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Grooming talent and empowering staff for sustainable growth

Two winners of the People Development awards share their views on the need for SMEs to develop talent to succeed.

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"It is important for an SME to be sustainable as it benefits both the organisation, its employees and society as a whole. People are the main asset in every organisation and they like to be associated with things that are positive. By being sustainable we are able to retain and attract employees, creating long-term value that ensures the company's longevity." - Adrian Ang, MD, That's Innovative.

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"In terms of people development, we believe in fostering a family community where everyone - staff and superiors - looks out for and takes care of one another. We create an environment of growth in both professional skills, individual character and overall unique company identity. This can be demonstrated in our regular training and assessments, along with annual voluntary outreach programmes." - Anjila Lim, MD, Academy of Rock.

AWARD CATEGORY
WORKPLACE: PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT

THAT'S INNOVATIVE
Adrian Ang, managing director

That's Innovative is a one-stop events management company that provides professional event conceptualisation and execution. The company is committed to investing in its employees with effective onboarding and training programmes to help them reach their full potential.

This starts with creating a development plan for each employee that includes their interests and career goals. This roadmap incorporates measurable targets and a realistic time frame for achieving each goal.

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Employees are also trained across different functions to increase their awareness and knowledge of the entire organisation, and to improve their chances for success in any future roles they may take on.

Why did you decide to join the Brands for Good awards and how do you think being a winner will benefit you?

AA: Peers from the event industry encouraged me to give it a try, so I decided to join the Brands for Good awards. There were times when I was unsure if we were going in the right direction. Winning the award serves as a morale booster and an affirmation to me, strengthening my beliefs that I am doing it right.

Why do you think it is important for SMEs to focus on being sustainable?

AA: It is important for an SME to be sustainable as it benefits both the organisation, its employees and society as a whole. People are the main asset in every organisation and they like to be associated with things that are positive. By being sustainable we are able to retain and attract employees, creating long-term value that ensures the company's longevity.

What CSR measures have you adopted and what impact have these had on your business as well as your stakeholders?

AA: B'happy is our CSR programme where we give back to society by creating fun and happiness. We do so in several ways. Firstly, we organise free events such as carnivals for all to enjoy. Secondly, we work with schools to give students in the events industry a chance to plan, promote and execute events under our guidance.

Lastly, we invite our partners and employees to join our cause by contributing their talent and services. We find joy in creating joy for others and by giving back, we hope to create a ripple that will encourage others to adopt positive movements that will benefit society.

Through our CSR programme, we are also able to attract like-minded businesses and create new partnerships.

What are other people development measures you planning to put in place?

AA: We are planning to create workshops to equip individuals with skills in developing their leadership qualities in the future. We hope to further create a lifetime of sustainable happiness through learning and opportunities. Looking ahead, we also hope to be able to collaborate with companies overseas to share our knowledge and learn from them.

ACADEMY OF ROCK
Anjila Lim, managing director

Started in 2007, Academy of Rock is an award-winning pioneer Rock and Pop music school in Singapore dedicated to teaching contemporary music. It was set up to plug the gap in proper contemporary music education in the industry. The company has made its mark in the industry and continues to improve its services and curriculum while initiating new ideas and approaches to teaching contemporary music.

With the continued growth and innovation of the team, Academy of Rock hopes to establish itself as a global institution to give a platform for both students and staff to excel in their craft.

Why did you decide to join the Brands for Good awards?

AL: We joined as we believe that businesses' efforts towards ensuring quality social working climates should be acknowledged as it is a key part of maintaining and producing good results. It is an honour to be recognised as an example of a cohesive, harmonious and productive workplace environment and it will show that our company puts its staff as a top priority.

Why do you think it is important for SMEs to focus on doing good?

AL: By doing good, SMEs can have a legacy and a stable, rooted position in the market which contributes to the identity and culture of the economy.

Such focus also demonstrates an SME's sense of social responsibility towards society by giving back to it, instead of being driven only by monetary gains.

What people-development measures have you adopted and what impact have these had on your business as well as your stakeholders?

AL: In terms of people development, we believe in fostering a family community where everyone - staff and superiors - looks out for and takes care of one another. We create an environment of growth in both professional skills, individual character and overall unique company identity.

This can be demonstrated in our regular training and assessments, along with annual voluntary outreach programmes. As a result, we are able to enjoy high staff retention and an overall increase in sales and business development.

What other people-development measures are you planning to put in place in the future?

AL: At the moment, we will continue to invest in our current practices to increase the frequency of these activities. We will also continue to take feedback into serious consideration and look into improving our policies for better sustainability and people development.