SINGAPORE – Earlier this year, the Government of Singapore extended financial support to foster a culture of lifelong learning among the professionals in the country during the budget 2022 speech. With upskilling and reskilling becoming a part of the corporate vocabulary around the world, companies are also investing in corporate coaching.
Supporting the government and the interested companies in this mission one of the global leaders in talent development CoachHub. The digital platform, that provides career coaching at evry stage, aims to turn the tide from the “Great Resignation” to the “Great Retention” by addressing many of the attrition challenges faced by employers and providing employees with opportunities to increase their employability.
The company’s philosophy is that just like we eat to nourish our bodies, we must continue learning to enrich our minds. According to them, lifelong learning focuses on continual development – both personally and professionally – allowing a professional to grow as a person as well as open up more career opportunities. In fact, CoachHub APAC’s senior vice president Tim MacCartney is a huge proponent of the Singapore Government’s Skills Future Framework, and is happy that the country takes improving its talent capability so seriously.
The Upskilling Demand
There is a full fledged upskilling industry that has developed over the last few years which saw a rapid growth during the last couple of years. Tim reasons that the pandemic brought about a dramatic shift in the global business ecosystem. Conversations around upskilling have come to the fore as employers realise the need to build skills to stay relevant and competitive in the ever-changing environment of the post pandemic world, he states. He cites a report by the World Economic Forum that says more than 40% of core skills required to perform existing jobs are expected to change by 2025 which makes upskilling more than just an afterthought.
While up-to-date technical knowledge and skills are a prerequisite, employers are looking for employees who also possess soft skills such as empathy, communication and creativity, he informs. These traits, he says, became increasingly urgent during work-from-home and our shift to a hybrid workplace. As a result of this increased demand for upskilling, it has become a US$370 billion business, according to one estimate. “Business establishments are now spending an average of about US$1,300 per employee annually on lifelong learning activities. This is only expected to rise as companies continue to focus on the importance of training, upskilling, and developing their employees,” he believes.
After opening their APAC headquarters in Singapore, CoachHub has been working with numerous clients across the region from a host of different sectors like banking, education, healthcare, not-for-profit, technology, and manufacturing. It is clear from the vast array of their clientele that all sectors have a use case for coaching at scale in roles or areas such as first-time managers, frontline leaders, diversity and inclusion and women in leadership among others.
Talent Management in Singapore
CoachHub is directly involved with the Singapore government’s SkillsFuture Critical Core Skills framework areas in aspects such as “thinking critically” and “interacting with others” by teaching traits like building inclusivity, communication, sense making, and collaboration that form a part of key development goals for our coachee participants. All praise for the national emphasis on developing the skills of Singaporeans, Tim concurs with the government’s view highlighted in the 2022 budget regarding the importance of digital capabilities within the workforce.
He believes that the competition for tech talent in Singapore will continue to heat up throughout 2022 as the country is home to some of the biggest tech companies in the world. People with specialised skills in high-growth sectors, including e-commerce, financial technology and data engineering will be in high demand, he forecasts. In order to be better equipped to face any ongoing and upcoming surges in demand and workload, companies would want people well versed in cybersecurity, software testing, data engineering, AI and operational technology, he says.
Though there is no dearth of technically sound employees, soft skills still remain scarce in the Singapore workforce, he notes. He informs that most companies in the country are looking to train their employees to foster these traits to remain resilient, and for the country to emerge stronger from this pandemic.
The CoachHub Advantage
CoachHub has created a holistic coaching framework which pulls in relevant themes from positive psychology, behavioural science, and neuroscience through its tech-first platform to deliver coaching at every level of one’s professional life. This has proven to be a game-changing move as until now coaching was only ever provided to a very select few C-suite leaders, or those in the wings to take over leadership roles in an organisation. After the acquisition of the coaching division of European placement platform Klaiton in February, the company’s pool grew to over 3,500 qualified and professional coaches.
As a tech-first platform, they have been able to democratise the process by providing the benefits and accessibility of coaching through all levels in an organisation. Their coaches cover a wide range of disciplines including time management, stress management, and leadership traits. Their digital coaching platform has a holistic model of one-to-one continuous training and development. Organisations, meanwhile, turn to them for supporting first time leaders, delivering leadership development programs and driving diversity and inclusion initiatives within teams.
“We realise the imperative for employers to provide development opportunities to their staff to create a sense of purpose in their work, specifically in this age of the Great Resignation. So, we are driving a rapid response to the attrition challenges that many companies face, and leading organisations are now seeing digital coaching solutions like CoachHub as helping them rewrite the narrative as the Great Retention,” says Tim. The aim here is to help employees attain the right skills to create a dynamic and resilient workforce, not only helping each individual, but the company as a whole.
Use of Technology
As it is a digital-first platform, CoachHub ensures to utilise all possible technical prowess at its disposal. The mentees are connected to the service 24/7 through a multi-channel support for instance via email, phone, and chat, giving them highly personalised. In fact, these digital solutions help the company get a buy-in from participants because they feel a part of the selection process.
The use of artificial intelligence to match individuals with the right coaches makes the process more innovative and powerful. This technology also helps employees to identify and rectify skill gaps in a personalised manner that enables further learning through customisable microlearnings.
“Our mission is to democratise coaching across all career levels within the organisation. We understand the utmost need for personalised learning opportunities for employees, as one-size-fits-all training is not very effective. Different employee profiles require different learning approaches and digital coaching makes personalised learning easily accessible, scalable, and measurable,” explains Tim.
They are even backed by a collection of leading tech investors including RTP Global, HV Capital, Signals Venture Capital, Partech, and Speedinvest.
Need more Action
Upskilling their workforce has definitely garnered more attention from employers and governments over the last few years. In fact, the recent Workplace Learning Report 2022 by Linkedin highlighted an increase in spending on learning and development initiatives compared to last year. The pandemic has accelerated the need for upskilling and reskilling across by exposing a severe talent crunch in many fields.
However, taking a look at the ground reality reveals the need for more action to match this ambition. For example, PwC’s global CEO survey highlighted that 78% of Australian CEO’s believed that the availability of key skills is a top threat to growth. The majority of CEOs also agree that significant retraining or upskilling was the way to close the potential skills gap in their organisations. However, only 18% have made significant progress towards establishing an upskilling program.
“We observe a similar trend in APAC. At CoachHub we understand these dynamics, and have been working collaboratively with our clients to support their acceleration and existing or new L&D initiatives via an evidence based approach,” shares Tim. He hopes that more C-suite leaders will choose to work on actionable plans to tide through the skill gaps at their organisations.