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5 Cool HR Programmes By Global Companies That Your Workplace Should Try Out

Part of a company’s success lies in its employees being well-trained.

Large corporations often try to do this by the book (and there is usually a literal book, in the form of a training manual).

However, what comes next when the tried-and-tested traditional manuals and out-of-date powerpoint presentations fail to inspire?

Change is a constant in life, and making a continuous effort to embrace transformation is essential for one to progress further.

So it’s crucial for companies to replace old, outdated systems with fresh ideas, especially since we’re at the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0) where everything’s looking to be automated. But is it enough to just take those manuals and digitilise them?

Our guts said no, so we scoured through the interwebs and found these bizarre yet effective training programmes that prove how international companies are beginning to embrace change when it comes to how they handle their employees.

1) The “Pay-To-Quit” programme

When an employee begins to lack motivation and their performance suffers, employers are always wondering what’s the best solution to help out.

One way e-commerce giant Amazon does it is by paying them to quit.

Once a year, the company offers to pay their full-time associates at Amazon fulfillment centers up to US$5,000 to leave the company. The catch: those who accept the offer can never work at Amazon again.

“The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want,” said CEO Jeff Bezos. Apparently it works, as few people actually accept.

It’s quite a change from the typical solution because from this, you can evaluate their commitment to the organisation if they don’t take the money, which makes them more engaged, more productive, and ultimately boosts your company’s bottom line.

In this scenario, challenging the status quo can be beneficial to the company and its employees.

2) Spend US$2,000 on a guest.

Worldwide 5-star hotel and resort chain Ritz Carlton has been cited in Forbes before as the best company for employee training, and they have a unique way of living up to it.

In their industry, people play an important role in the frontline so Ritz trains them well to deliver the best service possible. As part of that process, Ritz gives each employee US$2,000 to spend on any guest per incident, without prior management consent.

This isn’t to allow employees to compensate a customer if the hotel has messed up. Instead, it’s meant to be a tool to empower and encourage employees to enhance the experience of any guest.

Ritz has now changed the way employees can build their mindset where they find opportunities instead of solving problems, because it’s important to trust them to make the right decisions.

If not, why hire them in the first place?

3) Getting the boss “kidnapped” for team building.

Trust fall exercises is usually the go-to training practice for teamwork, but companies are beginning to change their team building methods.

Fortune 500 companies like Google and Dell have opted for an alternative one started by Chad Michael and his Adventure Game Team Building team.

It’s called Spy Game, where FBI agents will reveal a video showing the team that their boss has been kidnapped. Employees will need to form different groups and engage in a game of espionage as they try and recover the “lost asset”.

Making your programmes fun and interactive is also crucial aside from ensuring it’s efficient. This is a unique way to help train your employees’ strategising and quick thinking skills while working together.

4) Developer boot camps and hackathons.

Facebook engineers are pretty much granted access to the entirety of the website’s code base after a few days of working there.

It’s part of the company’s signature “Bootcamp” programme, a six-week introduction to Facebook that all engineers—from new college graduates to coding veterans—must go through.

They collaborate on projects that go live on Facebook quickly. At the same time, senior management is available to offer coaching and mentoring.

Since these fixes have a real effect on Facebook’s two billion users, there will be mentors checking the work, and other safeguards exist so that changes do not affect every user simultaneously.

Facebook is also known for their hackathons where teams work together to finish a project over the span of a night, day, or weekend. Sometimes, those projects end up turning into viable products, like being able to tag a friend in the comments or even the “Like” button.

“There are only two rules: You have to work on something outside your day job, and if it’s your first hackathon, you have to hack,” said former Facebook director of engineering Pedram Keyani in a 2012 blog post.

So essentially Facebook changed their first-day-of-employment experience by taking them out of cubicles and letting them do real work instead of typical standardised training. That way, new recruits are made to adopt their corporate culture in an engaging manner.

5) Utilising VR to give a more hands-on experience.

With new digital trends such as virtual reality (VR) fast becoming a norm, it’s no surprise to see companies jumping on the idea of incorporating it into their employee training.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has a programme called “The Hard Way – a KFC Virtual Training Escape Room“, which utilises virtual reality to give trainees hands-on experience before they begin cooking for guests in the real world.

Employees are taken through the main five steps that the Colonel created 70 years ago, with his avatar providing tips along the way. Successful learners are treated to a secret kitchen level where they learn the secrets to KFC recipes.

The company wants to use VR simulations to supplement their employee cook training programme, the Chicken Mastery Certification.

Modern technology now lets you explore new possibilities in workplace learning, but not many know the great lengths it can change your programmes.

VR training like this go beyond that and your employees can grasp new ideas and processes because learning by doing, even in a virtual world, improves information retention so that employees are more prepared when they apply it into the real world.

Revolutionising Your Team’s Upskilling

As you can see, technology really has opened more possibilities in the different ways you can build your training programmes but unfortunately most people assume just putting it online makes the learning process efficient.

When creating your training programme, you need to make sure it’s not only efficient but enjoyable too, without just the usual traditional methods of presentations and manuals.

If you’re curious to know how to do so, the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) has a Conference and Exhibition happening from 27th to 28th of November in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

The theme for this year is “HR Excellence: Change Is Fundamental To Survival – Challenge Everything” and it’s designed to keep human resources professionals, trainers and business players up-to-speed by incorporating the latest technology and innovation used to support training and create exciting environment as well as the place for businesses to keep abreast of talent development.

The HRDF Conference & Exhibition 2018 is a perfect avenue to gain practical and meaningful insights on current human resources best practices.

You’ll get to discover fresh insights and the latest tools in training delivery, reinforce a strong foundation in critical thinking skills and learning technology tools as renowned global HR professionals and learning and development (L&D) experts such as Ken Phillips who is the chief architect of the Predictive Learning Analytics methodology and Koko Nakahara, a performance management expert from Japan who will be sharing their views at the conference.

You can take part in the lively panel sessions, visit over 93 booths to find out more on the latest learning and development solutions in the market, or mingle with HR industry peers as we embrace change at the cusp of IR 4.0.

To register for the event, you can click here or for more information about HRDF Conference & Exhibition, you can click here.There’s also a group discount if you register for 3 participants and more, where you can enjoy the group pass rate of RM1,440 per pax instead of the individual pass priced at RM1,600.This is a HRDF-claimable event.

This article was written in collaboration with HRDF.

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