Lion Air was founded in the 1990s by Rusdi Kirana and its first plane operated in 2000. Presently, the company operates in more than 60 destinations both international and national (Saudi Arabia and Southeast Asia) with more than 230 flights daily. However, Lion Air is presently barred from operating in the European Union based on safety reasons. Lion Air is the leading privately owned Indonesian airline. It is considered a low-cost airliner that presently boasts of holding more than 40% market share in the Indonesian airline sector, consequently making it the largest airline in terms of Indonesian local market share.
Research Title: Review of Effective Training Lion Air Employees (Indonesia)
Research Question: How can Training the employees can impact on airlines business such as Lion Air?
- Implement the Training stages to the real business.
- Find out the best training methods for Lion Air
- Determine the impact of training for airlines business
It is important to analyze the HRM strategies in the global civil aviation industry in order to understand the education, recruitment and selection, organization and development and training and development which contribute to successful HRM. By reviewing various data and information in the literature review, the research study will be able to come up with some of the reasons that can assist Lion Air become a successful as well as a high performing airline, and become one of the leading Indonesian airliners. In addition, a great connection exists between world class human resource strategies and satisfied employees. It is therefore important to establish whether or not these assertions are accurate and can be of advantage if implemented by to Lion Air.
The selection of airline personnel had been previously been based on flying expertise. The aviation community is currently emphasizing on airline personnel capability to work well in a crew environment (Hedge et al, 2000, p.377). A study on the procedure used by British Airways to select its personnel particularly pilots, implies that it is the obligation of the present generation of executives in their airline business (Lowe, 1995, p. 9). The aviation community and carriers are becoming more aware of the need for personnel to be more conversant with resource management skills and that effective completion of a flight requires the ability to work well as a crew. Recruitment and selection, noticeably, are precarious elements of the topic.
The airline sector is not only lacking well trained pilots, but also world-class frontline staff. Like other service sectors, airliners are discovering it is progressively problematic to draw, retain and have the funds for world-class staff. The demand is rising as the airline industry grows to a rising proportion of the global economy in and more organizations realizes the possibility of greater profits form enhanced service (McKinsey & Co.,1998, p.16). In a research piloted by the Business & Commercial Aviation (B&CA), hiring managers suggested advice on how to successful appoint the precise staff. According to Benoff (2001, p. 65) B&CA’s advice tips entail what to search for in a resume, how to target job adverts locations, how to analyze the applicants career path and work experience, how to conduct the interview, how to prepare for the interview and reference confirmations.
According to Ellis (2001, p.48) the key to successful recruitment and selection particularly for frontline vacancies is to recruit people not based entirely on skill but rather attitude as practiced by Southwest Airlines. The company is well known in hiring people who have the appropriate attitude, behavioral and disposition features in efforts to fit in the company’s culture. Basically, this is to make sure that the employee is a noble cultural fitting. Every year, more than 90,000 applicants apply to Southwest Airline through an application process that entails personality tests and interviews with peer employees and supervisors (Ellias, 2001, p.48). The company recruits based on attitudes and trains persons for particular talents based on the perception that talents can be learnt but attitude cannot be transformed. A section of the interview process involves whether the applicant can work as part of a team, his or her friendliness as well as a sense of humor (Czaplewski et al, 2001, p.15). Less than 4 % of the total applicants are successful to be hired and advance to receive their training at the Southwest in-house training center at the University of People (Ellis, 2001 ,p.48).
Moreover, apart from recruiting the appropriate fit or frontline staff and efficient pilots possessing both interpersonal and technical skills, there is direct apprehension involving the availability of efficient management skills. O’Toole (2001, p. 106) defines talented management as a rare skill that is capable to become more rare unless the airline sector capitalizes more in its human resource. Bases on this, regional airliners provide management skill as a good that is entangled in leading airliners. Regional carrier’s managers must therefore come up and implement strong business strategies, create and defend functions in competitive markets and grip countless operational matters that develop in leading airliners. Hiring practices nonetheless, have ended up being specific in various airlines incisive opinions that differentiate issues to clients and are supposed to be incorporated in the hiring program of an organization. Differentiation is regularly debated in practitioner and lay sector sources, not from the viewpoint of fair and equal treatment of staff, but as a marketing strategy specifically involving hiring.
Additionally, little information can be reviewed on the presence of minorities and women in the transport sector; however airlines are developing ways of effectively embracing and courting diversity. At Southwest Airlines, a boost is offered to minorities and women by interviewing them prior to other interviewees (Hendersen, 1995, p.37). On the other hand, at America West a corporate declaration of obligation relating to affirmative action and equal employment opportunity is updated and maintained yearly. This is as part of separating nondiscrimination in hiring strategy that particularly touching on religion, color, race, veteran status, age disability as well as physical and sexual harassment (Hendersen, 1995, p.37). Delta Airlines has also not been left behind by adopting various major industry edges to endorse the involvement of minorities and women personnel in a sector where less than 1% are non-Caucasians and less than 5% of pilots are female. In 2001, the Delta initiative started offering pilot training studentships for students in a collaborative initiative with Black Airline Pilots and Western Michigan University (Black Enterprise, 2001, p. 2).
In efforts for Lion Air to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals and due to the fact that service innovations are effortlessly simulated, an important considered element that competitors cannot easily replicate in culture. HRM operates as a collection of procedures, which through the hiring, training, enthusiasm, appraisal, reward and development of persons as well as through the successful gripping of industrial associations, converts policy into action (Holloway, 1998, p. 269). Such a description joins the perceptions of how Lion Air can recruit, engage, assess, improve and reward its staff with the culture that is developed and how staff eventually can offer efficient customer satisfaction. According to Seal & Kleiner (1999, p. 20), its effective communication, CEO management style, respectful employee treatment, good labor management associations, incentive policies and hiring the appropriate fit that are essential towards a healthy business.
It is important for Lion Air to train its staff on the benefits of appropriate and effective communication. This is because; a business’s structure is greatly dependent on its communication. Ancient control structures and hierarchical command must pave way to delayered businesses that enhance communications and brings management closer to customers and employees. According to Eaton (2001, p.130) hierarchies lead to situations where those situated at the top legitimize their responsibilities by setting controls, carefully monitoring behavior and issuing commands. This method of management demotivates initiative among staff and consequently leads into sub-optimal output and minimized customer gratification (Bhattacharya et al, 2005, p. 622). It is therefore important for Lion Air to shift towards a flattened structure which promotes staff gaining commitment from other staff. When executed professionally and sincerely, such a method can clearly strengthen Lion Air’s culture and lead to minimized costs, enhanced productivity and a rise in relation to sense of employee empowerment. According to Falter (2000, p.95) a survey conducted at Duncan airlines, employees indicated low job satisfaction, pay discrepancies, lack of communication, management distrust and low morale in the company. Following the conveying of these findings, the company formulated continuous employee training programs that lead to elevated expertise levels and communication in the airline and improved the staff (Falter, 2000, p.96).
It is also important for Lion Air to train its employees on the benefits of portraying a professional and respectable image. This is founded on the motive that image is another element of company’s culture that can unite a labor force. For instance at the Virgin Atlantic Airlines, creativity in flight amenities as well as enthusiastic and young customer interaction enables staff to communicate the light-hearted and entertainment focuses corporate image. By training staff on effective corporate branding they are able to work together as part of a team and minimize intergroup conflict. This is because the behaviors and beliefs of the group are congruent with the thoughts and actions of the group (Karlins et al, 1997, p. 324). An additional example is Singapore Airlines which took its cabin crew supervisors, pilots, station managers and ground engineers in an inter-group conflict reduction programme in efforts to enhance effectiveness and inter-group cooperation between operational divisions (Karlins et al, 1997, p. 324). By Lion Air implementing this training strategy it will be able to achieve effective organizational development.
One of the greatest prominent characteristics is the comparison between the demonstrative importance apportioned to training, education and growth and the underprivileged reality of the establishment of training and growth in the airline sector. According to Eaton (2001, p. 136) the strategy taken by the executive on training and growth is an important benchmark for adjudicating the eminence of HRM in any organization. The airline sector spends billions of dollars annually in acquisition of training and technology experts in utilizing the new technology. However, the sector invests very little on training personnel how to be competitive and how to both retain and generate a loyal base for pleased customers (Holloway, 1998, p.307).
In the subsequent discussion, the literature review will revolve around the deplorable situation of the airline sector’s commitment to training and growth and how a number of airliners adopt training to have a competitive advantage over their competitors. Some of the well-recognized airlines that capitalize on training and development include; Duncan Aviation, South-West Airlines and Singapore Airlines. The motives for training and growth when successfully implemented provide leading airliners with a competitive edge to associate with the matters of empowerment and socialization and how handling staff well converts into customer satisfaction. An additional element of training as a competitive advantage, entails crafting a learning setting and how this leads to organization and staff adaptableness to growth, profitability and change. Research by Johnson & Martino (1996, p.5) asserts that it is important to note that company resource management entails organized training that;
- Promotes the culture of an organization that accentuates instruction training
- Relies on information that expedites domain detailed applications
- Guarantees management across all levels is systematically trained in human factor
- Invests in both skills and tools required to sustain a successful prospectus of operationally appropriate human factors resources
- Develops the metrics required to ascertain the success of subsequent and training change
Duncan Aviation is among the leading airliners that invest in training its employees. A decade ago, Duncan Aviation staff averaged 40 hours of training at an estimated cost of $ 2 million. Funding and training entail the following; some tuition programs that are fully paid, tuition assistance program for all its personnel, the Karen Duncan studentships programs. In addition, the airline offers ongoing skill and technical training for its entire staff as well as compensation of flight training, although this is not a requisite for all.
Socialization into Southwest’s values starts with new recruits training at the Southwest’s in-house training center at the University of People, where more than 20,000 people are trained annually (Bunz & Maes, 1998, p.163). Apart from new recruits getting trained, executives and managers undertake a two-day training conference in the Frontline Leadership seminar, held in Dallas. Flight attendants take part in the Customer-Care Training program; first-time administrators take part in the Leading with Integrity program while pilots and other personnel are trained in the present performance principles (Bunz & Maes, 1998, p.164). Such a program offers a successful employee monitoring system, customer reaction as well as management awareness all at the same time. By adopting such a learning strategy, Southwest airlines is able to effectively adapt to change, create new services swiftly and handle problems as they occur (Laszlo, 1999, p. 1). In addition, such a policy enables the organization to have a competitive edge over its challengers.
Singapore Airlines, well-known in the airlines sector for its effective customer service, likewise capitalizes profoundly in training its staff. 15% of employee payroll is directed their training as contrasted by only 1.5% invested by all United States airlines. Flight attendants at the airline undergo four month training as compared to the U.S industry regulation of only one month (Mycek, 2000, p.17). This extensive training enables the recruits to have a well-founded exposure to the real working environment.
It is important for Lion Air to understand the link between what their employees value and what their clients value. The link between employee output and customer value is an essential element in HRM. Leading performing businesses in the world invest greatly and intentionally on organization development, training, education, development as well as recruitment and selection (Huselid, 1995, p.635). It is therefore important for Lion Air to take into consideration some of the following commendations in relation to HRM;
- Both international and national regulatory civil aviation agencies partner in implementing airline oriented HRM audit that could be enthusiastically used by Lion Air. There is a possibility for research based on HRM to carry out more audits on the airline sector
- It is important for Lion Air to carry out an internal audit in their airline business in efforts to determine the gaps between what they are actually doing and what they ought to be doing. Basically, the audit should entail both a reality check and a reference point from which to strategize for the forthcoming.
- In addition Lion Air should appoint a person in charge of conducting appropriate staff attitude reviews on the following roles presented within the research; selection, recruitment, employee relations, equal employee opportunity, compensation, education, development, training and organizational development. Following successful completion and analysis, the results should be conveyed to Lion Air’s employees.
- Furthermore, Lions Air should place emphasis on; communication policies, disciplinary procedures, performance enhancements which must be surpassed and equaled through continuous communication to all employees (Delaney& Huselid, 1996, pp. 949) and must be embedded in Lion Air’s business strategy, company’s mission and vision. This is in efforts to have a strong and firm culture in the organization.
- Finally, Lion Air must extensively invest on training for supervisors, manager as well as frontline personnel. This is efforts to promote teamwork, improve on compensation, easily accommodate change, and improve on communication skills as well as cultural diversity.
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