Siemens’ SkillUP! Learning Challenge aims to fuel the future with ‘NextSkills’

We catch up the People & Organisation Team for Siemens in ASEAN, on how the technology major is creating a meaningful ecosystem for everyone to learn and grow.

The team from Siemens made a clean sweep at this year’s HR Excellence Awards across the region, bagging a slew of awards in critical categories. This includes:

At HR Excellence Awards, Singapore:

  • Bronze – Excellence in Women Empowerment Strategy
  • Silver – Excellence in HR Change Management
  • Bronze – Total Rewards Strategy

At HR Excellence Awards, Indonesia:

  • Bronze – Excellence in HR Change Management
  • Bronze – Excellence in Workplace Culture 

At HR Excellence Awards, Philippines:

  • Gold – Excellence in HR Change Management
  • Bronze – Excellence in Workplace Culture

At HR Excellence Awards, Thailand:

  • Bronze – Excellence in Total Rewards Strategy
  • Bronze – Excellence in HR Change Management

In view of this achievement, we catch up the People & Organisation Team for Siemens in ASEAN, guided by Duong Mai Chinh, Head of Global Learning & Growth in ASEAN, on how employees are being encouraged to build a habit of learning every day, and accelerate upskilling & reskilling.

Q Congratulations on the achievement! Could you take us through the highs-and-lows of your people strategy?

Building Siemens in ASEAN as an adaptive learning organisation & talent ecosystem is our strategic vision where employability has been set as a clear priority for us to enable our people to stay resilient and relevant in a permanently changing world and thrive into the future.

It is our business imperative to create a unique opportunity and enable everyone to challenge themselves to adopt a growth mindset and build new learning habits; to accelerate their skills development; to stay motivated and inspire others with learning; and create a meaningful ecosystem to learn and grow in Siemens ASEAN.

‘SkillUP! Challenge and Competition’ is an initiative to empower our employees to build a habit of learning every day, to accelerate upskilling and reskilling, to jointly create a meaningful ecosystem for everyone to learn and grow.

Q How did the HR team identify and align the business & employee needs, and craft out this perfect solution? 

The need to upskill and reskill our own people has never been more urgent. We have been on a journey of transforming our workforce to drive productivity, innovation, and growth. Bridging the digital skills gap, anticipating the right skills for the future, motivating, and engaging our local business communities and individuals to accelerate their upskilling journey to create the workforce of tomorrow are complex issues that we are facing. And it requires everyone to work together to foster the culture of learning and make our workplace a more resilient, more capable, and more inclusive place. 

We drive the journey of learning together into the future. We challenge our people to team up to learn. We award more attractive team prizes than the individual.

As we believe this creates many unique opportunities for people to connect and experience the benefits of social learning such as making learning fun together, peer learning, sharing new learning, and inspiring team members to network, build relationships, and collaborate. 

We work to foster a lifelong learning culture and inclusively enable every employee to adopt a growth mindset and a habit of everyday learning in achieving our ambition of eight digital learning hours per person in 2021, 16 hours in 2022, and continue to double it by 2025 at Siemens ASEAN.

‘SkillUP! 30 Days challenge’ was launched in Sep 2021. It is an initiative to empower our employees to set time for learning every day, to accelerate upskilling and inspire others to learn and grow. 

The challenge has been designed and built with gamification to motivate employees to 

  • Set 30 minutes aside for learning new skills every day, 
  • Initiate and challenge self-commitment & consistency to develop a habit of learning, 
  • Discover the self and explore strengths and skills to learn, 
  • Exhibit a winning spirit and cultivate growth mindset, 
  • Engage in social learning and inspire others to learn and grow, 
  • Embrace self-directed learning, make it more fun, rewarding, and sustainable. 

This initiative supports our HR strategy in building Siemens into an adaptive learning organisation to thrive into the unknown future. It quickly gained the full support from our executive management, their sponsorship, and endorsement to roll it out to ASEAN region (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines) covering more than 4,000 employees, six regional head offices, 11 branch/sales/rep offices, and two manufacturing sites. 

siemens learning challenge skillup

Q Could you share the results that your strategy has delivered – be it on the business, HR, or people side? 

We are thrilled that the challenge has made a true positive impact on our colleagues. As they have enjoyed the benefits of lifelong learning, learned to set clear personal goals by having the self-discipline and perseverance to achieve it. They have inspired us with their sharing on new learning around communication, leadership, time management, mental-wellbeing, digital skills, strengths discovery, growth mindset, and more. 

Our initiative has been the highlight of the year for successful culture changes, building a learning habit, and creating a positive workplace experience where our people feel valued and appreciate our commitment/support to their learning and growth. 

People appreciated the initiative, as well as our commitment/support to their learning and growth. They spoke highly on how they were motivated to change and adopt new habits of learning, discover their strengths, and to learn new skills, to inspire each other and have fun learning together. 

As a result, they continued their commitment to the learning journey after the competition. This has positively impacted the organisation’s learning and adaptability. Also, they adopted the idea of gamification and scaled up the challenge to speed up the technical/products learning for their own BU people in APAC and Germany.

Q What is your message to all the stakeholders who have supported you in this journey? 

The ‘ASEAN Learning Competition and Challenge’ would not have been possible without the strong support from our senior leaders, managers who led by example, and of course, all the participants who have joined us in this journey. 

Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR? 

People analytics/AI technology and consumer experience intelligence is going to be at the forefront to boost business and customer impact. The future of HR depends on employee and user experience. The employee experience platform and business outcomes are correlated. We recognise the need to focus on people analytics that enable us to apply data to identify gaps in skill sets, assess the demand and supply of talent, and increase HR’s value and efficiency. Hence, HR will become a more important business function, directly affecting key business decisions.

Images / Siemens ASEAN 

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices – head over to our Winning Secrets’ section!

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