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People & Culture

Why We Need To Take Advantage Of Digital Learning Now

The massive disruption brought on by COVID-19 has accelerated the rate of digital adoption for businesses around the world. Fortunately, by the time the Enhanced Community Quarantine was announced last March, Aboitiz team members already held a firm grasp of the value of an agile mindset in both theory and practice. This forms part of the groupwide digital transformation launched in 2016 and has allowed the company to act immediately in order to protect the health and safety of A-People. Within days, offices were shuttered and work was moved online.

Our team was mentally ready, which is the hardest part and takes the longest time.

Sabin M. Aboitiz, President & CEO, AEV  

SMA lauded the company’s ability to promptly switch to digital. To his point, achieving any level of success with teams now working remotely has been less about skills, digital platforms, or framework and more about A-People’s openness to explore and experiment. One example of this is in online learning where there has been a dramatic increase in uptake since March.

A-People Taking In More Courses Than Before

Aboitiz Academy, following the cancelation of group gatherings, converted 100% of its training curriculum to virtual sessions. Throughout the ongoing quarantine period, Zoom webinars, online classes, and self-paced e-learning courses have been helping team members rebuild their focus on personal and professional development. Participants especially appreciate the compressed format of digital learning because, in the past, one had to be “gone” for a day or two to attend training. Recorded webinars also mean students can either attend live, have it in the background, or review the material at a later time—all of which provide motivation for self-directed learning.

Over the past seven months under quarantine, there has been a 7,716% increase in the number of attendees to courses modified for online learning compared to when they were conducted face-to-face. There is great interest in LinkedIn Learning where Aboitiz Academy core courses have been made available along with the platform’s own sizable library of video courses.

Self-Motivation At Its Roots

It is a worldwide trend associated with what McKinsey & Company refers to as “intentional learning”, the practice of treating every experience as an opportunity to learn something. The management consulting firm touts this as the single most fundamental skill everyone needs to nurture to be future-ready. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum reports the growing demand for opportunities to learn online, four times more than pre-pandemic numbers.

From March to October 2020
Aboitiz Academy Equivalent Core Programs as well as other popular courses taken by team members

In 2021, Aboitiz Academy will begin offering data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning as its latest set of digital core courses. These will be required learning for everyone with the aim of creating awareness of data-driven possibilities, motivating people to ask questions and explore relevant information. In addition, the team will be curating more learning pathways that cater to evolving needs of team members, including more courses to better understand and recognize mental health and wellbeing.

COVID made us revisit our talent management framework and strategy. While the strategic goals to attract, retain, optimize, and deliver seamless talent experience through technology remains relevant, we refocused talent strategy to build organization resiliency and capability. Digital Learning & Development is key to building this organization that will support the achievement of our Group's long-term strategies.

Susan Valdez, Chief HR Officer, AEV

The Aboitiz commitment to advancing business and communities is the driving force in building adaptability and resilience amid risks and uncertainties. Whether or not the general situation returns to the way it was, the Aboitiz Group will continue strengthening adaptability in A-People, with a focus on re-skilling and upskilling team members in the emerging requirements of the coming years.

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