Learning & Development Asia 2024 Singapore
Beyond boundaries: Step inside MCMC's virtual EX programme in the metaverse

Beyond boundaries: Step inside MCMC's virtual EX programme in the metaverse

Welcome to a virtual office where pixels blend with reality, and avatars replace conference rooms, as described by Dr. Murugappan, Chief Human Resources Officer, Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital transformation, organisations are pushing boundaries to enhance their operations, engage employees, and drive innovation. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) stands at the forefront of this revolution, pioneering a groundbreaking initiative that transcends traditional HR practices.

The MetaHRise – an onboarding digitalisation initiative, is a metaverse induction programme designed to redefine how new joiners experience their professional journey in the Commission.

The problem at hand today lies in the inadequacy of traditional onboarding methods, which often lack of engagement, interactivity, and personalisation. Conventional team building programmes, while valuable in fostering camaraderie, may struggle to create meaningful connections in virtual or geographically dispersed teams. On top of that, the limitations of physical proximity and logistical constraints hinder the effectiveness of traditional onboarding processes, particularly for MCMC with distributed workforces across Malaysia.

Furthermore, the evolving expectations of new joiners today, particularly those from younger generations accustomed to digital interactions and immersive experiences, necessitate a re-evaluation on traditional onboarding approaches. Millennials and Gen Z employees, in particular, seek opportunities for meaningful engagement, collaborative learning, and personalised experiences that align with their values and preferences.

As we are moving into an increasingly digitalised work environment, traditional methods of onboarding and team building are falling short of meeting the evolving needs and expectations of present-day individuals.

MCMC encounters the challenge of efficiently assimilating new employees into the team and instilling a sense of belonging and acculturated across divisions and departments.

With that being said, there exists a critical requirement to innovate and explore alternative approaches to onboarding that leverage cutting-edge technologies such as adopting the metaverse into our onboarding experience.

This article explores the concept of the MetaHRise – our onboarding digitalisation initiative, its potential impact on HR practices, and how MCMC's innovative approach represents a new era in employee onboarding and engagement.

The MetaHRise induction programme: A paradigm shift. What is MetaHRise?

The MetaHRise is an innovative and immersive educational programme designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of MCMC and its role in shaping the nation's communications and multimedia landscape. In this programme, new joiners of MCMC will embark on a virtual journey that leads them into the heart of MCMC, offering a unique perspective on the Commission's functions, regulatory activities, and initiatives.

MetaHRise isn’t just an onboarding programme – it is a leap into the future. Imagine stepping into a virtual realm where pixels blend seamlessly with reality, and avatars replace conference rooms. MetaHRise leverages metaverse technology to immerse new employees in a dynamic and interactive environment. From the moment they receive their letter of employment in the virtual world of MetaHRise, they would embark on a digital odyssey across geographical boundaries.

What to expect in MetaHRise?

The MetaHRise offers a unique opportunity to enhance the onboarding process for new employees by creating immersive experiences that simulate real-world office environments. The moment new joiners put on their virtual reality (VR) headsets and step into a meticulously crafted virtual office, they are able to explore their future workspace, learning hall, the Smart City, interact with other colleagues (both real and virtual), and learn about MCMC’s mission and values, the Acts, MCMC initiatives, policies, and procedures in an engaging manner.

a. The futuristic MCMC virtual lobby
- A futuristic lobby for MCMC in MetaHRise environment embraces state-of-the-art technologies and features to provide an immersive and interactive experience to the participants. Several characters of the virtual lobby include:

  • Virtual representation of MCMC Tower 1: The lobby replicates a futuristic physical layout and design of the MCMC headquarters in the metaverse, offering a familiar environment for the new joiners.
  • Immersive 3D environment: The lobby is rendered in high-definition 3D graphics, providing a visually stunning and immersive experience for users exploring the virtual space.
  • Avatar customisation: Participants are able to create and customise their avatars to represent themselves within the virtual lobby, allowing for personalised interactions and networking.

b. Learning through Connect Hub - The learning hall in MetaHRise known as the Connect Hub involves designing a virtual space that facilitates education, training, and in-depth information on MCMC vision and mission, the Acts, and its initiatives. The key characteristics for Connect Hub include:

  • Immersive 3D environment: The Connect Hub is set in a visually appealing and immersive 3D environment, providing an engaging space for users to explore and interact with.
  • Interactive presentation tools: Interactive presentation tools allow participants to maneuver the slideshows, videos, and live demonstrations, enhancing the learning experience.
  • Q&A sessions and discussions: Users able to discuss with fellow attendees on what they learn through Connect Hub, fostering collaboration, critical thinking, and knowledge exchange.

c. The Smart City – Smart City in the MetaHRise showcases innovative technologies, digital infrastructure, and smart solutions in the context of urban development and communication. In Smart City, participants will experience the virtual city featuring main telecommunication towers such as Menara Alor Setar and Menara Kuala Lumpur. The Smart City also features MCMC Tower 1 and Tower 2 as part of the establishments for MCMC MetaHRise.

d. Team building quests - Upon learning via Connect Hub, participants will get the chance to test their knowledge through quizzes incorporated with elements of speed, focus and teamwork. MetaHRise gamifies team building by providing opportunities for employees to answer questions based on their learning, unlock achievements, and collaborate with colleagues through build-in games known as ‘Step-Right Up’, ‘The Volt Rush’ and ‘Mind Match’.

e. The GraduMetaHRise – Upon completion of the games, the participants will receive their scroll by attending a graduation ceremony, featuring the Chairman of MCMC to commemorate the programme. GraduMetaHRise is an event to formally recognise and celebrate the successful completion of the programme for the participants. It serves as a culmination of their journey through the induction programme, providing an opportunity to acknowledge their achievements, skills acquired, and contributions made during the process.

Additionally, the ceremony aims to instill a sense of accomplishment, pride, and belonging among participants, fostering a positive and memorable experience as they transition into their roles at MCMC.

The achievements

Despite being launched in less than a month, the MetaHRise programme has achieved multiple milestones in terms of awards and recognition. Several achievements include being the winner for Transformative Agency of The Year Award in the Festival of Innovation Awards 2024 organised by GovInsider, along with successfully launching the first team building programme with MetaHRise on 27 February 2024 with MCMC’s new joiners and becoming the first public agency to have a metaverse induction programme through VR Headset.

These signify notable advancements in leveraging immersive technology for organisational excellence and employee engagement.

Transformative Agency of The Year Award 2024:

Being the winner for Transformative Agency of The Year Award 2024 is a prestigious recognition of MCMC's leadership and innovation in leveraging the metaverse to drive positive change within the organisation. This award acknowledges MCMC's commitment to embracing emerging technologies and fostering a culture of innovation, positioning the commission as a pioneer in the adoption of immersive solutions for organisational transformation.

Successful launch of team building programme with MetaHRise:

The successful launch of the first team building programme with MetaHRise on 27 February 2024 underscored MCMC's dedication to enhancing employee collaboration, communication, and morale. By leveraging metaverse technology, MCMC provides employees with a unique and engaging platform to connect and build relationships, regardless of physical location.

This initiative reflects MCMC's proactive approach to fostering a cohesive and high-performing workforce, contributing to overall organisational effectiveness and success.

First public agency with a metaverse induction programme through a VR headset:

MCMC has become the first public agency to implement a metaverse induction programme through a VR headset, highlighting our commitment to modernising talent management and onboarding processes. By offering new joiners a virtual reality-based induction experience, MCMC enhances the effectiveness and engagement of the onboarding process, providing immersive training and orientation materials that effectively convey organisational culture, values, and expectations. This pioneering initiative sets a benchmark for public sector organisations seeking to embrace digital transformation and enhance employee experiences.

Together, these achievements demonstrate MCMC's leadership and innovation in leveraging metaverse technology to drive organisational excellence, employee engagement, and transformative change.

By embracing immersive solutions and staying at the forefront of technological advancements, MCMC sets a compelling example for public sector organisations worldwide, showcasing the potential of the metaverse to revolutionise how we work, collaborate, and learn in the digital age.

The road ahead

The MetaHRise induction programme offers a sneak peek into what the future holds for HR. By venturing into uncharted territory, MCMC is paving the way for other organisations to do the same. As the lines between the physical and digital realms dissolve, a fresh era of employee experiences unfolds. But it doesn't stop there – HR digitalisation is constantly developing and advancing, and MCMC's journey stands as a beacon of inspiration for everyone in this ever-evolving landscape.

In the future, MCMC has identified various potential enhancements for the MetaHRise programme, including:

Expanded virtual learning modules: Develop additional virtual learning modules covering a wide range of topics relevant to MCMC's mission and objectives, including regulatory frameworks, industry trends, and emerging technologies

Interactive simulation exercises: Integrate interactive simulation exercises within the virtual environment to provide new joiners with hands-on experience in navigating real-world scenarios and challenges they may encounter in their roles, e.g., performing auditing on telecommunication towers.

Gamified learning experiences: Incorporate several more gamification elements such as quizzes, challenges, and rewards to make the induction programme more engaging and interactive, motivating participants to actively participate and learn.

In conclusion, technology is more than just its hardware and software components; it encompasses strategy, organisational structure, culture, capabilities, and customer experience, as highlighted by Euler (2015), Abatiello et al. (2017), and Kane et al. (2018). The MetaHRise programme encompassed the above building blocks for a successful and award-winning implementation and it’s about reshaping how we welcome and empower our workforce.

As we step beyond boundaries, we unlock a future where HR moves beyond the ordinary and embraces the remarkable.

Photos: Provided by MCMC

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