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From Classroom To Boardroom: The Power Of Practical Learning In Business Education


28 May 2024
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In the ever-evolving business landscape, the significance of practical learning in business education cannot be overstated. As the demands of the global marketplace continue to shift, there is a growing recognition that more than theoretical knowledge is needed to equip future business leaders with the skills needed to succeed. Practical learning, with its emphasis on real-world application and hands-on experience, offers a transformative approach that prepares students to navigate the complexities of the business world effectively.

One of the key implications of practical learning in business education is its ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice. While theoretical knowledge provides a foundational understanding of business concepts and principles, practical learning enables students to translate that knowledge into action. By engaging in experiential activities such as case studies and simulations, students develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and decision-making acumen that are essential for success in today's competitive environment.

Moreover, practical learning fosters a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within business education. By encouraging students to explore real-world challenges, identify opportunities, and develop creative solutions, practical learning cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset vital for driving growth and innovation in businesses of all sizes. Whether launching a startup or leading a multinational corporation, the ability to think innovatively and adapt to change is essential for achieving sustainable success.

Furthermore, practical learning promotes collaboration and teamwork, which are indispensable skills in today's interconnected business world. By working on group projects, participating in team-based activities, and engaging in experiential learning opportunities, students learn how to communicate effectively, leverage diverse perspectives, and collaborate with others to achieve common goals. These collaborative skills are not only essential for building cohesive teams within organizations but also for forging partnerships and alliances across industries and sectors.

Case Study

To illustrate the transformative power of practical learning in business education, let us consider the case of Airbnb. Founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb revolutionized the hospitality industry by providing a platform for individuals to rent out their homes to travellers. At its core, Airbnb's success can be attributed to its founders' practical learning experiences.

During the early stages of Airbnb, the founders leveraged their practical learning experiences to navigate the challenges of launching a startup in a highly competitive industry. Drawing upon their backgrounds in design, technology, and entrepreneurship, they applied a pragmatic approach to problem-solving, experimenting with different strategies and iterating on their business model based on real-time feedback from users.

One infamous incident that highlights Airbnb's reliance on practical learning occurred in 2009 when the company faced a critical setback. With the business struggling to gain traction, the founders decided to embrace practical learning by personally reaching out to users, visiting their homes, and documenting their experiences. This hands-on approach not only helped Airbnb gain valuable insights into the needs and preferences of its users but also enabled the founders to refine their platform and enhance the user experience.

Through their commitment to practical learning and relentless pursuit of innovation, Airbnb transformed from a struggling startup into a global phenomenon, disrupting the traditional hospitality industry and redefining the way people travel and experience the world.

In conclusion, practical learning plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of business education by equipping students with the skills, mindset, and experiences needed to thrive in today's dynamic business environment. By embracing practical learning, educators can empower the next generation of business leaders to drive innovation, foster collaboration, and create a positive impact in the world of business and beyond.

 

Article by Fanny Sekar Parentya - Business Development Executive

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One of the determining factors for company stability and success is employee engagement. Behind the company's reputation and success as seen from the outside, it cannot be denied that the active role of the employees is also involved.

So, what is included in employee engagement as an effective HR strategy to support successful company branding?

This concept, which was first popularized by  Gallup Consultants in 2004, is an attempt to understand the relationship between companies and their employees. This thing can be measured both qualitatively and quantitatively.

So what is its role that is called one of the efforts that HR can make to build the success and stability of the company? Read this article to the end to understand the concept, okay?

The Important Role of Employee Engagement

Even though the aim is to contribute to the success and maintain the stability of the company, employee engagement can be seen from two sides, namely the perspective of the company and the employee.

From a company perspective, employee engagement is an effort to assess how loyal employees are at work. This loyalty is not only assessed based on the work completed, but also includes the duration of the work and its quality.

Apart from that, companies also want to know whether employees feel proud of what they do for the company.

Meanwhile, from an employee's perspective, employee engagement is an effort to realize their role in the company. This needs to be known so that the company can continue to support employees so that they remain enthusiastic about working.

Apart from that, it can also foster a sense of having contributed to the company while working at the company.

It can be concluded that employee engagement is not only concerned with the company, but also seen from the employee's perspective. However, basically there is only one goal, namely to help maintain the stability and success of the organization within the company.

Strategy to Increase Employee Engagement

There are several strategies for increasing employee engagement within the company. This strategy certainly needs to be tried for those of you who want to measure how successful this concept is in the company.

The following is the strategy:

Intense Communication

Establishing intense communication can foster a sense of trust between the company and employees, as well as team members and managers. In employee engagement, communication needs to be two-way and intense to understand the company's position and employee opinions.

Some examples of building intense communication are as follows:

  • Hold regular meetings to share important matters within the company and let employees understand the state of the company.
  • Create communication channels that are easily accessible, for example mailing lists, communication groups for short messages or groups on the office communication channels used.
  • Create a digital form for suggestions and criticism when the company holds activities for employees. This is useful for understanding whether employees enjoy or have other input for the program provided.

Rewarding Positive Contributions

Getting to know employees well, appreciating achievements and providing opportunities for self-development is one of the employee engagement efforts. With this, employees feel more positively appreciated and motivated to work harder or be more comfortable in the company.

Opportunities for Self-Transformation

In an era of intense business competition, giving employees the opportunity to transform themselves can be an employee engagement effort provided by the company. By providing opportunities for self-transformation for employees, it can make employees more persistent and improve their skills.

This can certainly help the company in the end. Some examples of self-transformation opportunities for employees are as follows:

  • Providing challenging projects for employees who like challenges at work.
  • Organize training both according to duties and to develop other skills.
  • Make a clear career plan for each employee so that they have a clear picture and make their performance better and more enthusiastic.

Benefits of Employee Engagement

In general, the benefits of employee engagement are improving work results in the company. However, there are several quite significant benefits that can be generated by people engagement as an HR strategy, namely;

Absenteeism Rates Decreased

Employees who feel engaged or feel connected tend to be loyal to their jobs and the company where they work. This is because he may be more motivated and also find the work environment pleasant.

Positive engagement between employees and the company will help improve the percentage of employee attendance.

Increasing Employee Production

What makes a significant difference with employee engagement? Another thing that is quite profitable is increasing the production of employee work.

If this can be applied to the majority of employees, it can certainly speed up the process of realizing the company's vision and mission.

Extending Employee Service Period

Employees will tend to stay in a company if they feel appreciated. This way of appreciating employees is one of the employee engagement efforts.

Employees who feel involved and appreciated will be more enthusiastic about working. As a result, employees will stay in a company for a long time because they believe they can grow together.

Employee engagement is only one of the efforts made by the company through HR. To do this requires skills in leadership and resource management.

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Onboarding, an Important Process in Employee Recruitment
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Onboarding is one of the important processes in the recruitment stage of new employees in a company.

Basically, the task of the human resources (HR) team does not stop until the employee accepts the job. However, all subsequent processes include ensuring employee attendance during the onboarding process which is usually carried out on the first day of work.

As the saying goes, "If you don't know, you won't love", the onboarding process can be said to be an introduction process for new employees. Each company also certainly has a different onboarding process, both in terms of activities and format.

To find out more about the onboarding process in the employee recruitment system carried out by the HR team, read more in this article.

Definition of Onboarding

In the world of HR, the term onboarding is certainly not a foreign term. Onboarding is a process carried out by a company's HR team, with the aim of introducing, guiding and integrating new employees into the company.

Employee onboarding is also not a short process because it consists of various stages depending on each company.

In this onboarding process, employees will do various things such as completing administration and explaining tasks. In this process, an introduction to the company in general and also per team is also carried out.

Onboarding Goals

After knowing the meaning, you also need to know the purpose of holding onboarding in a company with the HR team as the implementer. The following are the objectives of holding onboarding which is one of the processes in the company:

Increase Work Productivity

The first goal of onboarding is to increase work productivity. A comprehensive onboarding process provides employees with the knowledge and skills needed to perform their duties efficiently. By understanding the work processes, systems and tools used, employees can start contributing more quickly and with more confidence.

Good onboarding can also help reduce the time it takes for employees to reach optimal levels of productivity. By providing relevant training and appropriate guidance, employees can accelerate their learning and adjustment process to new roles.

Increase Employee Retention

In the long term, the right onboarding process can increase employee retention.

Onboarding activities help employees more quickly recognize the company's new environment. Good onboarding helps new employees understand the company's vision, mission, values ​​and culture.

The more connected they feel to the company and understand how their role contributes, the more likely they are to stay.

Building Employer Branding

Onboarding activities that are carried out correctly can increase the employer branding of a company as an attractive place to work. Onboarding helps employees to adapt in the future and can build a positive image for the company.

With an interesting onboarding process, employees can also share stories about their work experiences with close relatives. This has a more positive impact on the employer branding of a company and makes many new candidates enter the company.

Improve Security

The next goal of the onboarding process is to increase security, especially for companies operating in the heavy equipment or manufacturing sector.

The onboarding process can discuss the work safety rules required by new employees.

This is because the use of heavy equipment or manufacturing processes usually requires caution or more detail to remain safe at work. The onboarding process in heavy equipment or manufacturing companies can minimize the risk of work accidents.

Example of Employee Onboarding Activities

In undergoing the onboarding process, companies often design a series of activities aimed at integrating new employees into the work environment smoothly and effectively.

The following are some examples of activities that are usually carried out in the onboarding process:

Company Introduction

Usually in the employee onboarding process, on the first day there will be an introduction to the company. At this stage, information about the company will be provided, both in terms of business, organizational structure and various company achievements.

This activity will add more insight to new employees. So that when carrying out his duties, he will be more adaptive because he knows the company more deeply.

Introduction to the Team

After the company introduction process, HR will conduct an introduction with the team. Especially the team that works closely with the new employee. Usually employees will be introduced to their superiors and members where they work.

In this session, usually the superior will explain how the job works, tasks, and provide various supporting documents. It is enough to pay attention to the comfort of new employees in this session so that they can follow the processes that are already running in the company well.

Casual Session

In this session, not all companies actually do this. Usually this session is held a week after the employee has worked, where HR invites the employee to discuss their experiences after one week of work.

All suggestions obtained will be taken into account for future evaluation.

Keep in mind that the onboarding process at each company is different according to your needs. But of course every company's HR team will create an onboarding process with the aim of providing an introduction and guiding new employees so that they are more comfortable working.

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Managing Expectations: Realistic Insights Into Management Development Programs
28 May 2024

Pak Dhino, a Talent Management Manager at a leading banking company in Indonesia, expressed his confusion when tasked with presenting the results of the Management Development Program (MDP). Despite the substantial budget and collaboration with top executive education institutions over two years, field feedback revealed significant shortcomings.

MDP graduates have yet to match the knowledge and practical experience of their more seasoned colleagues. While they may possess theoretical understanding, they lack the practical skills necessary to be effective leaders. Additionally, their attitudes are sometimes perceived as arrogant by long-time employees, making them difficult to coach and lacking the humility crucial for team dynamics.

Discussions revealed that experienced colleagues expected MDP graduates to exhibit strong leadership, sound decision-making abilities, and a positive team interaction attitude. However, reality shows that becoming a competent leader requires time and experience, which cannot be condensed into a two-year program. Although MDPs are designed as fast-track programs, mature leadership necessitates extensive field experience to develop the tacit knowledge and wisdom required.

The challenge for Talent Management Managers and HR Directors is increasingly complex with the digital age and the entry of Generation Z into the workplace. Questions about the effectiveness of MDPs become more relevant given the high investment required. Companies must ensure that the Return on Training Investment (ROTI) aligns with the expectations set.

From the perspective of MDP participants, Nina, a graduate from one of Indonesia’s top state universities, initially felt proud to be accepted into a Management Trainee program at a major bank. However, after completing the program and entering the real world, she noticed a gap between her acquired knowledge and the field conditions. Significant differences exist between theoretical learning and market realities, with "field knowledge" varying by region. This discrepancy is often not understood by newcomers, yet workplace and customer expectations demand quick adaptation to diverse situations. Under high work pressure, Nina faced expectations and cynical views from experienced seniors, leading to burnout, loss of confidence, and contemplation of resignation.

Not all participants share Nina’s negative experience, highlighting the importance of managing expectations. In 2000, renowned training experts Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger introduced the 70/20/10 learning model in their book "The Career Architect." A 1996 survey of nearly 200 executives concluded that 70% of personal development comes from challenging tasks, field experience, and interactions with others. Another 20% is gained through feedback, mentoring, and coaching, while only 10% comes from formal courses and training.

 

Image1: 70/20/10 Learning Model by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger

 

With this understanding, companies need to adjust their talent development approaches to ensure MDP participants gain sufficient field experience to develop necessary leadership skills in today’s dynamic work environment. Learning from this model clarifies Pak Dhino's and senior employees' concerns. It is unrealistic to expect someone to become an adept leader within 1-2 years of completing an MDP. An MDP is not an oven that produces ready-to-serve leaders immediately after completion. Of course not!

The MDP contributes approximately 10% of the learning, strengthened by mentoring and field practice opportunities. Thus, the program can provide an additional 20% learning momentum through interaction and learning from others. While this percentage is not exact, after 1-2 years in an MDP, the development contribution is around 30%. This leaves 70% of the learning journey to be achieved through ongoing work experience.

In conclusion, Pak Dhino, senior employees, and company management need to be more patient and allow time. The MDP is not a failure. Certainly not. The investment is not wasted. However, realistic expectations must be managed. The maturity required to solve field problems and the wisdom to manage people take more than 1-2 years to develop.

Therefore, it is not time to disband the well-designed MDP but to wisely manage expectations. Development is not an immediate goal but a long-term, ongoing process.

 

Author: Mawar Sheila - Resident Consultant
Editor: Gardhika Waskita P - Resident Assessor