The challenges of L&D in an evolving industry

by John Hilton06 Jul 2016
L&D Professional interviews a spokesperson at Singapore Airlines about embracing new technology, inspiring employees to learn and operating in an ever-changing landscape.

LDP: Are there any trends which are influencing your L&D?

SIA: Over the past few years there has been a rapid growth in technological advances, which has in turn provided new opportunities for online or mobile learning.  

As a global company, mobile learning will definitely help us reach out to our 12,000 + crew members, as well as employees who are based overseas.

With the changing employee demographics in the organisation, we are also mindful of better engaging the millennials in our workforce, to ensure we move from knowledge to skill to application.

Virtual reality, gamification, social learning and mobile applications are exciting areas to be explored and further developed to enhance and enrich the learning experience.

It is important to remember that despite all of these advancements, learning is also about collaborating and sharing. Regardless of how much new technology is developed in the learning and development space there are some aspects of training (like face-time) which cannot be replaced by technology.

LDP: What are the greatest challenges you are facing in L&D?

SIA: The aviation industry is constantly evolving as new technologies shape an ever-changing landscape. We operate in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment and are faced with intense competition from the other carriers (both premium and no-frills).

It is a challenge to constantly keep our training programs fresh and relevant, to meet the different learning needs of our 12,000 strong staff base.

Our aim is to cultivate a learning culture amongst our staff, so that our employees are motivated to continuously upgrade their skills, where everyone will take ownership of their own learning.

LDP: What are some key L&D lessons you have learned?

SIA: From an organisation viewpoint, we need to be able to influence our employees towards learning which will help to elevate their performance in the workplace. This is not an easy task, as it rests not only on the organisation, but also on the supervisors of the learners, and most importantly on each individual.

Another key lesson is that with the advance of technology, learning can happen anytime, anywhere.

To read part one of the interview, click here.

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