HR Capability Workshop

Never Too Early

Home care startup Coddle may only have a tiny headcount of three right now but that’s not stopping co-founder Adrian Chan from preparing for the future.

Just three months into operations, Coddle’s full-time team comprises co-founder Adrian Chan, one staff and an intern. But the social enterprise’s core business also involves engaging people with basic elder care skills (called Coddlers) to provide medical chaperone and befriending services to seniors and others in need. With over 30 active Coddlers and the ambition to grow, Adrian believes it’s never too early to prepare for the future.

“Dealing with people is a delicate business. Good HR management will benefit not only our staff but also our growing family of Coddlers and care seekers,” said Adrian.

As the main co-founder running the day to day operations in the startup, this responsibility falls primarily on Adrian’s shoulders. The computing major reveals that he doesn’t have much people management experience from his previous corporate job, which is part of the reason why he signed up for the HR Capability Workshop (formerly known as the Introductory HR Course for Startups) by Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE).

“I think there’s no harm in looking further and gathering the essential knowledge and skills that we will need down the road, as we expand. The HR Capability Workshop was a great experience that introduced me to some new HR concepts and refreshed others that I had already picked up during leadership courses in university. It inspired me to revisit frameworks like the Situation-Behaviour-Impact Feedback that I had come across in school and think about how these can be applied in Coddle’s context,” he said.

The application of these concepts and frameworks, according to Adrian, is key to getting the most value out of the workshop.

“For me, being able to relate a concept to my own situation is the best way to learn. As I’m listening to the speaker, I’m already thinking about how I can apply what he’s saying to real-life situations. I like to try to connect the dots on the spot, so I can also raise questions that are relevant to my context and gain even more practical knowledge in a single session,” he shared.

The future that Adrian is actively preparing for includes an enhanced service experience for both Coddlers and care seekers.

“In our three-step screening and recruitment process, we focus a lot on soft attributes like personality, behaviour and interest in our Coddlers. Elder care skills can be acquired but the passion to help and care for others is innate. I believe this is why the feedback that we’re getting from both Coddlers and care seekers has been largely positive. They enjoy each other’s company! So, for us, the next step is to make the experience even better. For example, a medical appointment can involve quite a bit of waiting so we’re exploring ways to help our Coddlers make full use of that time to engage their care seekers meaningfully,” said Adrian.

For a startup that is committed to helping people through medical chaperone and befriending services, having a sound and robust HR management framework will certainly lay the foundation for their own people – and their business – to grow.

The HR Capability Workshop is organised monthly by ACE to equip startups with fundamental domain knowledge and critical skills in human resource management and development. The next session will be held on 27 July 2017 — register today!

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