Nokia offers a whole host of platforms for employees to learn - from LinkedIn Learning to access to ebooks, audiobooks, and even a platform for employees to speak up about their passions and share their knowledge.

Priya Sunil speaks to Stavia Dexterina (Dexter), Country HR Lead Indonesia, Nokia to find out why this approach works well.

Q How has your learning strategy today evolved from what you’d planned out last year?

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Nokia had already built a great digital learning platform, accessible to all employees. We have since become more aggressive about promoting the platform, because we understand that employees have bigger needs in developing themselves during and after the pandemic.

In fact, based on the Nokia HRBI report, the trend during 2020 pointed to a significant increase in learning compared to the previous year. So we offered more platforms to employee, as well as continued engagement with LinkedIn Learning as one of the learning platforms in Nokia. We also engaged with SkillPort to have access to ebooks and audiobooks to help employee development.

For employees who are interested to share their knowledge, we have a platform where they can update their sessions and get recognised for their passion. To motivate employees, every book, learning course or knowledge sharing that they’ve done is reflected into learning points so they can measure their own development, and compete with others across departments.

We want to build knowledge management that is accessible for anyone, anytime, anywhere. However, we understand that not all material can be delivered online. There are some modules that need face-to-face delivery, yet we moved all of those courses into virtual/online modes.

With a combination of a great facilitator and practical knowledge, we succeeded!

Through this, we can actually gain more attendees and have higher engagement. We can also invite the leadership team to be more visible at such events, which was difficult to do previously (given the travel costs and tight schedules involved).

As such, employees feel a greater sense of belonging, because of the leadership team being closer to them, with whom they can share their opinions directly. These are interesting facts that we may never have thought of otherwise, and surprisingly, this model works!

What are the hottest, function-agnostic skills in your industry today – skills that will never fail you?

A growth mindset is the best mantra. With a growth mindset, employee will understand that they have huge accountability to grow their own career. They are willing to go the extra mile, because they understand their goals. It’s also easier for the company to focus on development for someone who really knows what they want, compared to others who may take a wait-and-see approach.

With this skill in place, we can have a stronger talent bench to plan succession for the future.

Another skill that is very important is integrity. With integrity, you can lead yourself to win the right way. The 'what' and 'how' is fundamental to measure the success of your goals. Integrity plays an important role on the 'how' part.

How are you building these skills in your workforce? Essentially, how do you help employees accelerate their learning (especially when it comes to soft skills)?

A growth mindset is something we always embed in everything we do, every day. We have proper courses accessible to all employees, and we always embrace this in every interaction.

As reflected in our development review, managers have open communication to discuss employee performance and their aspirations, and write out their performance development plan, which is reviewed regularly (every 90 days). Even in difficult conversations, we keep emotions aside and we try to structure the communication from the perspective of having a growth mindset, in order to motivate the employee, and benefit the company.

In Nokia, integrity is fundamental for all employees, whereby we have an annual refreshment training on this topic for everyone.

We also have the infrastructure for employees to report any violation anytime, even anonymously. This platform is accessible in Android/Apple apps, and not limited only to internal stakeholders - even external parties can report on potential cases related to employees.

As a result of our work with integrity, Nokia has been awarded as among “The World’s Most Ethical Companies” for four consecutive years.

Personally speaking, how are you as a leader upskilling yourself for your role, as well as your HR team?

I have always had a mentor to help me learn how to speed up my career, and guide me to greater heights. I am also always ready to become a mentor for others who have needs.

I personally believe that having a proper mentor enriches us through their knowledge, experience, and views on seeing things differently. Harvard research says people with mentors perform better, advance in their careers faster and even experience more work-life satisfaction.

Another things that is important to me is to always set goals for my own development. I put in place details around timeline, how to achieve these goals, and who are the stakeholders that can help me to reach my dream. I consciously make an effort (thanks to calendar reminders on a monthly basis) to revisit my goals and revise accordingly.

I personally believe, if you make an effort on your development, everything is possible. The limit of your career is only yourself. Do not complain, and keep moving forward.

Lastly, if there was a magic wand and you could do anything within your power to build a future-fit workforce, what action would you take?

It would be super cool if we could have an integrated AI (that consolidates personal information, social media, etc) to assess an employee when they apply to a position. It can predict how long he/she would stay in the company, culture fit with his/her personality, and contribution to the company based on his/her working track record.

I know some companies have built their path towards this, but I haven’t seen anything launched so far. This would bring HR to a different level, make us more strategic because we know what would be the best approach for each employee, and we can then customise our approach for them.

I think it would be interesting and bring a new set of HR approaches for the future workforce.


If you've been working hard on your L&D & upskilling strategy, we would love to share your story on HRO, similar to the interview you've just read! Simply write in to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line: Upskilling 101, and let us know a little bit about the great initiative you have in place.

We look forward to telling your story.

Photo / Provided

Human Resources Online is on Telegram! Follow us @humanresourcesonline or click here for all the latest weekly HR and manpower news from around the region.