SHRI Member Spotlight – Ai Chin Chiew

Ai Chin is the Founder & CEO of BestOfMe, the first Asian-based digital coaching platform, integrating mentoring, training and learning to bring out the best in individuals and organisations.

Driven by her strong belief in the boundless potential of every individual, she founded BestOfMe to empower people to unlock their full capabilities. Her passion for empowering individuals has been recognized, and she was named as one of the Top 50 Women Influencer Leaders of 2023 by HR Tech for her innovative contributions in the HR technology field. Under her leadership, BestOfMe has been recognized as the Most Pioneering Digital Coaching & Mentoring Platform of 2023 by APAC Insider. With over 17 years of experience in the finance and banking industry, Ai Chin served as the Chief Strategy Officer of an MNC prior to establishing BestOfMe. Ai Chin is also a proud mother whose daughter looks up to her as a role model and aspires to follow in her footsteps as an advocate of human potential.

Since its launch in August 2021, BestOfMe has emerged as the top choice for individuals and corporations in search of coaching, mentoring, training, and micro-learning solutions. BestOfMe’s extensive network of over 100 professionally trained and certified coaches from 11 countries has enabled it to serve employees from well-known organisations such as SMRT, NUS, M1, and Keppel Data Centres.

How would you explain your job to someone outside of HR?

As the founder of BestOfMe, my mission is to make coaching accessible to everyone. Coaching is a powerful tool that can help individuals unlock their full potential and achieve their goals. However, traditional coaching can be expensive and time-consuming, making it inaccessible to many people. My platform aims to change that by using technology to make coaching more scalable and affordable, and this mission drives my daily life.

I start each day by reviewing our platform’s metrics and analyzing customer feedback to ensure that we’re providing the best possible coaching experience to our users. Throughout the day, I work closely with our team to develop new coaching programs and partnerships that will help us reach even more people. In the evenings, I often attend networking events or host webinars to promote our platform and connect with potential customers. My daily routine is centred around empowering individuals to achieve their goals and reach their full potential, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact through BestOfMe.

Our goal is to empower individuals to achieve their goals and reach their full potential, regardless of their background or financial situation.

What’s something about you or your job that would surprise us?

People are often surprised by my story of leaving my 17-year corporate job, where I held a decent C-level role in a multinational company. Furthermore, it was during the Covid period that I started my own business in a completely new field. I began my career as an actuary, then moved to a strategy role, and eventually founded a start-up in the human tech space. It’s a journey that many people initially thought was unconventional for me, but my passion for people development drove me to take the leap. Despite the challenges, it has been an incredibly rewarding journey. The greatest joy and fulfilment for me now come from seeing members of BestOfMe break through and transform after coaching.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

The biggest highlight of my career so far has been founding BestOfMe. Moving from a corporate job to entrepreneurship has demanded a paradigm shift in my mindset and skillset, and I am constantly acquiring new knowledge and experiences in this novel role. The journey has presented its share of obstacles, but it has also been incredibly satisfying and enriching. I am particularly grateful for the excellent team at BestOfMe, including my two supportive co-founders, who have helped make this venture a success.

What’s an HR trend or space you’re watching this year?

I am closely keeping an eye on Learning & Development trends, particularly in digital coaching. In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, organisations are recognizing that traditional, one-size-fits-all training programs are no longer effective. Personalized coaching has emerged as a new trend for talent development, allowing for a more tailored and regular approach to driving sustainable change in employees. I firmly believe that digital coaching (coaching by a human coach via a digital platform, e.g. video conferencing, phone calls, chat), will play a significant role in shaping the future of employee growth and development. It is inspiring to see many corporations and government agencies adopting 1:1 digital coaching on a large scale, and I am excited to see where this trend will lead in the future.

You may have also heard of the recent rise in AI coaching. To me, coaching requires emotional connection and human coaching is still essential for providing effective coaching services. While AI coaching can be a useful tool for supporting learning and development, it should not replace human coaching entirely. The human touch is still essential for providing effective coaching services that address the emotional and psychological needs of clients.

What advice would you give someone starting in HR?

Cultivate a growth mindset, listen actively, and have a genuine passion for people.

In HR, you will encounter a variety of situations and problems. Having a growth mindset can help you approach them with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and improve.

Active listening is also an essential skill in HR. As an HR professional, you will need to be able to communicate effectively with employees, managers, and other stakeholders. Listening carefully and leaving your assumptions at the door can help you better understand their needs and concerns, and find solutions that work for everyone.

Finally, having a genuine passion for people is crucial in HR. This means being empathetic, approachable, and dedicated to creating a positive workplace culture where employees feel valued and supported. When you truly care about people, it shows in the work you do and can make a significant difference in the lives of those you work with.

What’s one thing you can keep talking about for hours?

I love having a discussion about leadership and coaching with leaders and could go on for hours without getting tired. I am a firm believer in the potential of every individual and their ability to be at their best. Some people find it amazing that I can coach and train for the whole day without losing energy, but for me, it’s a passion that drives me forward. I believe that coaching is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth, and I even use it with my 9-year-old daughter!

What’s your favourite movie/TV show?

One of my all-time favorites is The Blind Side. It’s a heartwarming true story about the power of human kindness and the difference one person can make in someone’s life. The story follows the journey of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy, who is taken in by the Tuohy family and given a chance to turn his life around. The beliefs of Leigh Anne Tuohy in Michael Oher and her determination to unlock his potential truly inspire me.

What’s your go-to lunch around your workplace?

I work remotely from home most of the time, so I’d say home-cooked lunch is the best!

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