L&D insights from Changi Airport Group

by John Hilton09 May 2016
Changi Airport Group have been crowned the most attractive employer in Singapore at the 2016 Randstad Awards. L&D Professional interviews Shirley Cheong, Assistant Vice President, People Team, Changi Airport Group, for her insights.
LDP: What do you see as some of the most important parts of your training program?
SC: We see our programs not as discrete events, but opportunities to create meaningful, practical and timely learning experiences.
Therefore, we place emphasis on ensuring that the curriculum design is tailored to meet specific objectives and needs of targeted groups of employees, and that the learning environment provides a good balance of challenge and support to employees to step beyond their comfort zones.
To achieve this, we employ different combinations of learning activities including simulations, role plays, peer learning groups, and case studies.
LDP: You mentioned you use role plays in your learning activities, how do you go about doing that?
SC: Role plays have been effective in bringing learning to life, particularly in skills-based segments or programs. For example, role plays are incorporated in the practice of coaching, performance review and career conversations.
LDP: What are some of the greatest challenges you are facing in L&D?
SC: The pace of change has increased tremendously and so have the demands on every individual's time.
This translates into shortened time spans to build learning interventions in order to remain current and be agile enough to respond to unanticipated new needs.
It also means new ways of bringing about learning and development are needed to meet immediate demands while building capabilities for the future.
It requires building learning as a way of life throughout the organisation, which needs to be supported by technology and changing the view of learning as being distinct from work.
LDP: What are some key L&D lessons you have learned?
SC: Learning and development are experiences and we therefore cannot mandate people to learn.
However, we do need to be deliberate in creating and curating the opportunities and platforms to enable people to learn in ways that best engage them at the right time, while pursuing the larger organisation objectives.