clients discover their key strengths at work and their ‘blind spots’. It provides them great self-discovery and self-examination, allowing them to then develop plans to STRETCH and maximise their talents at work. For instance, in PEAKS, the E stands for “Energy”, which shows how you interact, communicate and respond to relationships. It is of no doubt that some people are naturally “Latent”, in other words somewhat introverted. A participant of mine who was more of a “Latent” person decided to take action. He felt the need to ‘stretch’ and learn to speak up more often. He set an

action plan to compel himself to speak up more at work when needed, even though it did not come naturally to him. Whereas another client who was more “Dynamic”, felt it sometimes hindered her relationships at work. So she decided to learn to listen more and to reflect more. She also decided to start writing down her thoughts in a blog. Strategies to ‘stretch’ WILL be uncomfortable, but it will enable you to grow and transform, explore your potential and fulfil your true dreams and achieve greatness in your life and career.

E.T. KHOR (Khor Eng Tat) • Culture Transformation Expert • Certified PEAKS Psychometric Consultant • Certified Professional Trainer (Western Kentucky University & HRDF/PSMB) • Writer and Speaker H/P: +6012-390 6772 E-mail: Website: ( FB: ( apacconsultancy) E.T. Khor is a Culture Transformation Expert, who has developed leaders and high potential staff to peak perform in their jobs. Also, for over 10 years, ET has helped transform corporate cultures for various corporations in Malaysia, China, Singapore, Brunei and United Kingdom.



New Approaches In The Digital And Mobile Age K-Pintar with its award-winning, cloud-based learning solutions partner, Speexx of Germany, and the support of the Malaysian Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), held a knowledge sharing session with Speexx President and co-founder, Armin Hopp on the positive impact of online communication learning.

President and co-founder of Speexx, Armin Hopp (centre), was presented with a token by Chief Operating Officer of HRDF, Wan Yon Shahima Wan Othman (right) and K-Pintar CEO, RA Thiagaraja (left).



oday’s careers are no longer drawn by boundaries. Career success in today’s interconnected world depends on building large global capabilities and networks, most often acquired by working across borders. On the right path to greater business productivity and efficiency, leading Malaysian human capital development solutions provider, K- Pintar Sdn Bhd and its partner, Speexx of Germany, with the support of HRDF Malaysia, presented a talk on Talent Mobility in the Cloud: New Approaches in the Digital and Mobile Age on 12 January 2016 at the Pullman, Kuala Lumpur. Armin Hopp, Speexx President and co-founder presented the talk on this very hot and relevant topic. Hopp is a regular speaker at international conferences and seminars around the world and is renowned for his contribution to Learning & Development (L&D) blogs and Human Resource (HR) journals. He was also recently voted among the top ten most influential people in the European e-learning industry. His talk covered the need to understand how the next generation of workers are embracing technology whilst expecting flexible working conditions more than ever now. As such, employers will need to equip themselves on what measures can be deployed through cloud computing in managing their employees that may be based anywhere in the world. K-Pintar CEO, RA Thiagaraja, said, “The talk provided an insight on how the tools and technology Speexx uses

is highly effective in talent development. The agile technology supports an organisation’s HR functions by making employee engagement more easily accessible. The 24/7 availability of the programmes are not only cost effective, but has the capability of meeting employee expectations. Being an online self-service platform, employees are empowered to receive the support they need from their organisation at anytime, anywhere they are,” explains K-Pintar CEO, RA Thiagaraja. The partnership that K-Pintar has with Speexx, is set to offer cloud-based tools and blended solutions that make online language learning work for any organisation in the APAC region. Speexx provides online and mobile language training for a global workforce and more than 7 million users worldwide. They operate with 1600+ staff in 60 countries around the world for enterprise customers, from SMB to Fortune 500 corporations and large academic institutions. The global delivery model provides large organisations with quality online language training solutions at lower cost of ownership with measurable results. The Speexx offers end-to-end, hassle-free services – on the ground and in more than 80 countries around the world. Puan Wan Yon Shahima Wan Othman, Chief Operating Officer of HRDF who attended said, “I am indeed excited to see how Speexx will be the transformational point in the HR field and be an auxiliary to realise the Government’s aspiration of a developed nation by the Year 2020 through a 35

By 2025, Millennials will make up of the global workforce, and


50% growth in global mobility by 2020. according to PwC there will be

per cent skilled Malaysian workforce. In this instance, HRDF’s primary role is to support the human resource development and productivity of the local workforce through reskilling and up-skilling programmes and initiatives to propel Malaysia into the next level of high growth.” Participants were briefed on the highly relevant and much-needed attention to be given in the way today’s businesses operate with challenges of digital transformation across all aspects of human society and the modern workplace that come with the application of digital technology. Among the highlights of the talk were talent mobility in the cloud; sharing of survey results on the latest L&D and HR from Speexx Exchange survey done by Towards Maturity in the UK and several American organisations; how digital transformation is driving the need for better communication and how to better facilitate communication across multinational corporations by using technology; why communication and tech empowered corporations are more agile and successful; and how to deal with Generation Y and young staff challenges in training and development by understanding and implementing current technology trends in HR management. “The APAC region, and especially Malaysia, is the fastest growing market for online and mobile education. With a young and eager population and great support for digitization at the heart of society, the educational system and the workplace I strongly believe that the region will soon be spearheading the development of technology-based learning. I wish to thank HRDF and K-Pintar for the opportunity to be part of this exciting event,” shared Hopp. The Speexx online learning module is consistent with global solutions for communication skills training that helps an organisation grow productively, as all learning sessions can be fit based on employee needs at any time, anywhere around the world. UP MAGAZINE | 37


Learn and Do

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& Success

Based in Kuala Lumpur, Rowena Morais is an entrepreneur, publisher, writer and editor. Formerly a lawyer, she now works in the education and publishing line. As Editor of, she helps bridge great content with an audience that matters through the production and curation of podcasts, videos, news and articles on a range of topics for both Human Resource and Technology professionals.


earning cannot take place in a vacuum, which failure will be part of that process of growth. is one of the reasons transitioning from To choose to learn is to have a certain level of comfort school to the workplace is difficult. There are with the uncertain and unknown. things you can teach which make sense in To choose to learn is to embrace discovery and joy. theory. However, as those familiar with the knowing/ By Rowena Morais doing gap are aware – that which you know is not In simpler terms, when you learn, you bring the richness always that which you do – some things are best learnt of your experiences and ideas to all the roles you hold. through experimentation, through doing and through You learn to change as needed and more importantly, experience. to adapt, which are prerequisites in the agile business environment we face.


You gather your thoughts and make decisions, largely based on your own world view. You make sense of things because of your experiences, your culture and how you’ve been nurtured. The more limited your world view, the less you are able to make sense of what you experience and the more insular you become, holding on to your truths. It seems easy to argue for what happens if you choose not to learn. To choose not to actively learn is to stagnate. To choose not to actively learn is to settle for whatever is before you and just go along with the ebbs and flows. To choose not to learn is, in a way, a form of giving up. To choose to learn is to experience all that life has to offer, in rich complexity. To choose to learn is to understand and accept fully, that 38 | UP MAGAZINE

SO WHEN SHOULD YOU LEARN? Every day. When you are open to learning new things, to seeing things from a different perspective, you will then notice that there are many opportunities for learning throughout the day.

HOW SHALL YOU LEARN? Strangely, despite years of formal education, you are not taught how to learn. How then do you go about doing so? By exploring, by being curious, by opening yourself up to new experiences, by meeting new people, by reading. Learn how to learn. Every relationship you are involved in offers you countless opportunities for learning and growth. Every transactional conversation, exchange, argument, presentation or dialogue presents you with opportunities, if you so look for them.




It’s daunting to do something you may not be good at. You may fail and do so publicly. But you may also discover a passion or skill you never thought you had. Saying yes can therefore, be quite liberating. And fun. START SMALL : Say yes (or sign up) to one new thing today.



Whatever your field may be, there will be thought leaders and influencers within. One of the quickest ways to tap into the goldmine of knowledge and insight is to simply ‘follow’ these influencers. Today, technology has brought them right into your living room because for a twenty dollar book, you can tap into all of the failures, experiences, wins and insights others before you have endured (without you having to live it). For a handful of dollars (and there’s quite a few books which are simply free), you can listen to world-class podcasts, teaching you every imaginable thing. Through social media, you can follow or like these figures and keep track of what they say, do and how they think about issues. There’s no doubt that there is real work involved in keeping pace with all of this but the barriers which prevented you from accessing top business or industry leaders, for example, no longer exist because increasingly, many of them have either written a book, run podcasts, tweet religiously, speak at high profile events which are webcast, have webinars made or any combination of the above. This leaves you in the position to make the call on how you will respond to that. START SMALL : Subscribe to the Human Resources Channel on LinkedIn Pulse which has more than 270,000 followers.



They call them ‘stretch assignments’ for a reason – these are projects or tasks, given to employees which are beyond their current knowledge or skillbase. These assignments typically place you in uncomfortable situations in order to learn and grow. START SMALL : Do one thing more than you need to, on a current project. Do it so that it shines and it shines because of you.





If you are in HR, it makes sense to connect with HR professionals. But there’s no reason to not reach out to top marketing, PR, finance, sales or any other kind of professional. These connections can start online and move to physical meet-ups if within the same city. Alternatively, solid and long lasting friendships can also be built online. As a HR professional, your aim is to support the business. You do that firstly, by understanding the business you are in – inside out – as well as the different roles within the organisation. Therefore, having a wide range of industry people in your circle can help draw a much clearer picture, not just of how your service or organisation sits in the wider context, but also shed light on the complex nature of inter-relationships between the different roles within an organisation. START SMALL : Reach out to some friendly faces in the other teams in your office, outside of the circle you typically hang out with. Small steps can begin with grabbing a coffee together.



By offering to help on a project, task or assignment, whether that is with a new team, colleague or leader, you immediately stand out. It takes courage for someone to take on more than their share of work, especially in today’s business climate of cost-cutting, redundancies and getting more done with less. But the offer of help will bring the opportunity to discover and gain experience and skills within a semicontrolled environment wherein you are not wholly responsible for the project or assignment outcome. START SMALL : If nothing else, volunteer online – you can set the pace and direction according to your skillset and preferences.




Learning opportunities come to those who look for them. What this means is that one can discover and gain awareness of various learning techniques but this will mean nothing if the desire is lacking. “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” W H Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition. START SMALL : Listen attentively in conversations for you may discover things in alignment with the direction you are now taking, which you will now be in a position to jump on.



Writing is a skill, one which improves given deliberate practice. It leads to better thinking and better communicating. I never really understood the meaning of ‘finding your own voice’ until I saw it in action myself. When I first began to write, it was hard and in fact, it still is. The process is arduous, time consuming and filled with much disappointment and self-doubt. It will seem that words come so easily to others – evidenced by interesting articles or riveting books and that it may not be so for you. But it does get easier if you put in deliberate practice. This is not just about quantity but the quality of such practice – a powerful concept. START SMALL : Start with nothing (no concept, no website, no followers, nothing – you’ve nothing to lose). Get on to Wordpress (or any other free blogging platform) and just start. There’s lots of resources there to help you get motivated and begin).



Reading can be one of the most inexpensive habits or methods you use to learn because as mentioned earlier, you are able to tap into the insights of others, regardless of geography or industry, and learn from their experiences and what they share. It is a powerful tool at your disposal. Read to learn, to grow, to think differently, to explore, to become better at who you are. START SMALL : 1. Start with The Personal MBA, updated and expanded: Mastering Business without Spending a Fortune by Josh Kaufman. A free book from ChangeThis, it has been downloaded 64,657 times. 2. Get a free audio book from Audible – choose from more than 180,000 audio titles. I have written this for you, not your team or department. In an airplane, caregivers are reminded to put on their oxygen mask before attending to those in their care. In the same way, you need to tend to yourself first. You need to believe in these principles, in both mind and spirit, and there needs to be visible signs of this, before you can begin the task of getting your team or organisation to become a learning organisation. First, decide. Then carve out the time and mental space to make that happen. Follow that up with deliberate practice. Success will be contingent on:• Putting aside dedicated time. Get up an hour earlier if you need to; • The transactional activities you can either delegate or automate; • Saying no to other things that come your way. You need to carve out the time, remember? • Tarting now; and • Creating a routine, so that you begin to develop the habit and before long, it will be second nature.


Rowena Morais is the Editor and Programme Director of An entrepreneur and writer, she has a passion for HR and Technology. She will help you stretch your imagination and reach for the stars through the Vertical Distinct publishing platform and through a range of internationally accredited indemand technical and professional courses offered throughout Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Follow her blog on the entrepreneurial journey and personal growth at https://rowenamorais.



Compiled by Sean Low

PALACE OF THE GOLDEN HORSES Billed ‘Asia’s Most Extraordinary Hotel’, the legendary Palace of the Golden Horses in Seri Kembangan is an elite palatial property with a 5,600 sqm Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Conference Centre for top-class meetings, conferences, weddings, and reception parties. Offering unparalleled conference space across a massive 1,323 sqm ballroom, 19 fully-equipped, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, and other luxuriously fitted congress facilities within its private wing, this conference venue is seriously international by standards.

CONCORDE HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR If your event deserves a touch of corporate-class elegance, look no further than the exclusive Concorde Hotel KL, which has functional space spread out across a ballroom and 8 purpose-built meeting/studio rooms to accommodate up to 800 people. All are supported by professional staff, and an astonishing array of audio visual components to facilitate your needs. The Concorde Hotel’s Executive Business Centre also caters to clients with specific needs for professional communication and secretarial services.

MELIÁ KUALA LUMPUR It’s ‘a breeze to get around’ the city from Meliá Kuala Lumpur. Aside from ease of access, the Meliá, considered one of the best hotels in Malaysia, lends to your events a prestigious address, with up to 13 Spanish-named meeting rooms (floor space ranges from 30-237 sqm), such as: Toledo, Alhambra, for your deliberations. What’s more, the hotel also has a team of event specialists dedicated to ensuring your business conferences and celebrations are a success. All rooms are cosilyappointed, and have up-to-date audio visual and telecommunication equipment with Wi-Fi access available throughout the hotel.

HOTEL ROYAL KUALA LUMPUR Boasting 285 rooms and suites, the stylish 20-storey Hotel Royal Kuala Lumpur is a refurbished downtown city hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Don’t get fooled by its appearance though. The Hotel Royal has space for banquet facilities, consisting 7 meeting and function rooms (big enough for up to 250 guests), which are perfect for training events, dinners, exhibitions, and parties. Hotel Royal cares for its clients with its state-of-the-art facilities and welltrained staff, to make business ‘seem like pleasure’.


FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON PENANG Planning an event with a glimpse of the Penang coastline? From its spot on the Tanjung Bungah beachfront, Sheraton Penang’s Four Points commands a spectacular view of the Straits of Malacca, and presents its tech-modern meetings/events facilities and stellar hospitality to measure up to your function’s every need. Staging an event at Four Points opens up a choice of four meeting venues (totalling at 1,132 sqm of flexible space), and a highly regarded Pearl Ballroom, capable of hosting up to 400 seated guests.

ALOFT KUALA LUMPUR SENTRAL Within the largest transport hub in South East Asia, Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral’s extensive range of meeting amenities promises ‘Fun, Original And Fuss Free Events’. Its trademark 600+ sq. m sophisticatedly appointed ‘Tactic Meeting Spaces’ have the latest in plug and play audio visual technology, free Wi-Fi, modular furniture, and are handily accompanied by meeting supplies, and catering options. Aloft Kuala Lumpur has one of the largest ballrooms across all its other hotels – a pillarless 780 sqm fully-customisable hall with all the necessary cutting-edge features.

NOVOTEL KUALA LUMPUR CITY CENTRE Forming part of the skyline that encircles the glitz and glamour of KL’s shopping and commercial hub is the Novotel Suites Kuala Lumpur City Centre at Jalan Kia Peng, a classy 28-storey hotel for holidaymakers and business people. Novotel Suites has four event venues, the most compact being the Silver Room with 33 sqm of floor space, and the largest is 232 sqm. Platinum Ballroom. Novotel also offers special deals and meeting packages tailored to the requirement of your events.

HOLIDAY VILLA HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTRE, SUBANG The rebranded Holiday Villa Hotel & Conference Centre, Subang, offers 309 spacious guestrooms, five F&B outlets and 18 convention and meeting facilities including three ballrooms. The luxurious Boardroom and Ivory Rooms 1 to 12 are ideal for any functions with seating capacities ranging from 20 to 150 people. The Victoria Ballroom which overlooks a scenic lake can seat 350 people (banquet style) while Victoria 2, an annexe room with its own entrance, can be used as a cocktail or pre-drinks area. There are 3 Classics Ballrooms and the largest of these can seat 1,000 people banquet-style. UP MAGAZINE | 43


Using Simulations In Leadership Training Roshan Jason, Head of Ososim Simulations from People Potential, explains the benefits of simulations in training.

analysis. Decisions participants make in the simulations are tracked and scored automatically, then analysed and debriefed by a specialist facilitator. This results in rapid, unambiguous learning. Typically, participants then use their new insights to work on solutions for real-life cases in groups, followed by analysis and critique by fellow participants and the facilitator. They return to the workplace with solutions for real problems. Why Ososim? First, it’s used by some of the bestknown business schools and global consultancies. It has a proven track record with demanding clients. Second, Ososim simulations are close-to-real-life, highly interactive and cater for datadriven feedback. They combine thought leadership and practicality because they are co-developed by academicians with theoretical depth and leading business practitioners with a wealth of practical knowledge and strategies. People Potential uses online simulations in some of its training. Why simulations? HR/L&D professionals would agree that training is important and invest heavily in it. However, we sometimes don’t see the transfer of learning from the classroom to the workplace. Organisational learning experts such as Peter Senge have found that the best way to address this issue is by using real-life/hands-on training. Real-life situational training involves the learner observing and learning from someone more experienced. When the time is right, the learner then takes on the tasks themselves, with the senior person providing feedback. This method is effective, but cannot be used in many situations because it’s time consuming 44 | UP MAGAZINE

(i.e. expensive) and high-risk. A more cost-effective approach is to create a low-risk artificial environment in which groups can learn, test their skills and receive feedback cost-effectively. This is what Ososim simulations are about. How does this result in transfer of learning from classroom to workplace? First, the examples and cases within the simulations mimic actual situations organisations face. This allows participants to relate lessons in the classroom to the workplace. Added to this, the tools available in the simulations are user-friendly yet sophisticated enough for the experience to be engaging while producing high levels of data for

What are some of the skills addressed by Ososim’s simulations? The simulations cover a wide range of skills. These include strategic-thinking, understanding and using the ‘influence network’, inter-cultural sensitivity, managing people, teamwork and collaboration, working in a virtual setting, project management, risk management, business performance management, leadership and value creation.

Find out more about simulations from Roshan by calling +6016-711 0974 or emailing him at roshan.

Your leaders tend not to give enough importance to the processes they use in decision-making. They focus on getting the best solution, regardless of how they get it. But a sub-par process could lead to resistance from dissatisfied team members, complete communication breakdown or an inefficient implementation of the solution. How Fair Process Leadership helps your leaders

They will learn to: Use fewer mercenary influencing tactics, and focus on more genuine engagement and open communication instead

Involve their team members by inviting them to display more leadership themselves

Use a systematic process that, with practice, will continuously help them form united teams through their fair decisions

Why Fair Process Leadership is effective Creates a close-to-real-life environment without the associated risks Promotes an efficient transfer of learning

Uses Ososim Simulations Tracks and analyses your leaders’ decisions and actions, providing rapid feedback

Contact us at to find out how Fair Process Leadership can help your leaders



People, The Weakest Link In The IT Security Chain Kaapagam Technologies Sdn. Bhd, an Information Security Product Development, Management, IT Consulting & Security Training firm, runs frequent awareness programmes for organisations to check threats to its information systems and assets.


e live in an age dominated by technological improvements feeding on our desire to be connected. As we become more connected there is an expectation that access to systems and data will be available from anywhere anytime. However, it is this demand for real time access from any location that dramatically increases our risk profile and makes control over corporate data as one of the most challenging and vital cyber security considerations. Note, one compromised Endpoint is enough to get the entire network consumed. Why humans are the weakest link? As Clint Eastwood once said, “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” The only secure system is one that’s unplugged, turned off, and in a locked room. Since it’s not practical to leave our systems turned off, we need to understand the risks to our systems and prepare ourselves to defend them. Preparation begins with understanding – and that’s where awareness comes in. With all the news stories about


hackers, botnets, and breaches involving personal information, it’s easy for the security message to sound over-used and tired. It’s easy for people to say, “It won’t happen here.” Yet, studies and surveys repeatedly show that: the human factor (what employees do or don’t do) is the biggest threat to information systems and assets. People, just like computers, store, process and transfer highly valuable information. Yet people remain highly insecure, since so little has been done to educate them. As a result, cyber attackers are actively targeting the human element. Until you address the human issue, technology alone cannot secure your organisation. Humans are the weakest link in the IT Security Chain. How organisations can overcome security awareness issue. Organisation should have high-impact security awareness training addressing the latest security threats and how users might be compromised and how they can be vigilant and defend attacks. Awareness ensures that users are aware that they are a target; it motivates and changes behaviour by teaching them how to use technology securely and ensures the organisation remains compliant. In addition, by teaching users the indicators of compromise and how to report incidents, they go beyond just prevention and begin developing human sensors, creating a far more resilient organization. Kaapagam’s role in addressing the issue. Kaapagam Technologies Sdn Bhd, an Information Security Product Development, Management, IT Consulting & Security Training firm,

runs frequent awareness campaigns in organisations, Government agencies, Universities, Colleges and Schools with Demos and hacking examples on: What Anti-virus and Firewall Do and Don’t, Social Engineering – Phishing, Spam, Drive-by-Download Attack, Rogue USB Attack, Phone Calls, Shoulder Surfing, Email Attachment attacks, How to browse safely and avoid bad neighbourhoods on cyberspace, Passwords usage and management, Data Security on backup and storage, Why NOT to connect to public WiFi and free hotspots, Protecting your Personal and Official Computer and Protecting Kids online, among others. “We offer a wide array of protection services to assure that your organisation is secure. With our distinct teams of Managed Security Services (MSS), Security Operation Centre (SOC), Advisory, Audit and Compliance, Profiling, Penetration Testing, Risk Management and Business Preservation Professionals, Kaapagam Technologies can be with you every step of the way to be sure you are managing and mitigating your risks, while advancing from your current state to your desired secure state,” says Clement Arul, CEO, Founder and award recipient of the prestigious Cyber Security Professional of the Year 2014 from the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI), Malaysia. He is also a Security Consultant for many multinationals and leading organisations in the Asia Pacific region. A seasoned security professional, Clement Arul has assisted banks, Government agencies and corporations fix the vulnerabilities before an attacker exploits them.



From the Boardroom to The Mat Healthy people, healthy profit.


tress is a common part of everyday life, especially in the workplace. Today, the introduction of Corporate Wellness Programmes such as Yoga & Mindfulness to the workplace has seen benefits in concentration and clarity which is a benefit to both the employer and the employee. Tailor made Corporate Wellness Programmes can encourage a healthy lifestyle and stress management. Healthy and more mentally balanced employees will be more productive and are less likely to need time off because of illness. If you‘re putting a workplace wellness plan in order, you may want to consider adding a yoga program or a specially tailor made Lifestyle Wellness Programme to your offerings. Yoga is growing so much in popularity because it offers many health benefits and can be tailored to participants of all fitness levels. Up Magazine spoke to two Corporate Wellness Experts, Shobie Malani- Founder & Festival Director of MURFEST (Malaysia Urban Retreat Festival) & Stuart MacKay, CEO of MURFEST ACADEMY to get their take on how Yoga


What if:• You produced a healthier bottom line through an employee wellness program that slashed year after year of ballooning costs? • Your absenteeism, insurance claims and costs plummeted while productivity spiked? • You actually helped your employees in a meaningful

way and made a difference in their lives? • The solution came right to your door? Where a Program like this is shaped and moulded exactly to your work culture, unique needs and timelines. It is holistic and non- evasive and safe. It is Onsite, so no commuting and no lost manhours?

and Mindfulness can be beneficial as a component of workplace wellness. What different types of yoga can be incorporated into a wellness plan? Stuart MacKay(SM): We offer three levels of corporate yoga. We‘ve worked with clients for on-themat yoga classes, yoga at employees‘ desks and chair massage. Organisations can pick ones they like best or a combination of all three. What are the benefits of these different types of yoga? SM: The yoga on the mat focuses on physical strength and flexibility. Yoga at workers‘desks still uses the vocabulary and principles of yoga, but can be done with limited space and no equipment. People can stay in their work clothes. This class would be customised for desk workers and provides relief from shoulder tension, neck tension, and wrist issues through customised poses, breathing exercises and mindfulness exercises to promote stress relief. Each of these also has a mental component and can aid in feelings of stress relief and eliminate tension. The most profound thing we see is the impact to the mind – the impact on stress relief. People feel like they have had a chance to slow down and step away from the busy pace of their day. They are very grateful for that. What are some specific concerns that office workers have when it comes to fitness? Shobie Malani (SH): In today’s world we are always sitting; we sit at the office, we sit in the car, we sit at home on the couch watching TV. Sitting used to be a privilege and now it’s our biggest defeat. A standing forward bend will open lungs, flush kidneys, stretch the liver, fill the heart and will allow the stomach to digest all in the service of wellbeing. A standing forward bend reverses the effects of too much sitting.

Offices often have people of many different fitness levels. Does one need to be an expert, or will beginners benefit from yoga as well? SH: Performing various poses can help one feel rejuvenated, restored, and renewed instantly. Even beginners will see benefits. What should someone look for in an instructor for their corporate wellness programme? SH: Look for someone who has experience teaching at all levels – in the workplace, you will have someone who hasn‘t done anything physical in 20 years, and the next person is at gym every week. Find someone who can work safely, and can make it fun and accessible. We understand that MURFEST ACADEMY has a Signature program called CLARITY NOW; what does this do for the workplace? SM: One of the major benefits of CLARITY NOW is its ultimate simplicity. Learnt in one session, it is a program that helps to build clarity in your staff by giving them a powerful yet uncomplicated method to Release, not manage stress, starting from as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day. The technique is a proven form of Stress Release which has benefited thousands of people and businesses since 1981, including Fortune 500 organisations. Clarity Now is an easy to implement Stress Release Tool, producing more clarity in your staff, who with less stress and tension in their daily life, become happier and more focused at work. Bringing Yoga & Mindfullness into the workplace can bring Catch great benefits to your business – Improved Malaysia’s Largest Wellness, Music & focus, higher energy levels, happier staff, a Dance Festival from calmer environment, increased creativity, 4-6 November 2016. healthier employees – what‘s not to love?!

You can design the session based on your work culture and business, whether it’s before the start of the work day, wake up sessions, lunchtime boosters or after work relaxation classes. Please get in touch with MURFEST ACADEMY to get more info on your Corporate Wellness tailored programmes for your Company today! Book Your Corporate Wellness Program Here: / 012 3665361 / 016 6610262



2016 Is A Year To Invest In Talent Development Barely a month into 2016, Malaysian businesses have already been hit by a slew of less than favorable market conditions. From the falling Ringgit to the continuous slump in crude oil prices, Malaysian firms are bracing for another challenging year.


ccording to the latest annual Global Salary Survey from specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters, Malaysian businesses will take on a more cautious approach in recruitment activities in the first half of 2016. Employers are expected to embark on hiring but priorities will be given to replacement positions or within critical business units. As employers hit the brakes on new recruitments, more are compensating by turning their efforts towards upskilling existing professionals. The move is done in favour of retaining top talents in preparation for the economic recovery. Firms are expected to go back to recruiting new talents in the latter half of 2016. The rebound is widely anticipated based on assumptions that the Malaysian economy will regain firmer footing in the second half of the year.


However, it is not all doom and gloom across the board. There will be a silver lining for workers in the IT and corporate governance sectors. Published figures have suggested that due to their indemand skills, professionals in those areas will see a salary bump from 20% to 25% in 2016. Sally Raj, Managing Director of Robert Walters Malaysia, is of the view that in times of market uncertainty, companies need to see the long-term value of investing in their employees. “Staff retention is now more crucial than ever as Malaysian professionals are highly motivated by training and development initiatives as well as leadership opportunities. Despite this general slowdown, growth is still forecasted within IT, corporate governance and Islamic banking, all of which are driving recruitment of top-tier skilled specialists,” she explained.


• Demand will be for accounting and finance professionals experienced in project management and the shares services businesses environment. • Malaysia remains the biggest player in the global Islamic banking industry which will drive more opportunities for relevant professionals. • As technology grows rapidly, more firms are likely to utilise digital channels to boost revenue. • This will increase positions for IT specialists skilled in big data and e-commerce.


OVERVIEW AND KEY TRENDS BY SECTORS BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES • Hiring activity slowed in 2015 as most banks embarked on cost-cutting measures. • Strain on recruitment budgets will be more profound within investment banking in 2016. • Rising recruitment of Islamic banking professionals, especially in Islamic asset management. • Employers set to bump up salary by 20 to 25% for new recruits in 2016.


• Recruitment remained active in the first half of 2015.

• Hiring was driven by the

implementation of GST in April. • Tax professionals skilled in GST will continue to be highly sought after in 2016. Job movers in 2016 will be • able to command an average 10 to 20% salary increment.


• Demand for sales and marketing

professionals remained strong across a range of industries in 2015. • Financial services, IT, telecommunications, e-commerce, electronics, retail and professional services saw notable growths last year. • Business and customer analytics specialists became a hiring priority. • Companies should showcase corporate direction to attract and retain top talent in 2016.


• This sector saw rosy hiring figures in the first half of 2015.

• Demand was particularly strong for

project managers and business analysts within the financial services and shared services sectors. • A number of developments in Malaysia’s IT industry will ramp up talent demand in 2016 such as the establishment of regional IT consulting and shared services hubs in Malaysia. • In 2016, further salary increases of up to 25% will be seen in highly competitive areas.


• In 2015, entrance of several new players stimulated growth in the e-commerce industry. Multi-skilled professionals with • the ability to take on multiple portfolios were highly sought after. • This year, hiring managers will continue to attract the top professionals in supply chain, procurement and logistics. • Emerging SMEs may have to offer attractive remuneration packages to hire top talent from multinational corporations.


• In 2015, workers with the ability

to lead employee engagement and employer branding was in demand. • This requirement was driven by the need to address the acute talent shortage in Malaysia. • In 2016, firms are expected to place greater importance on HR and its commercial value. • Specialist functions will evolve into independent departments such as learning and development as well as compensation and benefits. • Job movers will see salary increments averaging 20 to 30%.


• The growing start-up scene in the e-commerce and technology sectors saw rising demand for in-house legal counsels. • Demand from law firms seeking corporate and commercial lawyers with experience in the banking and finance sector were also on the rise. • Legal and compliance professionals will continue to be a key hiring priority in 2016. • Job movers can expect salary increments of 20 to 25% in 2016.



AUTOMATIC FITNESS TRACKER The Withings Go fitness tracker is as simple as it gets with no buttons to press and no lights to decode. The e-ink-based screen displays activity in real time, functions as a watch on demand, and is legible even in bright sunlight and water. Withings Go automatically syncs with the Health Mate app to provide you with in-depth metrics on your activities and sleep. It runs on a simple button cell that lasts up to 8 months, and comes with a clip and wristband that allows you to wear it on your wrist, belt, shoe or in your pocket.

AN ALL-IN-ONE SMART DEVICE Sevenhugs’ Smart Remote is the world’s first contextual remote control to bring order to your smart home chaos. Utilising indoor localisation technology and featuring a dynamic adaptation of display and control, it allows users to interact with any smart device in the home by simply pointing and clicking. With an open Software Development Kit, the list of items and services compatible with the Smart Remote is endless, providing users with a personalised experience. It comes with 3 connected sockets to allow the remote to locate itself within the home space and a charging base.


GADGET GUIDE THERMAL IMAGER FOR MOBILE DEVICES The pocket-sized FLIR ONE transforms a mobile device into a powerful thermal imager that sees heat and accurately measures temperature variations smaller than a tenth of a degree. This nifty piece of technology enables practical applications from identifying energy inefficiencies and water leaks in a home, to enabling safe and enjoyable outdoor exploration. The FLIR ONE easily connects to a smartphone or tablet utilising either a lightning connector for iOS devices or a micro-USB connector for Android devices. It is powered by an internal battery and utilises FLIR’s latest generation Lepton thermal camera core.


Instead of a ringtone, Sensorwake wakes you with an aroma of your choice. Users can opt for their preferred scent such as coffee or mint by inserting a recyclable, 30-use capsule. When the alarm goes off, a hatch pops open and gradually releases fragrance until sleepers wake up. The olfactory alarm clock is just as effective as a sound-based alarm, waking up 99% of sleepers within two minutes. It also has a backup sound alarm that you can set to ring if you don’t press the off button after 3 minutes.

INTUITIVE MUSIC PLAYER Prizm is reinventing the way you listen to music by making selections according to your tastes and listening habits without the need for a computer or smartphone. Once connected to your speakers, it looks for devices in its proximity with playlists from major music-streaming services, and then finds (and remembers) what you like. In addition, Prizm automatically detects people in the room via their smartphones or connected wristbands and analyses the ambient atmosphere to adjust the music selection automatically, be it a romantic dinner or an evening with friends.

SMALL BUT POWERFUL The Cube is built specifically for smart devices and can project an image as wide as 120 inches. Weighing a mere 136g and measuring 2-inches square, this mobile projector projects images with great clarity and color output, and works well even in rooms with low levels of light. It has a built in battery that can supply 90 minutes of power, internal speakers, a headphone jack, as well as an audio port that allows you to connect to your speakers. Its long lasting powerful LED light source provides 20,000 hours of life, allowing you to watch over 10,000 movies before it needs a replacement.

PRESERVING THE CLASSICS Sony’s PS-HX500 is offering a way for fans of vinyl to preserve their records. Its built-in A/D converter supports hi-res digital transfers in either DSD, Sony’s high-quality digital audio format, or WAV files. The PS-HX500 also comes with a newly developed app that allows users combine tracks from both sides of an album or split and save multiple tracks. The low resonance integrated head shell comes with moving magnet cartridge and produces threedimensional sound while ensuring optimum tracking, even on warped records.

WORLD’S FIRST TABLET WITH OLED DISPLAY The latest addition to the Lenovo X1 portfolio, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is the world’s first convertible featuring an optional Samsung OLED display that reproduces beautifully rich colours and deeper blacks. It is incredibly thin at just 0.66 inches and light at only 1.27kg. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga features a Lift and Lock keyboard that retracts keys in tablet mode and a rechargeable active pen for highlighting and writing notes directly on webpages using the Microsoft Edge browser. It is powered by Windows 10 and includes Samsung NVMe SSD and Qualcomm LTE-A 4G options. UP MAGAZINE | 53


The Ripple Effect of Minimum Wage Increase in 2016 54 | UP MAGAZINE

i-HR Consulting Sdn Bhd, a professional human resource outsourcing company providing advisory and consultancy services to companies in and around Malaysia explores the effects of the minimum wage increase.


irst and foremost, let’s look at the meaning of the term, ‘minimum wage’. Minimum wage refers to the lowest salary permitted to be paid to an employed person. To be specific, it is wage fixed by legal authority as the least that may be paid to an employee or any other particular category of employed persons. On October 26, 2015, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak officially announced Malaysia’s 2016 Budget highlighting the minimum wage in Malaysia will be increased from RM900 to RM1,000 per month in Peninsular Malaysia and in East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) will increase from RM800 to RM920 effective 1 July 2016. The National Wages Consultative Council (NWCC) says that the main rationale behind the new implementation of wages is to motivate Malaysians to be more productive and subsequently, lead to a reduce in reliance of foreign labour. Having said that, it is important to look at how the changes of this implementation affect the wages of all workers and not just of those at the very bottom of the hourly pay scale who immediately benefit from a higher minimum wage. How will this increase in pay across the nation have an affect on employees? This question is essential for having a better understanding of the impact of boosting the minimum income beyond workers from the lowest pay scale. Research on minimum wage Ripple Effects show that increases in minimum wage increases the salaries of workers who are earning above the minimum wage and is vital to reducing wage inequality between those that fall in the category of low and middle class earnings. When does a Ripple Effect occur? The Ripple Effect is unintended changes in the wage structure that happens in response to a change in a given wage level. This takes place when a pay hike

in the minimum wage increases the income received by employees’ earnings slightly above the minimum wage. The implication of these policy positions is that parties to any wage determination process must set their wages at rates that are either consistent or more in negotiated wages, which have at all times surpassed the rate of increases in minimum wages. The Ripple Effect of minimum wage occurs on the grounds that some unintended wage increases are bound to occur on the wages of other employees not particularly targeted by the minimum wage increase. As a result, an increase in the statutory minimum wages spills over and benefits even those workers who are not targeted by the minimum wage raise. The tendency of Ripple Effect of minimum wages on other wages is mainly rationalised on the basis that employers may wish to maintain a given wage structure in their companies. On top of that, workers are not only concerned with the wage levels, but also with their wages relative to those of other workers (Grossman,1983; Akerlof & Yellen,1990). The Ripple Effect of wage increment enables distortions in the labour market. This includes increase in labour costs, the closing of a blind eye to the ability of employers and to manage the raise in labour costs. The inevitable effects of this will lead to potential discouragement in investments, lowering Malaysia’s industrial competitiveness and restricting job creation. Besides that, these distortions in our nation’s labour market could have a contributing factor to an increase in redundancies and trigger use of other forms of employement; to name a few, part-time, temporary, subcontracted and outsourced workforces (Omolo, 2007). Therefore, it is important to take into account these factors discussed here of the new minimum wage policy in Malaysia if the main reasons of implementation is said to create job opportunities via the reduce reliance on foreign workers and to further offer an

The Ripple Effect is unintended changes in the wage structure that happens in response to a change in a given wage level.



increase in job security and productivity amongst Malaysians. Zipperer (2015), a research economist at the Washington Centre for Equitable Growth argues that evidence suggests that in the short run, increase in minimum wages do not appear to have Ripple Effects for those earning middle or higher class wages. He says, on the flip side, this implementation in question affects wage inequality and boosting stagnant wages for those workers at the bottom of the wage ladder. In a journal article published by The Star Online on the 7 March 2016 shows as per the diagram below that Malaysia’s economy is facing severe strain. Bank Negara released data showing that Malaysian economy’s money supply was lower compared with the same period last year and has since only been continuously weakening. It is inevitable that as a result of this, the people have been weighed down by the increase cost of living and the dip in the

economic growth with wages that are not tantamount to cope with this. Therefore, the critical question that needs to be addressed beforehand by policymakers is, if the cost of living goes up, can we actually spend any more? In a research conducted by Pew Research Centre (2015) claims that in increasing the minimum wage, will give rise to inflation with it. With the raise of minimum wage, prices would rise on everything as well to match the pay rate, mostly so the banks don’t suffer too much of a dent. For employers to support their more highly paid minimum wage workers, they might increase prices on their products or services to make enough income to counter this. This would lead to creating a Ripple Effect for other businesses, resulting in increases in cost of living and further resulting in another push to raise minimum wage again in the future. It is utmost important that policymakers take the current


M1: 4.9 M3: 2.2

Annual growth (%)

16 12 8 4



Source: Bank Negara Source: 56 | UP MAGAZINE












It is critical to recognise that by deflecting the truth by implementing this new policy on minimum wage only serves as a Band-Aid solution.

economical state of Malaysia into account and see the bigger picture in tackling the real issue economically speaking. It is critical to recognise that by deflecting the truth by implementing this new policy on minimum wage only serves as a Band-Aid solution. On a separate note, this policy could be helpful to those of the low-income category; allowing them to earn a better livelihood and lead more secure lives economically. However, we must also consider that will the hike of RM100 deliver productivity and efficiency amongst the people or rather simply an absorbed cost by businesses? As an employer, doesn’t one deserve to have returns on this additional price incurred as minimum wage? In a sum up, raising the minimum wage at a time where the nation’s economy is at strain begs the question if it’s more of a means of damage control in order to account for inflation or that which has been said by policymakers as the reason behind this implementation; which is to increase productivity and efficiency amongst Malaysian workers?

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Non-traditional Talent Supply Chain Management Strategy Adopting a Free Agent model as part of the company’s SCM strategy is one way to resolve insufficient HR talent and resources


recent article on Malaysia’s brain drain issue in ASEAN TODAY depicts the alarming state of the deteriorating state of continual HR talent losses from this market. While the government is making considerable efforts to address this, corporations and organisations in the public and private sector, MNCs and SMEs need to see the urgency of acting in their own capacity to help themselves. So, what actions do corporations take to resolve the issue of insufficient HR talent and resources? According to Anthony Raja Devadoss, Vice President for Asia Pacific of Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting Group, companies need to prioritise having a talent Supply Chain Management (SCM) strategy today. “Basically, corporations need to change their ways of managing their talent resources. They need to accept the brain drain issue is not going away for the next few years at least; so plan to move away from the traditional way of employment to a robust talent engagement framework,” he said. One way is to reshape the workforce to adopt the Free Agent Workstyle trend – a movement that is popular in the US, Europe and many Asian regions. “First, work at a non-traditional talent SCM strategy that incorporates the free agent workstyle trend which will work quite well in Malaysia’s corporate culture.” He believes that Malaysia’s fundamental workforce and talent, is highly adaptable to this Free Agent model, especially in the Gen Y and Gen Z pool of mid-20s to early 40s employees. Adopting a Free Agent model as part of the company’s SCM strategy fits well to an overall flexible and varied approach to sourcing workers for the company. The non-traditional way of filling up the need for a workable workforce in a company, besides full time employees, may involve temporary staff, independent contractors or freelancers, service providers, alumni, retirees and interns to make up for a more fortified SCM strategy.


reshaping the workforce: insights into the global free agent workstyle trend



A chosen path for workers who are confident, cool, and in control As traditional, long-term commitments to employers wane, careers built on flexibility continue to gain ground. With this shift, one thing remains clear: the companies that succeed will be those that prioritize their talent supply chain management strategy, adapt to changing workforce trends, and consider a wide array of worker populations to meet their ever-changing needs.


Globally, nearly

workers are free agents









Free agents (48%) are more likely to hold higher degrees than those working as traditional employees (36%).


believe would o opportu choices


1in 3

say the econom environm encoura to give m conside free age career c

Free agents (69%) are more likely to possess professional or technical skill sets than those working as traditional employees (59%).

Percent of workers in each generation who are free agents SILENT GEN








believe grant op to exerc the skills most en field of w


believe allow th move ou manage potentia them clo they lov their job

An Equal Opportunity Employer Š 2015 Kelly Services, Inc. 15-0652


e to se ends,







26% of Malaysians who have US$30 million of investable •


say the recent economic environment has encouraged them to give more consideration to free agency as a career choice.


assets are planning to migrate within the next 10 years. This is much higher than the average rate of






• In 2015, there were Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals by Malaysians leaving

3 in 5

believe it gives them a greater sense of control to manage their own career development.


one million

of Malaysia is about

30 million.

2 out of 10

• Malaysian professionals eventually leave the country.

1 in 2

do not have the desire to work as a traditional employee.

• The poor economic climate is the main reason, with over


employees from 114 companies who have been laid off. About 78% of them are from the finance and insurance sectors.

More than half (56%)

of free agents claim to be “in it for life,” saying free agency is a lifelong career choice.


• Malaysia’s in talent will drive more MNCs – which set up business in Malaysia in the earlier 5 years, to move away to set up facilities and invest in neighbouring ASEAN markets including Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. • Over the last 5 years, TalentCorp

Illustration courtesy of Kelly Services Inc. KellyOCG is the Outsourcing and Consulting Group of workforce solutions provider Kelly Services, Inc.


the country, as compared to in 2014.

• As of 2011, about Malaysians are overseas – a substantial number considering that the population


believe it would allow them to move out of a management role, potentially moving them closer to what they love about their jobs.


with of Malaysian jobseekers are willing to leave for an overseas job for a better. • World Bank study showed that of those Malaysians who have migrated do so for better career opportunities.


believe it would grant opportunities to exercise or use the skills that they most enjoy in their field of work.

16% in the region.

• Economic reasons are the main push,

choose this workstyle for the freedom, flexibility, and entrepreneurial empowerment they experience with this independent approach to work and life.


believe free agency would open up more opportunities and choices of work.

Main points in ASEAN TODAY article entitled ‘Malaysia’s brain drain reaching critical stage’


managed to attract only professionals and skilled workers back to the country.



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The teambuilding circuit comprises the most challenging high ropes and flying fox, abseiling, spider web, minefield crossing, bomb removal, 12ft wall, jungle trail, trust fall, orienteering and dynamic obstacles. Their dynamic obstacles are divided into three obstacles, ie, dynamic obstacles 1 which comprises of stepping stone, wormhole, swinging bridge, commando crawl and giant pole, whereas the dynamic obstacle 2 includes checkers solution and laser zone. The Dynamic Obstacle 3 comprises hurdle crossing, Vertigo Net, cowboy ride, seasaw bridge, komodo nest and electric

cable. Adding to the list is the Amazing Race, which can be arranged either during daytime or for those who are into a more challenging teambuilding activity, Night Amazing Race is an experience not to be missed. The teambuilding package is priced from RM380 nett per person inclusive of 2D/1N accommodation with breakfast, lunch, dinner and two coffee/ tea breaks. Non-residential teambuilding package is also available. Nilai Springs is a certified Leadership and Training program provider approved by the Ministry of Human Resources. All our leadership and training programs are claimable under the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).The elegant Rajah Brooke Ballroom and the other 13 cosier meeting rooms are awaiting bookings ranging 12- 800 persons. The Nilai Springs Golf & Country Club, adjacent to the hotel is ever ready to welcome you for a special arrangement to tee-off in between your seminar. Tired of traditional dinner in a coffee house or function room can be easily change to outdoor theme dinner or a relaxed BBQ, overlooking the stunning fairways and greens of our 27 holes championship

golf course. This is an idyllic venue for meetings, seminars, workshops, wedding banquet and corporate dinners. The Residential Seminar Package include 2 days/1 night stay in our Superior room, Coffee/tea break with snacks, lunch, dinner and breakfast. Special packages tailored for the government sector are available and non- residential seminar package is also available be it a full day or half a day seminar. Contact them at 06-850 2288, or visit their website at for more information. UP MAGAZINE | 61


It’s Time For That Bonus! finds that 75% of Employees Seek Bonus Payout to Stay Put.


mployee retention has become a growing concern among companies as they compete for talent in today’s competitive job market. In view of this issue, recently conducted a survey to gauge the correlation between bonuses and employee retention. A total of 3, 858 employees who participated in the survey were asked, “Do bonuses contribute to your retention?” A significant 75% of them said that bonuses play a crucial role towards their retention. They also indicated that their current bonus scheme is one of the primary reasons why they would opt to stay put within their companies, and given the chance they would leave for better paying positions. However, when the employers were asked if bonuses contribute to employee retention, only 37% said it’s a major factor in making

employees stay with their companies. This shows that there is a large gap between the perception employees and employers on the subject of bonuses. Meanwhile, 56% of employees who took part in the survey expect their yearend bonuses to be higher than they were a year ago, up by 5% compared to a similar survey done last year. As to why these employees expect a bonus increase, 57% believe that they have fulfilled their management’s expectations in terms of work performance, 35% attributed it to their organisation’s higher business profits and 8% said it was due to a decrease in operation costs and overheads compared to last year. Twent y-six percent of the respondents expect their bonuses to remain the same and 18% expect a lesser bonus. Out of those who are anticipating a lower bonus, the

majority of them said it’s because their organisations are seeing a decline in business profits in comparison to the previous year. The survey results also revealed that 55% of employees expect a salary increase above 6%. However, only 27% of employers will be giving an increment that is equivalent, implying that a large number of employees will not be receiving their expected increments this year. “As the cost of living increases, more employees are in search of opportunities that will help them cope with their current expenses. Employers must be willing to bridge the gap between their current payout schemes and employee needs. If employees feel valued and fairly compensated, they will be enthusiastic and committed to their jobs and will find no reason to leave,” said Chook Yuh Yng, Country Manager of


57% 35% Believe to have fulfilled management’s expectations in terms work performance.


8% The business profits of the organisation is higher.

Operation costs and overheads have decreased.

{ {






Between 1% to 3%

Between 3.1% to 6%





Between 6.1% to 10%



More than10%



About is a leading online job board presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. currently services over

230,000 15 million corporate hirers and over

jobseekers in its database.



About SEEK Asia and jobsDB are part of SEEK Asia, which is the leading online employment market place in Asia. SEEK Asia covers 7 countries namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. SEEK Asia is the extension of the Australian Securities Exchange listed company called SEEK. The company’s purpose is to help improve people’s lives through a better career. SEEK Asia’s database consist of over

500,000 corporate hirers and over

24 million Note: This survey covered two different groups which consists of 437 companies from various business sectors and 3850 employees from different job levels.




Using Performance Appraisals to Measure Employee Performance;

RELIABLE or REDUNDANT? i-HR Consulting Sdn Bhd, a professional human resource outsourcing company providing advisory and consultancy services to companies in and around Malaysia discusses appraisals in today’s work environment.



ow exactly do you measure staff performance? To use the performance appraisal methods or not is the

question! In an article in Forbes magazine dated March 25, 2014 by Edward E. Lawler III argues that the reason behind why huge organisations such as Google, Deloitte, Accenture, Adobe, Microsoft, Gap and Medtronics to name a few have eliminated performance appraisals is because it’s said to do more damage than good. Amongst the damage that they are said to do, the least troublesome is wasting time, and the most troublesome is the alienation of employees and creating conflicts between them and their superiors. An analysis conducted by Deloitte showed that employees and managers alike spent about two million hours a year on performance appraisals with much of this time spent talking about the ratings themselves (Rock & Jones, 2015). Organisations that have abandoned performance reviews are seeing that conversations shift from justifying past performance to thinking about growth and development instead. The result? Better employment development which is a win-win situation for everyone. It can’t be denied that a big number of organisations still do performance appraisals as it is said to exist because it motivates, directs and improves the performance of employees. However, research done by CEB (a best practice insight and technology company) found that most of these companies acknowledge that their current systems of appraisals in practice are flawed. The data gathered found that 95 percent of managers are displeased with the way their businesses carry out performance reviews and nearly 90 percent of

HR leaders admit that the process does not capitulate accurate information required to measure staff performance (Cunningham in The Washington Post, 2015). Many companies are starting to accept that performance should not be defined by a single number but rather on placing emphasis on ongoing, quality conversations between managers and their staff. However, why do many

companies still rely on job appraisals then? This could be because the idea of removing ratings may not sit very comfortably with HR executives since organisations very much like to quantify and analyse pretty much everything. The thought of getting rid of a metric is almost contrary to accepted belief of what is said to be the “best” method to measure performance for centuries long now.




At Accenture’s 2015 Annual Human Services Summit held at Harvard University, they released a set of findings from closely studying 30 companies that have stopped doing performance appraisals. It can be seen that through these changes, the 3 clear reasons this trend is gaining momentum:



Job appraisals or rather numerical performance management systems don’t measure how work gets done in today’s time. Also, setting 12-month goals can be an absurd practice as employees need goal cycles of 1 months or even 1 week. Another factor to take into account is the fact that work is also happening in teams more than ever. Few managers are actually clearly aware of their team members’ performance when some staff are in another department. This is especially so in a multinational company whereby an employee may not just be in a different team but in a different country than that of the manager evaluating him or her within the same organisation.



Conventional appraisal systems inhibit collaboration, making a business less customer oriented and agile. Such ratings lead to high status, promotions and pay raises but yet, it’s not like at school whereby anyone can get an A if they work hard enough. A manager who has a team of 10 hardworking members for example, could only give 2 or 3 of them the top rating. This would result in employees competing with one another with certainly no room for collaboration. In a research as stated in Harvard Business Review (2015) showed that, Microsoft’s employee collaboration skyrocketed immediately after the removing of their performance appraisals.



Removing ratings has shown to improve communication and increase the frequency of managers talking to their staff about their development. This encourages employee engagement and development as managers will have a better gauge of how their staff are working. “The primary finding out of 30 companies studied was that after a company removed ratings, managers talked to their teams significantly more often about performance” (Rock & Jones, 2015). With more regular conversations, both employees and employers can develop a more open and honest communication as they don’t have to worry about justifying a rating at the end of the year. Forbes Magazine (2014) quoted, “performance appraisals are a redundant bureaucratic troublesome activity”. When you assign too much process to the idea of management which an annual staff appraisal is in some ways, then the real concept of management is distorted. The truth of the matter is, management is not only about ticking boxes, hitting targets and deliverables but also about developing employees. It is also no doubt that treating an employee like a human being and not a number is a better approach. Yet it has taken only a small number of organisations to take the leap in this change of approach in measuring job performance of workers. But for those who have, they are at the beginning of something big. So the question here is answered – the anxiety-inducing ritual of the traditional annual job performance review is redundant with the changing nature of work in today’s day and time. Bob Sutton and Jeffrey Pfeffer quoted in their book, ‘The Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense’ (2006), “performance rankings can lead to destructive internal competition, which can make it tough to build a culture of knowledge sharing….In addition to this, there seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy at work, in which a person who receives a poor evaluation does even worse in the subsequent rating period.”

There is really no need for organisations to continue that; dump those appraisals! It is time for a change. 66 | UP MAGAZINE



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UP Magazine|Vol 2|No 1|2016|HRD AWARDS 2015  

UP Magazine is the premier quarterly magazine in Human Resource (HR) Management, the first of its kind to incorporate HR Management with dev...

UP Magazine|Vol 2|No 1|2016|HRD AWARDS 2015  

UP Magazine is the premier quarterly magazine in Human Resource (HR) Management, the first of its kind to incorporate HR Management with dev...