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Faces of HR: Why you should include giggers in your L&D initiatives and how Samsung Malaysia does it



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When you offer upskilling and longer-term development, your organisation becomes more attractive for high-performing, specialised talent, Chen Fong Tuan, Country HR and General Affairs Director, Samsung Malaysia affirms. Here’s how Samsung Malaysia does it.

Q Why do think that training for the contingent workforce is becoming increasingly important and how should we address this?

The contingent workforce is the new norm. They have specific skill sets and are subject matter experts of their chosen space. They contribute through driving and accelerating change in their own narrow band whilst not burdening the organisation with the usual permanence of the orthodox workforce. This is a far cry from the days where the contingent workforce were made up of low skilled workers or mundane repetitive roles.

For a project to succeed, giggers need to be fully engaged and aligned to the company’s mission and goals, trained on the product and understand the work culture. It’s imperative they can adapt to the technological advancements and changes. So it helps when a company’s contingent staff, like its permanent staff, are up to speed with the advancements in the industry.

Also, giggers actively seek opportunities to learn and upskill in their field of specialisation. When you offer upskilling and longer-term development, your organisation becomes a far more attractive place for high-performing, specialised talent to work in.

Q What are some initiatives Samsung is undertaking in order to address the rise of the gig economy?

In Samsung, our giggers have the exact same opportunities as our permanent staff from benefits & rewards, learning & development, to performance management.

They attend orientation alongside permanent staff and are required to complete 60 hours of learning. This includes face-to-face learning, workshops or online via Samsung U – our LMS which contains over 10,000 curated courses from Samsung Education Learning Center (SELC), LinkedIn, Harvard Business and others.

Growth in Samsung isn’t just an academic or technical exercise. Our development offerings extend to lifestyle sessions to enhance our employee’s personal growth such as singing, guitar lessons, zumba and yoga – all of which are available to our giggers. Most importantly, they have the flexibility to access Samsung U anytime, anywhere, to give them the ownership to take charge of their own learning.

Giggers, like our permanent staff, undergo Samsung’s performance management program where we assess their potential and interest for higher level projects and roles. Star performers are honored as Samsung’s employee of the month at our quarterly town halls. They are similarly entitled to our spot bonus program to recognise top performers regardless of whether you are permanent or not.

To cultivate and strengthen the relationship between company and our our talent, giggers in Samsung can fully participate in all engagement activities and team building exercises. They even lead in some of them. In addition, they also enjoy the exact same savings as permanent staff via Samsung’s staff purchase programme for our premium products and services.

Finally, their feedback is taken on-board in Samsung’s yearly employee survey that is designed to record the perceptible nuances on loyalty and engagement that exist between permanent and contingency workers.

Q What do you think HR should do more of and less of when it comes to addressing the contingent workforce?

More off:

  • HR needs to incorporate better systems that capture the knowledge inherent in giggers who have worked in different organisations or industries and that can be applied to the company. This can be through organising sharing sessions or creating a knowledge bank that captures key learnings.
  • HR needs to provide more holistic leadership development for contingent workers that can build their leadership capabilities within a shorter duration.  Most giggers are just used to deliver tactical outcomes but neglect that they are leaders in their own rights too.
  • Engagement programs should be designed to cater to their shorter employee journey within the organisation and quite importantly, take into account that some giggers do return to work on other projects and they are as important as an employer brand ambassador.
  • HR should also provide clarity on their growth and upward mobility options.

Less off:

  • HR needs to review complex approval processes and structures that impact their experience and at worst, hinder their ability to perform on the job.
  • Also avoid burdening staff with too much administrative work that isn’t part of their job scope.
  • Finally, avoid long hiring processes which are bogged by application processes. This will impact a company’s ability to hire fast. Talented giggers are ready now! If your hiring process is long, someone else will take them.

Q What do you want delegates to get out of your session during the Learning & Development Asia 2019?

I have four key key takeaways. They are:

  • The gig economy is here. Companies need to adapt fast or lose out on talent.
  • Companies should build an employee journey that takes account the duration of their contingent worker’s contract – from hire-to-end and in between as some may return to work with your organisation in higher level positions.
  • Train and develop your giggers. They’ll remember the opportunities that exist within your organisation and the best ones will seek to return.
  • When their contract is finished, make sure the talent returning to the job market can proudly sell your employee brand to a fast emerging talent pool.

Catch Chen Fong Tuan’s session at #LearningDevelopmentAsia this 25-26 September 2019 happening at Aloft KL Sentral as he addresses learning and development for the alternative workforce: training for the gig economy.

Visit the event website to check out the stellar speaker list and reserve your seat! Or you can simply email our friendly colleagues at adrianr@humanresourcesonline.net and reggieo@humanresourcesonline.net to find out more.

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