Fei Siong Group partners with Singapore’s ArcLab, to make training accessible to Chinese and dialect-speaking senior workforce

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Fei Siong Group, one of Singapore’s largest casual dining and quick-service restaurant companies with 15 brands and over 150 outlets operating in Singapore and Malaysia, has announced a partnership with ArcLab, a mobile learning SaaS platform focused on upskilling the deskless workforce.

Founded in 1995 by Mr Tan Kim Siong, Chairman of the Fei Siong Group, the Group made its first foray into the food and beverages (F&B) scene with its pioneer stall selling fishball noodles in a hawker centre outside the former National Library at Stamford Road.

Our goal is to embed training within the DNA of the organisation. With over 1,600 employees, of whom many are aged 40 to 60 years old and speak predominantly Mandarin and/or various dialects, we needed a cost-effective solution that could overcome language barriers, ensure consistency in training, and provide the ability to track each employee’s learning progress.

Mervin Lee, VP of Corporate Development Group, Fei Siong Group

Through this partnership, Fei Siong Group is able to tap into ArcLab’s digital solution of creating and delivering nano-learning — targeted and tailored bite-sized modules — to employees on-demand.

Given the hands-on and dynamic nature of F&B businesses, this enables employees to learn the workflow and access digital training material, such as training manuals and standard operating procedures, as and when they need to refer to it.

The human-centred iterative learning design also ensures that each training module is intuitive and comprehensive. Training modules are sent to each employee in their native language or dialect and is done so at staged intervals to prevent information overload.

Furthermore, Fei Siong is able to access ArcLab’s learning analytics dashboard to help them glean important data and analytics on their workforce while tracking each employee’s progress.

Founded in 2018, ArcLab is a mobile learning SaaS Platform that aims to upskill the World’s Deskless Workforce through the World’s Simplest Learning System.

Organisations use ArcLab’s Learning & Development (L&D) platform to easily create, deliver Nano Learning – targeted bite-sized training modules – to employees on-demand, through mobile.

ArcLab provides assessment modules, NanoCredentials (digital certificate badges) and learner analytics to track training uptake and map skills gaps.

The needs of the deskless workforce have long been neglected by traditional modes of corporate training even though they account for 80 per cent of the world’s workforce. In particular, the F&B industry is faced with whopping employee turnover rates, which leads to steep costs in training and onboarding. With the adaptive nature of technology, L&D in our industry is signalled for a meaningful change. At ArcLab, we believe that technology should enable and empower as we collectively move forward as a Smart Nation.

James Chia, co-founder and CEO of ArcLab

In a recent Budget speech, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat recently said, “With an ageing workforce, we must leverage technology to develop senior-friendly workplaces.”

Using new technologies to improve their L&D function has always been part of the homegrown brand’s effort in embarking on a digital transformation road map.

However, there is a strong need to ensure that these technologies are made accessible and inclusive for these mature employees.

There was initial resistance from our staff as they were already comfortable with old processes and were afraid of change. There was also the challenge of helping our older employees to adjust to new technology.

We particularly appreciate ArcLab’s use of mobile nano-learning as it simplifies the learning process and allows the majority of our outlet staff, who fall within the 40 to 60-year-old bracket, to complete their training modules without being inundated by the change.

Our employees soon realised that the online modules, which are delivered in their native language or dialect, are easy to understand as well as encouraging. Furthermore, they are able to access the modules on their mobile at work without needing to install anything.

We received feedback from our employees that the platform is easy to use, the videos and fun to watch and they are encouraged when they score full marks.

Elaine Siow, Head of Learning and Development of Fei Siong Group

Previously, Fei Siong Group had sent trainers to conduct employee training face-to-face. The Group was then faced with the laborious task of coordinating over 1,600 employees’ work schedules to roll-out training in batches.

Trainers had to be dispatched to an on-site location multiple times and Fei Siong Group had to ensure that there was a steady roster of trainers who would be able to conduct the training in the employees’ language or dialect fluency.

As these employees had to train off-site, a significant number of man-hours spent compromised the workforce’s overall productivity levels.

In the past 6 months before, Fei Siong Group employees had accumulated more than 1,000 training hours. The digital deployment of training thus resolved such inefficiencies.

The power of technology should help to simplify training while making sure that the learning materials are accessible and inclusive to the needs of different communities — regardless of age or language.

ArcLab’s platform empowers our customers like Fei Siong Group to design content-rich, engaging programmes so as not to diminish the human touch.”

James Chia, co-founder and CEO of ArcLab
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