dtac (Telenor’s digital and telecommunication business in Thailand) has issued a “40-hour Challenge” to all of its employees, to encourage them to grow their digital skills and complete 40 hours of online digital training within 2018. This represents three to four times more than dtac’s current averages, and up to 10 times more than what is required by law. The program draws on dtac’s world-class online classes, provided in partnership with Lynda.com, Coursera and Telenor.
“The scale of this program is beyond anything we’ve done in the past,” says Nardrerdee Arj-Harnwongse, Chief People Officer at dtac. “By the end of the year, the program is aiming for over 100,000 hours of training across the organization.”
Crucially, it is also at the core of dtac’s belief that everyone can become a digital talent with the right mindset. More than half of companies globally report a growing gap in their employees’ digital skills, and that gap is even wider when it comes to soft digital skills. That means not only coding and analytics are in high demand, but also skills like customer-centricity, organizational dexterity and creativity.
“The dtac DNA is to act fast, think different, be daring and have passion to win. Now that this DNA is really embedded in the company culture, our employees are asking, ‘How can I help? Where can I pick up new skills?’ This is what the ‘40-Hour Challenge,’ is about,” says Nardredree. “We are giving employees the tools they need to make change happen.”
The 40-Hour Challenge will grow both hard digital skills and soft digital skills. There are scores of classes on offer, on topics ranging from agile work models to analytics and digital customer experience. The classes are offered in an always-on, mobile-ready format so that it’s possible to study anywhere, anytime. dtac’s training also uses gamification, where completed classes can unlock badges, advanced courses and dtac coins. The objective is to encourage employees to curate learning on topics they love, and help them map their progress based on their personal needs as well as their teams.
“You can’t tell employees they need to be digital and then not meet their needs online,”says Nardreree. “Our training allows for a bottom-up approach where employees and their managers can curate what knowledge meets their team’s exact needs. And it’s not just about the content. Our training is designed from the ground up to be a rewarding digital experience.”
Training will also be reinforced by hiring new digital talents and regular movement of employees across its divisions. dtac has a very high 38% year-on-year internal employee mobility and is currently hiring in the fields of data science, social media marketing and e-commerce.
“Today, we’re using some of the most advanced machine learning and AI in Thailand. We’re working on truly big data on a massive scale. dtac’s digital transformation has made us extremely desirable for digital talent. And we know that digital talent attracts talent,” says Nardredree.
In 2017, dtac more than doubled its share of customers paying their bills via the dtac app, outperforming the industry average by 50%. The pre-paid retailer app, dtac ONE, has been downloaded 60,000 times and can cut routine operations like top-ups from 45 seconds to 5 seconds. Chatbots can instantly respond to 30 percent of customer queries via SMS, and will soon be extended to Facebook. Many of these features were developed by agile teams that are project-driven, cross-functional and work in rapid two-week sprints.
“2018 will be a critical year for dtac. We are already ahead of the industry thanks to more than 10 agile teams throughout the organization, but this is the year when we must take that digitalization to everyone. Training will allow those who are willing to embrace change to stay ahead of this transformation,” says Nardredree.