Building Robust Communities of Good


Building Robust Communities of Good

Building Robust Communities of Good


Singapore’s social service sector

Singapore’s social service agencies (SSAs) play an important role in building kinder communities, empowering the disadvantaged and vulnerable among us, with more than 20,000 professionals acting as their support. As the needs of our society evolve, social service professionals need to constantly expand their knowledge and deepen their skillsets to effectively carry out their work. 

As social service agencies commit to purposeful work,they are also increasingly recognising the need to invest in the professional development of their employees. In 2023, two such organisations, Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) and Muslimin Trust Fund Association (MTFA), partnered Centre for Workplace Learning and Performance (CWLP), driver of the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE) at IAL, to boost their employee learning and development so as to support evolving organisational and sectoral needs.

Singapore Kindness Movement

For many Singaporeans, Singa the Kindness Lion is a familiar mascot, urging us to build a more gracious and kind society. Behind the scenes, SKM’s dedicated team works tirelessly to proliferate kindness, courtesy, and consideration for others.

SKM’s Director of Programmes and Operations, Michelle Tay, recognises that in the social service sector, many professionals take a pay cut as they follow their hearts to take on social work to support the community. Often, operational staff need to undertake additional roles due to limited resources, which can lead to overstretching of employees. As part of SKM’s continued efforts to seek alternative means to motivate and retain talents, SKM embarked on a project with IAL to strengthen learning and development for its staff.
Co-creating solutions

Working closely with SKM over a period of four months, IAL’s consultant embarked on co-creating solutions that would address existing challenges and clarify the skills and knowledge required for SKM’s job roles, which will in turn improve staff engagement and commitment to the organisation. Despite limited manpower resources and a steep learning curve for SKM, the team pushed through and devised the following interventions:
  • A career development framework to enable employees to have clarity regarding their progression pathways
  • Learning road maps for 10 key job roles with key learning areas identified
  • A mentoring workshop to equip staff who working as mentors to newer colleagues
Moving ahead

Playing an active role in the co-creation of solutions and implementation of the mentoring, SKM employees are now clearer about their job roles and required skills. Citing the Partnerships (Manager) role as an example, SKM’s Administration and Human Resource Manager Lim Ing Chi shared how the role roadmap has enabled the manager to envision her career path in the organisation and the skills that she needs to acquire as she grows in the role. “The staff sees that the organisation is invested in their learning and development, and this motivates them to give their best at work," she said.

Moving ahead, SKM has plans to further refine and enhance the new frameworks and their implementation, such as strengthening employee ownership of learning roadmaps, succession planning, and incorporating career conversations in work review sessions.

Muslimin Trust Fund Association

Founded in 1904, Singapore’s oldest Muslim charity MTFA has been helping generations of people of all ages and backgrounds through financial and medical aid,  educational awards, and free burial services. As the organisation grows and explores new service areas, MTFA sees the need to continually upskill its employees for emerging job roles.

Dr Abdul Qader Al-aidaroos, Executive Director of MTFA, explains, “Investing in the growth and development of our team is the key to unlocking the full potential of our organisation. By enrolling in IAL’s programme, MTFA embarked on a transformative journey of empowerment and continuous improvement. Equipping our staff with new skill sets not only enhances their individual capabilities but also fuels our collective ability to make a meaningful impact. This lays the foundation for sustainable growth, enriching both our people and the communities we serve.”

Co-creating solutions

With the objectives of ensuring systematic learning and development for employees and equipping them with new skills to support organisational growth, MTFA engaged IAL’s consultant to diagnose the organisation’s Human Resource and Learning and Development challenges to implement the following solutions:
  • Development of a comprehensive competency framework with different levels
  • Build capabilities within MTFA’s HR team to conduct job profiling in line with the organisation’s evolving needs

Moving ahead

With the new competency framework and capabilities in the HR team, MTFA is well-placed to further its learning and development drive, such as continually refreshing the framework and extending the use to performance management and staff appraisal.

“I am immensely pleased with our collective efforts in strengthening best practices in workplace learning. This project has expanded my knowledge and skills and reinforced my passion for creating effective learning environments. Knowing that our work will enhance learning experiences, foster professional growth, and improve overall performance fills me with a great sense of fulfilment,” says Nur Shafawati binte Mohamed Shis, Internal Control & Quality Manager.
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