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In many sectors, it seems that Malta has long had a culture of poaching of staff. Recent reports on the media by leaders in the hospitality sector, air their complaints of the scarcity of labour now that many foreign workers have left Malta following the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and economic downturn. These same leaders also complained of wide-spread poaching with competing local firms offering significant salary increases to entice targeted employees to leave their current employers. This is particularly hard for those employers who retained these members of staff, despite the severe impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on their business, planning and preparing for the post-COVID re-start.

Without going into the merits of this situation it merely highlights the realities that most industries will face in the post-COVID re-start. There is going to be sever competition for scarce resources, primarily human resources, but this will no doubt also be felt in other areas of the supply chain. This general situation is going to force all organisations, large and small, to very carefully re-assess the utilisation and engagement of their people. Are they respecting their staff fully? Are they providing them with the tools and opportunities for self-development? Staff loyalty is earned, it is not bought. Typically it is earned, when employees see that their interests and welfare are recognised and given priority within the organisation. They are earned when the directors, and management make sacrifices and forgo some of their benefits and entitlements to add value to employees. One of the key drivers of loyalty is training and development. Employees want to remain in an organisation where there is opportunity to learn and  achieve new competencies. They expect such achievements to be appreciated and also rewarded, not necessarily financially, although at the end of the day, there needs to be some financial gain to the employee.

That is the non-technical context that is critical to the technical context of introducing in-house elearning infrastructures. Today’s technology is often a matter of subscription and plug-and-play components. Yet, without the top-down commitment to on-going training and development, training cannot deliver the benefits. Technology provides for transparency and accountability, it allows organisations to introduce online systems that recognise the individual efforts of each and every employee, be they senior managers or junior staff, to invest their time and commitment to learning. We are firmly in the knowledge economy and we need to influence and encourage corporate cultures to be adaptive and supportive of life-long learning concepts.

One of the more popular approaches to supporting company-wide training and development activities is that of developing micro-learning support programmes. The concept of micro-learning is that bundles of knowledge are packaged in bite size elements that can be “consumed” in say, five minute chunk and are available to staff ubiquitously.  In other words staff can access the micro-learning content at the office, at home on the beach or wherever there is adequate internet connectivity. Such elearning platforms need to handle such diversity of access devices and need to cope with peak loads, say during lunchbreak, as opposed to a broader distribution of users over longer time spans during the day, or evening.

Senior management need to be directly involved in the planning of such in-house micro-learning programmes and the implementation of the required elearning infrastructure.  They need to set the ethe example and become on-line tutors. For example, to start off with each senior manager must prepare just FIVE video clips each explaining in less than five minutes a particular issue of concept that is of importance to their subordinates to them to excel. The focus here is that these ten clips are not about what the mangers want, but about what is most useful to their subordinates to excel. Once these are completed and are up-and-running, these need to become the templates for the subordinates to develop their own FIVE tips to their subordinates to help them excel. To carry out such a basic process the elearning system needs to be flexible in allowing different groups of users different rights, in this case some executives need to have tutor-rights to develop and upload content. Those same executives need to have participant rights to follow the content posted by other executives or members of staff. The elearning platform needs to support this in-house generated content with the ability to plug in links to other elibraries or third-party service provider content.

eBS is one of the local pioneers in the development and operation of elearning platforms on the basis of Internet software-as-a-servce. It launched eB-Learn in 2003 and since then this platform has been developed and enhanced with different operational configurations and set-ups available. Apart from catering to educational institutions and their needs for massive amounts of information being stored and made available to large number of students, eB-Learn also provides and in-house training configuration that is based on a shared-platform use and focuses on smaller and less voluminous learning objects. eB-Learn can be configured for micro-learning and can allow for different user groups to have different roles, thereby facilitating development and deployment of in-house training content. eB-Learn is particularly suitable for local organisations that may have to support international support teams, where online train-the-trainer content and processes are crucial.

For more information on how eBusiness Systems and its SaaS elearning solutions can be used by your organisation, contact us on infor@ebizmalta.com