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Training: The Importance of a two-way process

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For training and development professionals, one of the biggest challenges is to help employees across the organisation learn about the service standards of the company.

This was a keys subject for Hang Lung Properties which hired more than 2000 customer service employees in eight cities in Mainland China and Hong Kong in 2016.

To tackle this challenge, the human resources team at Hang Lung needed to be on top of their game when engaging employees in training. With so many properties under the Hang Lung brand, it’s not easy for employees, especially the newcomers, to memorise all the information of all the properties.

The training and development team developed the “HANG LUNG CHALLENGE”, a one-day event to strengthen colleagues’ mutual understanding, and problem-solving skills.

To achieve the above purposes, a monopoly-like board game has been developed to help them learn about the company’s properties portfolio that they are responsible for under the brand.

The team also prepares flash cards to help customer service staff remember the key learning from training.

Much research has pointed out the impact of one-way learning can be limited, as mentioned by Confucius: “I see and I forget. I hear and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Janet Poon, general manager of human resources at Hang Lung, believes learning should be a two-way process. So besides providing high quality training materials, the company also focuses on maximising the learning outcomes of staff.

After putting employees through classroom training on service standards, they are engaged in a short video production exercise. Employees are then engaged in role-playing exercises to try to represent the service standards they have learned in class.

“The role-playing exercises are recorded on camera. Watching videos of themselves on how to execute the service standards reinforces what employees have learned in class,” Poon said.

Hang Lung is committed to grooming its high potential talent. It has made a huge investment to collaborate with world-famous education institutions to provide tailor-made programmes for its executives.

The company has a long-standing relationship with Tsinghua University. In 2010, The Hang Lung Centre for Real Estate at Tsinghua University was established to foster the development of high potential talent in collaboration with one of the top institutions in the world.

Last year, 40 colleagues, who were assistant managers or above, participated in a programme co-organised by Hang Lung and Tsinghua University. The group was engaged in in-depth discussions with seasoned professors who specialise in different areas of management.

“When setting up a customised programme, the biggest challenge is to source professors whose specialties match with our business context,” Poon said.

“It takes up to nine months to prepare a custom-made programme. We want our colleagues to learn from the best and to pick up the best industry practices through learning from case studies.”

Going forward, the company will continue to offer executive education programmes to potential colleagues to widen their perspectives.

ALSO READ: Learn in more ways than one

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