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Education is a SMART focus for Government’s 2019 Policy Address

Continuous learning also a major factor in the success of any city and its enterprises

As a very smart man once said – and I’ll tell you who a little later – “Investment in knowledge pays the best interest!”

The Hong Kong Government demonstrated that wisdom in its latest Annual Policy Address, when it announced it would be investing HK$1 billion in education initiatives. Among other things, the money will go to supporting works at some 600 aided schools, providing scholarships, and helping self-financing institutions offering sub-degree or undergraduate programmes that meet market needs.

That is in line with the Government’s 2017 Smart City Blueprint, which identified nurturing young talent as an essential ingredient.

Indeed, according to a KPMG study on Hong Kong’s future as a smart city, over half (52%) of the business executives polled, and 39% of ordinary citizens, view Hong Kong’s education and research system as worse than other developed countries. When asked about the kind of actions needed to improve the situation, 83% of business executives, 51% of citizens cited encouraging creativity in the education system. 

There is plenty to do, and, with more than 20 years of accumulated experience working in Higher Education & Research, SAP is doing its part through the SAP Learning Hub academic edition, the SAP Young Thinkers Community, the SAP Next-Gen program, and the SAP University Alliances programme. That last item includes working with  Hong Kong’s Chinese University, the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

By filling in the missing pieces, such as encouraging creativity and promoting continuous education, our talented young people will be more comprehensively equipped to embrace changes in technology and build a knowledge-based society that is ready to support the development of the information and technology on which smart cities depend.

Learning is an unending journey

But schools and universities aren’t the end of the education story. The enterprise dimension can’t be understated. Especially when the frantic pace of pace of technological transformation is making the ability to unlearn the most recent lessons, and quickly learn new ones the key to overcoming existing challenges and new problems.

Respondents to the KPMG survey ranked encouraging continuous learning high (58% of business executives, 52% of citizens). However, these days busy employees have little time and less energy for training of any kind. 

Increased mobility also makes it difficult – sometimes impossible – to get enough people together to make a class worthwhile. Even then, low engagement levels can reduce the chances of them retaining information. Many companies never really know how successful any skills or development plan has been, because measuring it is so difficult.

Resolving the enterprise education dilemma

For many organizations, the answer is to implement a Learning Management System. In fact, the global market for LMS solutions is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.3% for the next five or six years, hitting more than US$40 billion in annual sales by 2026. That includes SAP’s own SuccessFactors Learning Marketplace – a simple turnkey solution that allows organizations to provide training environments for their employees, as well as partners, customers, even their extended business network. (Find out more about SAP SuccessFactors at Booth No.1 at the HKIHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition taking place on 26-27 November 2019).

An LMS offers an excellent way to train, evaluate and track results. In addition to being cost-effective, an LMS can potentially reach every employee in the company.

With an LMS solution, anyone can access training content, development content and performance evaluations on the go. These all are available 24×7, thereby giving multiple users the flexibility to learn content whenever and wherever they want via the web.

Since each learner accesses the same material in the exact same manner, the LMS ensures consistency in the delivery and evaluation of content. These solutions let the trainers easily deploy customized training modules as per requirements. Updated information according to the guidelines and procedures can also be added without any difficulty.

Through interactive and online learning tools, trainers can facilitate interaction between learners and other trainers. Learners can get answers to their queries in real-time, and even guide and help other learners through a web-portal.

Conquering compliance, tracking results and cutting costs

There are other advantages to moving to an LMS. For instance, many businesses are becoming subject to compliance regulations. LMS solutions eradicate human error and ensure that all the learners have necessary training and qualifications at all times. With built-in tracking within the LMS, organizations can easily recognize the areas of non-conformance and take appropriate action to minimize the risk of non-compliance. 

LMS solutions also allow businesses to track and view the progress of their employees. They can even review the previous records and register for additional courses. This not only helps to enhance the performance of employee learners, but also motivates them to learn more. Businesses can measure the actual time taken to complete each course and determine success levels.

Last, and in the grand scheme of things it may well be the least, the right LMS system can minimize the training costs in a variety of ways. Particularly for regional or international businesses. Trainers don’t need to travel, so there are no airfares or hotel fees, which can be a significant expense for larger firms.

Ultimately, an LMS does what the majority of traditional enterprise training models don’t – putting the employees at the center of the process. That is critical, because as the author of the quote at the beginning of this blog – Benjamin Franklin – also famously said – “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Learn more about SAP’s SuccessFactors LMS at  Booth No.1 at the HKIHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition taking place on 26-27 November 2019)

 

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