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How Can You Help Your Students Choose a Career?

by FutureLab | 19 Feb 2019

  1. Provide job shadowing or internship opportunities                                                                                 If a student is interested in pursuing engineering, he or she can shadow an engineer or intern in an engineering company to understand their day-to-day routine. This would help shed light on what they should expect from the profession. Furthermore, it helps them to be better prepared to build their careers from there. Finding job placement or shadowing a challenge? Reengage with alumni who are willing to provide these opportunities for your students. Our FutureLab Portal has a feature that can help you manage recruitment between your students and alumni. 2. Help your students connect to people from the industry Talking with someone from a particular industry also helps your student explore whether or not if it is something that they are interested in pursuing. Your students will gain a rough idea of how they could pursue the profession in terms of education. Tough to find professionals who are willing to help or guide your students? Your alumni network could be your go-to to help your students. By using FutureLab Portal, you are able to provide a platform for your students to connect with professionals from various industry.   3. Organize career days for your students Apart from meeting people from different professions or industry, you can organise a dedicated day to let your students learn about multiple industries. This could be extremely helpful for them to decide what degree to pursue and where they want to go to university. Find event management a tedious process? Our FutureLab Portal has a handy event management tool for your organise events frequently for your students to attend. This tool allows you to focus on making an impact on your students, while our Portal handles the administrative process for you.

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Your University is Missing out Without an Engaged Alumni Network

by FutureLab | 15 Feb 2019

1. Gain direct access to a pool of talent and expertise Long gone are the days where your alumni only attend open days, seminars, forums and fundraising events. Your alumni play a bigger role in engaging with your students to provide guidance and mentorships. Your institution can also reach out to alumni who took an innovative career-finding path to inspire and guide your students.   2. They are the champions for your education institution  Your alumni help establish the institution’s reputation. They become global champions of your institution and prove to be invaluable in providing prospective students with insights in studying at your institution. With this special connection between your alumni, they become better brand ambassadors for your university.   3. They bring opportunities to your students With a strong alumni network, your alumni could share unique opportunities for personal and professional development for your students. These opportunities could include employment, internships, job shadowing, or even mentorships and advice. By involving your alumni in your students’ development, you could boost your students’ employability for their future.   4. Encourage donations With an engaged alumni network, your institution can also sustain through fundraising efforts. This is essential to provide possible avenues for your institution to improve student development opportunities, facilities, and even provide scholarships to deserving students. Help your institution benefit from an engaged alumni network. When students feel supported by your institution and alumni, they will return to give back to your institution and society. If you want to reconnect with your alumni, click here to know how!     Sources: Universities should see alumni as a talent pool not a money pot – https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2013/feb/19/university-alumni-careers-coaching-networks The importance of the alumni network – https://www.redbrickresearch.com/2015/10/29/the-importance-of-the-alumni-network/  

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4 Ways Alumni Engagement Can Help Students Land a Job

by FutureLab | 11 Feb 2019

1. Gain direct access to job placements In this competitive employment landscape, the traditional medium for students to look for job placements is often not enough. A strong alumni network provides an additional channel for students to look for job placements. These placements can include job shadowing, internships, or full-time position. This exclusive access would give your students one step closer to their dream job.   2. Receive career guidance With the significant job disruption, it is important that your students stay relevant to emerging skills and jobs for the future. By connecting your students with your alumni, it can immensely help by providing them with practical advice, insights and guidance in their career development. These alumni were once in their shoes, making them relatable and willing to help your students.   3. Opportunity for personal development A mentor would help students with their personal development. However, finding a suitable mentor could be difficult for students. With a great alumni network, students are able to find mentors easily for personal development. This also provides your institution to run your very own structured mentorship programmes.   4. Building networks and relationships As the classic saying goes, your network is your net-worth. Students would be able to have direct access to opportunities and advice that will help students to become successful in the future. Apart from that, students have the support of their alumni network to meet and foster new relationships that will last a lifetime. Nobody knows what today’s students will achieve, but it is important that we provide the best platform for students to learn from accessible mentors to achieve their dreams. When the time comes, they will, in turn, give back in the future.     If you are interested in launching your Alumni portal with FutureLab. Click here to sign up for a free trial now!   Sources:

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7 Key Steps to Achieve Success in Business, Career and Life

by FutureLab | 15 Dec 2018

This post includes seven key ways to unleash your potential and make those dreams that you foster a reality.  Most business people of course want to increase profits and career oriented individuals want to exponentially increase their salaries at the same time of course all of us want to find fulfilment and happiness. Acting on the seven keys creates a balance in your life that results in business and career success, peace and happiness. Amongst other techniques and practises I coach these keys to my corporate and individual clients towards inspiring them towards fulfilment and sustainable success. 1. Control your mind. Your mind can be like a monkey running in all directions with no real intent or purpose until you guide and focus it. You have control over your thoughts albeit that mind control requires daily and focussed effort. When you are in control of your thoughts and focus them on what you want to achieve in a positive, creative and constructive way you are more powerful and peaceful at the same time. 2. You do not attract what you want but instead what you are. You are nothing but the collective of your beliefs. There are beliefs that you entertain that serves and empowers you yet there are also beliefs that you entertain that distracts you and affects you negatively. You have to firmly believe in your abilities and vision as an entrepreneur to attract the right partners, investors and talent to support you in making your dreams a reality. In this way you are like a magnet attracting your inner beliefs to you both those that serve you and those that does not. Therefore carefully consider and work on what you believe. Key to the process of Peak performance in any area of your life is to remove the beliefs that you have that places limitations on your performance such as for example ‘I am not worthy’. There are various coaching techniques that a coach can use to remove the limits from your thinking and inspire you to have an unshakeable belief in yourself. You have to be confident to attract confident people to you. You have to believe in your business purpose to attract clients , partners and team members that also believe in what you are doing. 3. Use fear, doubts and insecurities as triggers to take action. Special Forces operators, top sport performers and top entrepreneurs often appear to be fearless yet that is not true. Top performers use their fears, doubts and insecurities as prompts to take positive and immediate action as opposed to allowing your fears to cripple you into prolonged periods of procrastination. 4. Build enduring relationships based on trust. Businesses and lives develop ‘at the speed of trust’ because when there is mutual trust between business or sport team members decisions can be taken rapidly and ensuing actions are more powerful , confident and rapid. When there is a low level of trust in teams a high level of procrastination, slow execution with a low level of confidence is often a result. 5. Do what you love. Albeit a cliché it is a fact that you spend a lot of precious time at work and it is a sad scenario if you daily and constantly do something that you do not even like at all. When you do what you love you are automatically more fulfilled and peaceful and as a result you are just better at it. 6. Love your team. Leadership is the ability to create results through other people and to create other leaders. Care for your team and create a safe, fun and creative environment fuelled by a shared purpose and values within which others are inspired to achieve. 7. Use your business or career as a vehicle to solve a “big challenge.” The bigger the problems are that you solve through your business or career the more sought after you will be. As an example through ‘Peak performance coaching’ I solve the big problem of people being unsuccessful, unfulfilled and unhappy within their businesses, careers and lives. Written by: Dirk Coetsee is an international Peak Performance coach, published business author, entrepreneur and FutureLab Mentor. He combines and creatively incorporates time tested Leadership and NLP (Neuro Linguistic programming) techniques to coach his clients towards success and fulfilment. Dirk is a qualified Master life and NLP coach. Click here to book his time on FutureLab.  

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The 10 Most Attractive Companies in M’sia to Work For in 2018

by Josh Lim | 18 Oct 2018

Overall, the survey covers 30 countries and surveyed more than 175,000 employees. The winners are selected from the 75 largest employers in Malaysia, based on local workforce size. The outcomes are based on public perception and focus on three main areas: Overall Brand Awareness, Absolute Attractiveness, and Relative Awareness. This creates a level playing field for all competing companies instead of giving an advantage to large multinationals with higher name recognition than the smaller companies. The awards are not open for nomination and the results are based solely on the opinions and votes of the local workforce – making it the only award that is truly representing ‘the people’s choice’. Here is a breakdown on the top 10 employers in Malaysia this year: 10. Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) Image Credit: careers.malaysiaairports.com.my Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) is a Malaysian airport company that manages most of the airports in Malaysia. It has its head office in the Malaysia Airports Corporate Office in the Persiaran Korporat KLIA in Sepang. MAHB’s present corporate structure includes several operating subsidiaries, including Malaysia Airports Sdn. Bhd. (MASB), Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia Airports (Niaga), and many more. In total, the Group has a total staff strength of over 10,000 deployed across 39 offices nationwide. To learn more about career opportunities with MAHB, click here. 9. Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Image Credit: tnb.com.my Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is the only electricity utility company in Peninsular Malaysia and also the largest publicly-listed power company in Southeast Asia. The company is listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia and employs approximately 33,500 staff to serve a customer base of over 8.4 million in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah & Labuan. TNB’s core activities are related to the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity across the nation. TNB operations currently span across several nations outside Malaysia, including Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and Mauritius. To learn more about career opportunities with TNB, click here. 8. Sunway Image Credit: sunway.com.my Founded by Jeffrey Cheah, Sunway Berhad (or Sunway Group) is a Malaysian conglomerate company. It was formed following a merger between Sunway City Berhad (SunCity) and Sunway Holdings Berhad in 2011. Following the success of the Sunway City township, the Group diversified into property investment, leisure and entertainment, hospitality and healthcare. Today Sunway maintains property development and construction as its two core businesses and key contributors to company profitability. To learn more about career opportunities with Sunway, click here. 7. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) Services Image Credit: careers.hpe.com Hewlett-Packard (M) Sdn. Bhd. manufactures personal computing and access devices, servers, and imaging solutions for consumers, enterprises, and medium businesses. The company was founded in 1978 and is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hewlett-Packard (M) Sdn. Bhd. operates as a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) Company, an American multinational enterprise IT company founded on 2015 as part of splitting of the Hewlett-Packard company into HPE and HP Inc. The latter business entity retained the old HP’s personal computer and printing business. To learn more about career opportunities with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, click here. 6. Sime Darby Image Credit: simedarby.com Sime Daby Berhad is a major Malaysia-based multinational conglomerate involved in 5 core sectors: plantations, property, industrial, motors, and logistics. With over 100 years of experience and a workforce of more than 20,000 employees, Sime Darby is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, and has operations in 18 countries and territories across the Asia Pacific region. To learn more about career opportunities with Sime Darby, click here. 5. IBM Malaysia Image Credit: newsinti.edu.my IBM was first established in Malaysia in June 1961 and, since then, has played a major role in delivering solutions to all types of Malaysian businesses across all industries. Over the decades, IBM Malaysia has contributed toward assisting Malaysia achieve its vision aligned to the national agenda. Over the decades, the company continues to provide state-of-the-art technologies, enabling local companies to compete effectively both locally and globally. IBM Malaysia moved into its new MSC-certified HQ building in Bandar Utama in 2006. To learn more about career opportunities with IBM Malaysia, click here. 4. AirAsia Image Credit: flickriver.com AirAsia is a leading Malaysian low-cost airline service headquartered near Kuala Lumpur. It is the largest airline in Malaysia      by fleet size and destinations with domestic and international flight operations to over 165 destinations spanning across 25 countries. It has several affiliate airlines across the region, including Thai AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, Philippines AirAsia, AirAsia India, and AirAsia X (which focuses on long-haul routes). Over the past 10 years, AirAsia has been consistently awarded by Skytrax as the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline, from 2009 to 2018. To learn more about career opportunities with AirAsia, click here. 3. Nestlé Malaysia Image Credit: nestle.com.my Nestlé first made its mark in Malaysia in 1912 as the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Penang and later expanded to Kuala Lumpur in 1939. Today, Nestlé Malaysia now employs over 3,500 people and manufactures as well as markets more than 300 Halal products in Malaysia. Known to consumers of all age groups, their household brands include Milo, Nescafe, Maggi, Drumstick (ice cream), Kit Kat, and many more FMCG items. To learn more about career opportunities with Nestlé Malaysia, click here. 2. Shell Malaysia Image Credit: paultan.org Shell is known as a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies that currently employs around 92,000 employees over than 70 nations. Shell has been a partner in fuelling Malaysia’s progress for over 125 years. Their journey with the nation is intertwined – in as much as Shell has played a role in growing the country’s energy sector, Malaysia has also played a significant role in the company’s progress. Today, Shell continues to be one of the top employers in Malaysia with 1,000+ employed in our upstream, midstream and downstream businesses, as well as in service and support functions. To learn more about career opportunities with Shell Malaysia, click here. 1. Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) Image Credit: TalentCorp @ Twitter PETRONAS (short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad) is a Malaysian oil and gas company that was founded in 1974. Wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia, the corporation is vested with the entire oil and gas resources in Malaysia. Petronas is ranked among Fortune Global 500’s largest corporations in the world. Fortune also ranks Petronas as the 12th most profitable company in the world and the most profitable in Asia. Since its incorporation, Petronas has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in 35 countries. To learn more about career opportunities with PETRONAS, click here. Written by: Lucas Khoo – Prospects ASEAN Lucas is an Employer Branding Consultant at Prospects, a professional development and networking company that helps top employers shape their workplace of the future through employer branding and access to millennial talent pipeline. Lucas graduated with a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham. Lucas is interested in the topics of digital marketing, content writing, data analytics, and Southeast Asian regional development. ProspectsASEAN.com is Southeast Asia’s premier resource centre on careers, education and personal development – ensuring ASEAN students, graduates and young professionals have access to the best tools, information, opportunities and expert advice before making a decision on their education and career direction. This article is published on the Futurist with the writer’s consent. This article was written by Lucas Khoo and originally appeared on Prospect ASEAN. You can read the original post here. Featured Image by Rodolfo Cuadros on Unsplash

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Why Multinational Companies Need You: A Beginner’s Rulebook

by FutureLab | 26 Sep 2018

When MNCs grow internationally, the question of whether to depend on ERP systems at their new branches is a much debated one. With far lesser employee numbers in these new areas, MNCs are often at a loss whether to rely on its otherwise costly ERP or strategically hire an outsourcing provider in its place. Outsourcing providers, on the other hand, are usually shy to approach large MNCs. One assumption is that they (being global corporations) need no local support at all; let alone sealing a deal with them. However, reality is far from what meets the eye. Here’s why: Everyone wants to economise, and MNCs are Top on That List  Enrolling ERP systems in foreign locations is an expensive affair, especially if you are servicing small number of employees. MNCs understand that outsourcing providers operate in huge scale and provide foolproof service both in terms of quality, data security and timely pay. Hence their only alternative is an outsourcing provider – who can provide unified HR and payroll solutions for a good price. International Banking and Payroll Delay  Rolling out salaries through international banks to employees stationed in other continents can be very tricky. Often these transfers are carried out at the risk of random deductions and hidden charges. Penalties and service fees are other hurdles that MNCs need to negotiate during every pay cycle. This, in turn, spills over to other non-pay related factors like insurance, severance and medical benefits. If MNCs take a long time to address these glitches, it can have serious ramifications on employee morale and performance. Single point of contact  MNCs based in operating markets like, say, the ASEAN, would prefer a single contractor based out of a single location rather than multiple offices. That said, they are also happy to receive communication in one language even though payroll, processes and paperwork are carried out in other local languages. Business Standards and Corporate Laws  MNCs listed under exchanges either in the Eurozone, Americas or Eastern regions are bound by regional business laws. Corporate laws like the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002, for example, controls financial dealings of all MNCs listed in the USA. What applies under this Act must be implemented in the company’s financial transactions even if the company operates in Asian markets. Payroll providers are well aware of such requirements and even help meet domestic statutory regulations that are central to the MNC’s survival in the operating market. A Business Partner-cum-Regional Manager  While merging, expanding or even starting up pilot ventures, MNCs are always looking for support on labour cost knowledge, payroll monitoring and employee mobility. Hiring an outsourcing partner automatically guarantees MNCs a negotiator, people manager and legal advisor. This creates an environment where companies can flourish without having to worry over minute but critical delivery factors. Feedback & Reporting at all Times  The alliance makes them a strong voice in strategic decision-making and reporting discrepancies in banking and other monetary affairs. The company also stands to benefit from visa/immigration advice while hiring large foreign workforce. As the MNC grows in the continent, the outsourcing company can always be relied on to provide consistent, accurate and prompt services regardless of another merger, transition, or exit of a country manager. For any MNC, the question always comes down to how it can manage affairs at the ground in a manner that is seamless, inexpensive, effective and consistent. Payroll outsourcing providers have always been the best option to ensure excellent regional management. Written by: Manish Mehta, Co-Founder of Propay Partners Manish is a frequent contributor for the New Straits Times, SME Magazine, The Edge and others. He has also spoken at seminars organised by the ASEAN Strategic Leadership Institute, Marcus Events and was also interviewed by Business FM radio station. Passionate, energetic, and soft-spoken, Manish is well-loved by colleagues within and outside the company for his highly systematic and process-driven work. Under his leadership, Propay Partners has grown in leaps and bounds and continues to expand in the ASEAN region. To view more of his content, click here.

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How to Get out of a Career Funk

by FutureLab | 13 Sep 2018

1. Get some time off or take a step back Everyone needs a break every now and then, but don’t spend it wallowing in feeling all sad and helpless! Use these precious moments to assess what is happening around you and come up with why some things are not working out, or why some things are growing in a negative light. Making a physical list helps, or simply observe your work routine. Ask yourself questions relating to how you feel, what the pros and cons of your current job are, and most importantly – what can you do to change the things that are not helping you grow. Work in a little comfort routine if you are unable to take some time off, such as going for a walk every three hours, or switching from coffee to juices every once in a while. You may already be feeling burnt out, so putting your health at the highest priority comes before all the rest. 2. Speak to a trusted person Sometimes you will be able to find a kindred spirit who can empathise with your stagnancy, and possibly offer some advice on how to overcome it. It might be a colleague who is familiar with your surroundings, or possibly a friend who knows your rants back to front. You may be surprised to find out that quite a few of your peers are struggling with a similar dilemma. Gaining a idea of what’s happening from a second opinion can often get the gears in your head moving, and possibly spur you to finally take some action. 3. Grow your network It is always good to stay connected to a solid group of people with similar interests, and meeting even more people with a different and/or deeper understanding of what you want to know more about will help you in the long run. Communicating with a network that is beyond your workplace and school groups will help you expand and get out of those bubbles and explore the larger picture of all areas, even if you are just doing it for fun. 4. Go back to studying If you are feeling lost and frustrated after having a taste of the working world, returning to something familiar could bring you out of that rut. Most, if not all of us, have gone through at least 12 straight years of being a full-time student, so going back to an educational atmosphere would be like a fish to water. Not only will you be in a place you are inherently familiar with, seeing things you are doing that actually progresses and gaining feedback will lighten your mood tremendously. Signing up for an online course, whether it be something completely new, or starting on postgraduate pursuits will put you back in an environment where you know yourself best. With the added comfortable and flexible timetable, you will also be actively gaining skills to add to your repertoire without affecting your ongoing responsibilities. 4. Re-establish your ambition Remember how determined and optimistic you were when you set out to do something before this stagnancy brought you down? Chasing after a career can take a lot out of you, so really take some time to affirm what you want to do for the rest of your working days. Once you’ve got some idea, take initiative and focus on getting there, and shed the negativity your stagnancy has brought about along the ride. If your workplace can not offer any avenues for you to gain more skills, the option for studying to add and hone skills is always open. And now in the age of technology, the university comes right to you! Online studying is becoming increasingly popular for its mode of study that does not require you to shuffle your existing commitments upside down, and does not take up as much time and money a full-time on-campus course takes.This is a content syndicated post by RMIT. Consider an Online Course for easy scheduling into your already busy life. RMIT University in Australia provides exceptional postgraduate courses, studied online. Find out more about them at studyonline.rmit.edu.au  

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Humans of KL Piece on FutureLab mentor, Jenifer Ooi

by FutureLab | 30 Jul 2018

  “My background is engineering but I have a career in advertising. In advertising, you can never make someone happy. You can’t create something and confirm everyone will like it. For something that is more hard and stones such as engineering, it is either a 1 or a 0. It is definite. That’s why I find advertising far more challenging. I’m also quite the perfectionist. I strive to please the maximum amount of people I can, that’s why it is easier to find joy in advertising. Throughout my career, I have met a lot of people. Especially in my position – I interview many people, including fresh graduates. I think graduates should have the right to know what they are signing up for, but I’m sure no one told them. That was my observation. For mid level or senior management who want to step up their career, there’s no one actively guiding them, telling them what they should be doing. A lot of it comes from pure assumptions, or they see someone else doing it and they jump into it. They think, ‘Oh it looks like a nice job and I want to apply for it!’, without the knowledge that I need to have so and so skills. I find that there is a mismatch in terms of what they can offer versus what their end goal is. That mismatch is a huge gap creating a big problem in my industry. People have big aspirations and goals but they do not know how to get there. They want to fill big shoes. That’s why I signed up to mentor someone interested in the industry. I want to tell them the harsh reality that they have to do this first. Otherwise, I would be wasting a lot of my time interviewing people, telling them they are not there yet. When I speak to my friends, a lot of them face the same problems – there’s not enough talent out there or all these talents just need someone to guide them. Especially when someone graduates, there is no teacher anymore. Who is there to tell them, you need to do A-B-C-D-E in order to achieve F? The most common I meet are the ones that want the highest position, with the highest monetary reward, but with the lowest possible involvement. Some want to be CEO or start a startup, but zero idea on how to do it. They see the end goal, but not the struggle. Its painful when you speak to them. A lot of people I speak to, they say, let them go and try, let them fall so that they learn, but why? Why do you want to make people suffer? Why don’t guide them to tell them the next step? Instead, we should give them positive guidance. Most importantly, tell them the reality to achieve something, rather than letting them try and fail.” Written by: Humans of Kuala Lumpur is working with FutureLab to feature their team of inspiring mentors. Follow us to get to know more on their mentors. Jenifer Alicia Ooi is a director of a renowned advertising agency based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. To learn more about FutureLab’s online mentoring platform or to connect with Jenifer, please visit www.futurelab.my Photostory by Christine Cheah Edited by Mushamir Mustafa and Amalina Davis

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Get Rid of Manual Tasks from your HR Department

by FutureLab | 01 Aug 2018

While most HR teams recognise the importance of adding strategic value to their businesses, the time-consuming nature of HR administration is often a major barrier. Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of administrative tasks that is required to keep a corporation running, it seems almost impossible for HR teams to add any significant contribution to the company. How then can you automate your workflow? Simple! Just look into the minute details of challenges and solutions. Let’s take a look at the hiring process. Applications are submitted where they are then printed and handed over to the hiring manager, who then weens through them and hands over the best candidates to the Department head for approval. Interviews are then scheduled and offers made. This process alone can take hours; if not days to complete, which just adds on to more frustration if the job at hand demands urgent hiring. This then could lead to frustration on the candidate’s part, as companies seeking to urgently hire tend to do mass interview sessions which leads to time taken and wasted on both ends. Digitizing these processes can save your organization and new employees a lot of time. Online forms are not only easier to complete but easier to manage. Onboarding is another major task that can be automated. With an online onboarding workflow, team members can be automatically notified when candidates complete the necessary paperwork. They can easily access documents in an online system and review and approve from their computers or mobile devices. The automated workflow tool can also be connected to other technologies to further streamline the process and eliminate manual tasks. As an HR manager, you can save time and improve compliance by having a centralised HR system that tracks all employee records and reports anomalies to you. This includes basic personnel records, work permits and key employment terms like contracts, benefits, and so on. Automating this process still gives you access to any information you may need but removes the hassle of correlating and filing records. The usually mundane payroll process can be sped up through automated features. Compared to the manual payroll processing, an effective payroll solution can minimize the margins of human error. An automated system can always pay your employees on time and to the parameters you set. Persisting with heavily manual HR processes has implications right across the business. Frustrating and time-consuming for HR, it also introduces risks, with staff likely to become annoyed by hold-ups in certain processes. Automating some of these processes and centralising your data can quickly lift the administrative burden on everyone and produce a more productive working environment. Most importantly, it will give your team the breathing space they need to start playing a more proactive role in improving your business performance. Written by: Manish Mehta, Co-Founder of Propay Partners Manish is a frequent contributor for the New Straits Times, SME Magazine, The Edge and others. He has also spoken at seminars organised by the ASEAN Strategic Leadership Institute, Marcus Events and was also interviewed by Business FM radio station. Passionate, energetic, and soft-spoken, Manish is well-loved by colleagues within and outside the company for his highly systematic and process-driven work. Under his leadership, Propay Partners has grown in leaps and bounds and continues to expand in the ASEAN region. To view more of his content, click here. Image Credit: unsplash-logorawpixel

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Top 5 Leadership Lessons from Our Favourite Marvel Superheroes

by FutureLab | 20 Jul 2018

With over 76 superheroes in this movie’s cast list, there is a plethora of leaders to be featured, each with their own distinct abilities and unique qualities. Although they are all fictional characters based on comic books, one cannot deny that there are a lot leadership tips and strategies that can be learned from these superheroes and adapted into real world scenarios. Here’s our pick of the top 5 leadership lessons from our favourite Marvel Superheroes: (Warning: Spoilers ahead!) 1. Captain America: Always Put People First and Learn to Play to Your Team’s Strength via GIPHY “I CANNOT REPRESENT THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT; THE PRESIDENT DOES THAT. I MUST REPRESENT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.” – STEVE ROGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA Captain America (Steve Rogers) is one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes since the beginning of the franchise. Following the unfortunate events depicted in Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers abandoned his patriotic mantle and is on the run due to his anti-registration activities. However, Steve’s stance is always based on his belief in people, not institutions or processes. He may be a superhuman hero, but it’s his human qualities that make him stand out. Whether he’s leading superheroes or human soldiers, Captain America is great at figuring out everyone’s individual strengths and delegating job assignments accordingly. It is also no accident that his primary weapon is a shield, which he often uses to protect his team mates and other civilians. Great bosses do the same too – always protecting the team from fallout and earn employee loyalty by showing loyalty first. Learn from Steve: When working in an organization, it’s easy to get caught up with office agendas and politics. Remember that at the heart of every company is the people – employees, customers, and vendors. Find your personal North Star to guide you as a leader with ethical and moral values and always put your people first. 2. Iron Man: Keep It Fun and Don’t Always Take Things Too Seriously at Work via GIPHY “IF THERE’S ONE THING I’VE PROVEN IT’S THAT YOU CAN COUNT ON ME TO PLEASURE MYSELF.” – TONY STARK, IRON MAN In 2008, Iron Man kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and has been the face of this successful movie franchise ever since. Genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist – Tony Stark is the proud owner of Stark Industries, the largest tech conglomerate in the world. Despite his reputation and responsibilities, Tony deserves credit for seeing the value of keeping situations light and enjoying the moment. Even in the middle of life-threatening scenarios, Tony is capable of cracking jokes to stay loose and help keep the team in check. Learn from Tony: Nobody likes working with a leader or company that always take things too seriously. In reality, we spend a huge portion of our lives at work, so it is only logical that we find a way to keep things fun. Additionally, negative stress can cloud decision-making and restrict reactions. Empathetic leaders understand this well and know how to reduce team anxieties and introduce brief levity at appropriate times. 3. Black Panther: Be Bold Enough to Break Conventions and Listen to Your Critics via GIPHY “IN TIMES OF CRISIS, THE WISE BUILD BRIDGES, WHILE THE FOOLISH BUILD BARRIERS. WE MUST FIND A WAY TO LOOK AFTER ONE ANOTHER AS IF WE WERE ONE SINGLE TRIBE.” – KING T’CHALLA, BLACK PANTHER The movie Black Panther was an absolute theatrical masterpiece. Reported as the Top-Grossing Superhero Film of all time in the US, this cinematic marvel has touched many lives across the globe. However, while many are praising the movie for its storyline and complex characters, we examine the leadership qualities of the humble T’Challa and what young leaders can learn. As the heir to the throne of Wakanda, T’Challa initially follows in the footsteps of the previous Wakanda Kings – keeping his country’s technological advancements and supernatural resources a secret from the outside world. It was only after being defeated by his rival, Erik Killmonger, that he gained a different perspective and sees the truth. At the end of the movie, T’Challa introduces the real Wakanda to the international community. Business leaders can learn from T’Challa too – sometimes it’s important to listen to your critics as you may discover inspirations for new strategies and ideas. Learn from T’Challa: Whether you are a leader of a corporation or student organization, sometimes it’s worth reevaluating your closely held beliefs and direction of your organization to ensure you are still headed towards to right path. 4. Thor: Be Adaptable and Never Rely on a Single Resource or Skill via GIPHY “ARE YOU THOR, THE GOD OF HAMMERS? THAT HAMMER WAS TO HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR POWER, TO FOCUS IT. IT WAS NEVER YOUR SOURCE OF STRENGTH.” – ODIN In Marvel’s action-comedy blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, Thor and Loki learned that they have an elder sister named Hela, who was banished by Odin from the realm for her intense hunger for power. In their first encounter, Hela blocks Thor’s attempt to strike her down and crushes his hammer Mjolnir with her bare hands. Although Thor struggled in his subsequent showdown with Hela without his hammer, Odin helped him to realise that his powers and strengths lie within him all along, and the Mjolnir is simply a tool to help him control and channel them. Learn from Thor: The crushing of the Mjolnir is an important lesson to all leaders that losing an important tool or resource in your team doesn’t necessarily mean game over. It is important to never bank your strategy on a single skill/tool/person and learn to be adaptable when anticipating the unknown. 5. Star-Lord: Build a Diverse Workforce for Your Organisations via GIPHY “I HAVE LIVED MOST OF MY LIFE SURROUNDED BY MY ENEMIES. I WOULD BE GRATEFUL TO DIE SURROUNDED BY MY FRIENDS.” – GAMORA At the beginning of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Peter Quill (Star-Lord) was a self-centered loner who seems more concerned with profit than people. Over time, he becomes the leader of a band of roguish characters, which includes Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and – everyone’s favourite guardian – Groot. Peter’s team had their fair share of misunderstandings and didn’t join forces organically – they were brought together due to circumstances. In fact, the characters didn’t like each in the initial stages. However, over time they managed to look beyond their individual causes and work together using their own unique skills and abilities, which ultimately enabled them to achieve a common goal that benefits the universe. Learn from Peter: Research has shown that having diverse teams can spark more innovation and even enhance productivity and profitability for the organization. Smart leaders should encourage a diverse range of experiences, viewpoints and skillsets in their workforce. What about you? What other leadership or business lessons did you learn or discover from The Avengers or any other Marvel movies? Do share them with us! *Feature Image is CC0 Licensed: Free for Commercial Use, No Attribution Needed. Written by: Lucas Khoo – Prospects ASEAN Lucas is an Employer Branding Consultant at Prospects, a professional development and networking company that helps top employers shape their workplace of the future through employer branding and access to millennial talent pipeline. Lucas graduated with a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham. Lucas is interested in the topics of digital marketing, content writing, data analytics, and Southeast Asian regional development. ProspectsASEAN.com is Southeast Asia’s premier resource centre on careers, education and personal development – ensuring ASEAN students, graduates and young professionals have access to the best tools, information, opportunities and expert advice before making a decision on their education and career direction. This article is published on the Futurist with the writer’s consent. This article was written by Lucas Khoo and originally appeared on Prospect ASEAN. You can read the original post here.

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Turn Around Your Team Like a True Leader

by FutureLab | 05 Jul 2018

Managing your team holds a greater degree of responsibility nowadays, as people choose to leave and join better employers if they are not satisfied. Your business turnover is always directly proportional to the number of “happy employees” in your company, and how, you, as their leader, manage the team. To begin with, a typical employee can start job hunting for want of better compensation, benefits or to further his/her career with some new experience. Just recently, I interviewed a talent who was looking at a new job because she had had enough of her work timings. One could easily tell she was disgruntled that her job offered her no flexibility and the company wasn’t ready to offer her another role with timings that suit her. This is a classic case of how an employee will leave your company if you don’t make flexible adjustments. Managing individuals is one thing. Teams are even complicated. Every organisation places strong emphasis on building teams and working together as one. Back in 2001, when we had just started the company, it was a task finding the right kind of people to fill my team. Picking talents who truly believe in the company’s vision and core values was hard to come by. To me it was important they understood that by belonging to a team, they were being part of something bigger. We are a company founded on respect, approachability, teamwork, commitment and integrity. Spelling out what was expected from them was imperative. They had to understand why they were hired, what they were expected to do and what outcomes were expected. In short, they needed to know why they were a team. Integrity has been a major factor in team building. There was never a grey area when it came to making the right choices — whatever was right was right and whatever was wrong meant a quick redressal. Mutual respect also accounts for better relationships. A good leader always has an attentive ear. You must always remember that your talents bring forth numerous ideas, knowledge and workable solutions. Shaming them or ridiculing them in front of others would account for negativity that may affect the team. Offer performance feedback and praise good efforts and results. People want to enjoy their work. Make work fun. Engage and employ talents of every individual in your office. Career growth and learning opportunities enable team members to perform better. So, enhancing opportunities for progression should be top on the agenda. Teams can also be encouraged to participate in training sessions, presentations, mentoring programmes and other assignments. People love to know that they have room for advancement. Flexibility and work-life balance are what Millennials at the workplace look for. Team leaders should be able to meet their requirements as long as core business hours are adhered to (Yes, your employee’s kid’s school fest is important as well). Minimising overtime by providing adequate staffing is good for all departments. After all, no boss wants tired team members reporting for work the next day. Whenever there is an opportunity, it’s always nice to involve employees in decisions that affect their jobs and the overall direction of the company. Likewise, nurture and celebrate traditions at your company with your team. If you treat your employees well and they feel valued by you, you will never lose them. Written by: Manish Mehta, Co-Founder of Propay Partners Manish is a frequent contributor for the New Straits Times, SME Magazine, The Edge and others. He has also spoken at seminars organised by the ASEAN Strategic Leadership Institute, Marcus Events and was also interviewed by Business FM radio station. Passionate, energetic, and soft-spoken, Manish is well-loved by colleagues within and outside the company for his highly systematic and process-driven work. Under his leadership, Propay Partners has grown in leaps and bounds and continues to expand in the ASEAN region. To view more of his content, click here. Image credit: unsplash-logorawpixel

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Do Fresh Graduates Lack Certain Skills?

by FutureLab | 28 Jun 2018

Having been an employer for longer than I care to remember, one thing stands out: CONFIDENCE. The confidence of a graduate to take on a new challenge, to own their failures and to learn from these, and to push the envelope when it comes to decision-making. The education system has moved from “carrot-on-stick” to “soft pillow” – many graduates don’t know what it is like to fail – because the system has always been about simply rewarding their participation, not achievement. The real-world hits hard! I don’t look at CVs – I look at the confidence of the applicant. It is OK to fail. But its never ok not to learn from our failures. We need to embrace failure and let it teach us the lesson so eloquently (and fearfully) contained therein. But that is a personal decision – one to improve our personal self and our professional self. A successful person is one that is up for the challenge. Beyond this though, there are competencies that our graduates can work on. Fluency in language – understanding context, tone, and when to communicate in a certain way. The difference between personal and professional. Be it speaking or writing, improvement takes time, and practice; lots of practice. But when you feel for yourself the positive changes, it’s amazing. One intern, Richard, stands in mind. Shy, introverted, at times incoherent. But he put in the yard work, and after a few months was able to present, in English, not in how mother tongue or the language of his education, to one of our global clients. That step put him on the path to success – he realised change comes from within, and that positive change is achievable. Another bugbear I have is with computer skills. The millennial generation is fluent in social media (bravo); but not in basic productivity software. Knowing the basics of Microsoft Office Suite, having an eye for detail and consistency, and appreciating the importance of accuracy, is a big deal in business. Otherwise, we would end up with poor quality visual communication, and this impacts upon credibility. So, what to do? Practice, practice, practice. Immerse yourself in opportunities to learn and grow. Never be ashamed to try and develop. Never be scared or embarrassed to ask for help or guidance. If you don’t want to ask your lecturers or boss, find a mentor. Ask for their help. Because once you are on the road to success, there should be nothing slowing you down. Written by: Dr. Craig J Selby, Orchan Consulting | Asia Sdn Bhd Renowned for the shaping of clever ideas to help brands stand out amidst the clutter, his stable of achievement encompasses a multitude of clients across varying industries, ranging from automotive to food and beverage to healthcare to FMCG to consumer electronics and more. A leading curator in the delivery of strategic solutions, Craig’s particular areas of interest include but are not limited to issues and crisis management, as well as personal branding. He has post-graduate qualifications in the fields of Economics (Globalisation), Economic Development, as well as Tertiary Teaching & Management. Image credit: unsplash-logoVasily Koloda

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