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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Here's how proactive bosses are preparing their employees for the future of work

The development of tomorrow’s workforce involves embracing both the critical human component as well as the necessary digital tools to help see them through the fourth industrial revolution.

What do great business leaders have in common? Countless studies reveal that the most effective leaders all have a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ). Through empathic leadership, managers and supervisors can improve team engagement and ultimately enhance a company’s bottomline.

“Employees look to their leaders to lead by example and set the standard. This means leaders need to be present, self-aware and able to navigate their emotions in challenging situations,” says Amanda Moody, Director of Professional Development Centre (PDC) at the British Council Singapore.

Improving performance through empathy
In operation for three decades, the Professional Development Centre provides over 60 courses in a variety of suites, such as leadership, written communication, interpersonal communication, creativity, diversity, and personal productivity. Among the Centre’s most innovative offerings is the Leading with EQ workshop, a compelling programme which helps leaders govern with greater emotional intelligence.

Promoting emotional intelligence has far-reaching effects in an organisation. For instance, employee engagement increased from 33% to 70% while plant performance also increased by 9.4% after Japanese multinational corporation Komatsu Seisakusho implemented a six-month leadership development process in 2012.

“Leaders need to show empathy for the struggles of their employees and have a noble goal and purpose in the way they lead others. Decisions need to be made thinking consequentially about
the impact and effect on others whilst remaining optimistic and motivated during intense periods of rapid organisational and business change,” Amanda says.

The two-day Learning with EQ workshop enables participants to facilitate deeper learning conversations with their team and lead with awareness and choice. Each participant will receive a personal SEI Emotional Intelligence Assessment by Six Seconds®, the global emotional intelligence network. The workshop features accredited trainers who will assess each participant’s current ‘success factors’ and determine how these can be used to optimise both work and life outcomes.

The PDC’s soft skills workshops are short, intensive courses for people seeking to improve their personal performance and communication skills. It trains over 8,000 people a year from virtually all business sectors, including banking, biotech, ministry, and manufacturing.

Promoting resilience and flexibility
“HR Managers want solutions around digital training, blended learning options, challenges for their staff at work: conflict resolution, managing challenging conversations (appraisals, conflict, demanding customers and challenging colleagues), training to help people develop for their careers, leadership and ways to influence and inspire people and encourage engagement. EQ is an interesting area to help people navigate stress and pressure at the workplace without ‘losing it’,” Amanda says.

The British Council Singapore also emphasises flexibility and resilience. Leaders need to be able to in different ways with different people and view situations from multiple perspectives. “Workshops offer great learning and are an excellent way to network and meet others whilst learning new skills and knowledge for the workplace,” Amanda notes.

Rapid business transformation
Businesses undergo at least five major changes every three years, according to the HR Change Readiness Survey 2015 by the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). Of these large-scale business reforms, a staggering 60% of projects prove to be entirely uncharted territory to a team who’s most likely insufficiently equipped to handle the changes and meet rapidly evolving project requirements. As a result of the uncertainty and complexity of the project, only a third of these projects are perceived as a resounding success by the businesses that took them on.

The challenge of embarking on new projects requires organisations to constantly equip their employees with the necessary professional, technical and interpersonal expertise to carry out business goals. Such strategic skills are essential for agile working both on an individual and team basis, especially since around 54% of the global workforce, is expected to require significant re- and upskilling by 2022, according to projections from the World Economic Forum.

Trusted global partner
With the industry heading towards accelerated digital adoption, most companies are embracing technologies to plug the skills gap. “Businesses today need to help their employees develop professional skills on an ongoing basis. It is estimated that in the future, employees will change jobs every two years, on average. That will mean developing not only new technical but also
interpersonal skills which are essential for agile working both individually and in a team, in a context of rapid, ongoing change,” says Belinda Ng, Director at CegosAPAC.

CegosAPAC is the regional headquarters of Cegos Group, an award-winning global organisation founded in France in 1926 and with footholds in over 40 countries. As a global leader in management, personal effectiveness, sales, project management, marketing and innovation and finance, Cegos has a track record for nearly a century in advising and supporting companies with their plans to grow their business by advancing the personal and professional development of individuals worldwide.

“We are global and a market leader and these speak about how we have best practices in place to be a preferred learning and development partner to our clients. For us to remain innovative and transformative since 1926 is a feat we are proud to share with our clients,” Belinda notes.

“At Cegos, we address transformation, professionalisation and innovation: three critical challenges facing businesses today,” adds Belinda. By doing away with a one-size-fits-all approach and leveraging on the capabilities of modern-day digital tools, LearningHub@Cegos is able to better engage and meet the needs of the individual through the personalisation and simplification of the learning experience with the end-goal of empowering the user to take charge of his learning journey.

Personalised learning
“LearningHub@Cegos engages the learners from their enrolment to the observation of actual gains in their day to day performance while making training management easier and cost effective,” Belinda explains.

“LearningHub@Cegos is pivotal as it allows us to meet the expectations of our clients for efficient and highly engaging Learning Experience through our 4REAL approach. This presents the opportunity for learners to transfer their learning into their workplace for performance support,” she adds.

In recognition of LearningHub@Cegos’ unique value proposition and industry merit, Cegos was easily able to grow LearningHub@Cegos’ global userbase to over 100,000. The platform also received a seal of approval when it was honoured globally with the prestigious Brandon Hall Silver award as the best software for a training company in 2018.

“The Brandon Hall Award tells our story that we make a conscious effort to remain innovative to adapt to the evolving technological trends. We decided that we need to have our own digital learning platform, so we can present our Cegos Learning Experience to our clients. And that’s how we partnered with Webanywhere to build LearningHub@Cegos launched in 2018,” Belinda says.

“The Brandon Hall jury panel enhanced the fact that we created a unique platform to deliver all types of solutions (open courses/in company – national / international), supported by qualitative and productive training administration. That’s why we have a high adoption rate with our clients since the launch in early 2018,” she adds.

Trailblazing performance support
Through its award-winning online skills development platform LearningHub@Cegos, individuals can conveniently receive professional skills training anytime, anywhere – a critical advantage to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced business environment.

LearningHub@Cegos is a one-of-a-kind learning platform that provides users with a seamless and simple multimodal learning experience across a wide range of devices including PC, mobile and tablet. Designed with the learner in mind, LearningHub leverages on technological tools to provide curated on-the-job learning activities, e-coaching sessions and creates a dual pathway for the learner and the manager.

“Through LearningHub@Cegos, we help companies reinvent their learning experiences. In order to respond to these challenges at a time when learning methods are changing and there is a plethora of training options on offer, businesses need to adopt an agile approach to innovation and make the right choices when it comes to learning,” says Belinda. 

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