Meet Our First Service Excellence Star Awards Winners

The trio – Lena Ang, administrative executive, Pauline Koh, senior physiotherapist, and Sheena Astilla, occupational therapist, earned the title of being our first Service Excellence STAR Awards recipients recently.

Key takeaways:

  • Service Excellence STAR Awards recipients go above and beyond their duties to deliver the best service to SPD clients every day.
  • Much of their passion for service comes from it bringing joy in their lives and work environment

One rushed to a nearby confectionary to buy breakfast for the clients because the vendor failed to deliver. There was also one who accompanied a client attending another programme to the hospital when she saw him collapse at our lobby outside her working hours. Another brought her own bicycle to help train her post-stroke client to cycle again. Such acts of kindness not only warm our hearts but also serve as testimonies to our service values.

Lena Ang, our gold recipient of the STAR award, is a dedicated individual in her role as an administrative executive.

The trio – Lena Ang, administrative executive, Pauline Koh, senior physiotherapist, and Sheena Astilla, occupational therapist, earned the title of being our first Service Excellence STAR Awards recipients recently. They were the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners respectively.

We had the opportunity to sit down with the three of them to hear what motivates them to go above and beyond their duties to deliver the best service to our clients every day.

UPDATES (U): Can you introduce yourselves?

Pauline Koh (PK): I am a senior physiotherapist in SPD and I am 33 this year. I have been working at SPD for five years.

Lena Ang (LA): Me too, I have been here for five years and I work as an administrative executive.

Sheena Astilla (SA): As for me, I am an occupational therapist and I have been with SPD for more than four years.

U: What made you choose to work at SPD?

PK: I wanted to contribute to the social service sector. It has always been in my heart to help people in need and SPD presented an opportunity for me to work passionately.

LA: I was looking to pursue new challenges in a new area of work, and was also yearning for an opportunity to give back to the society. This job gives me fulfillment and is meaningful to me.

SA: Working at SPD allows me to pursue my passions in helping the community. I get to re-integrate people with disabilities back into society and that is a great work to do.

U: How has the experience of working in SPD been thus far?

PK: Working in SPD has given me good exposure to various practice settings, and allows me to learn so much about physiotherapy. I have also met some really supportive colleagues, and as I have been here for a while, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching our team integrate with one another. It really is a tight group and I can say it has been good thus far. To many great years ahead!

LA: It has been very positive! I love my job and as my work desk is at the reception, I get to meet many people and I enjoy that aspect of my job.

SA: Likewise, I think I have grown a lot in terms of my skills as a therapist. The experience has helped me widen my viewpoints and perspectives and allows me to keep on improving as an occupational therapist.

U: What brings you joy in your work?

PK: The joy comes from interacting with my clients and learning from them. Yes, we can learn from our clients and as much as they are receiving support from us, we also get to learn from them. Having like-minded colleagues also help to make work interesting. We work as a team, and we encourage each other through thick and thin.

LA: Seeing others happy makes me happy. That is the joy that I receive from my work. When colleagues and bosses support you and encourage you, it creates a positive and joyful environment for all!

SA: I think we are all very similar in terms of what brings us joy. I love helping people and when they are recovering and progressing towards their milestones, or have achieved their milestones, that brings me great joy!

Having great colleagues to work with is great too! They make the work environment more fun.

Pauline Koh, a senior physiotherapist and our silver recipient of the STAR award, finds joy in helping the clients, and works well with her colleagues.

U: What motivates you to continue providing top service for your clients?

PK: I think my personal values spur me to do my best in my job. I find great meaning and joy when I use the skills and knowledge that I have to serve and help others. In the past, I have had to rely on other colleagues and peers for help and past experiences taught me a lot. Now, I am able to share my knowledge with others. Of course, with every job, fatigue is a real issue and when that happens, I often find encouragement from my colleagues and know that I am not alone. They are really sweet people, and through little notes, words of affirmation and acts of concern, I am motivated.

LA: My job allows me to fulfill the clients’ expectations and when that is fulfilled, I always get motivated to continue providing my best.

SA: I am constantly motivated when a client is progressing. What he/she cannot do before, he/she can do now – those are the moments that allow me to reflect on the work that I am doing.

Occupational therapist Sheena Astilla, our bronze recipient continuously goes the extra mile for our clients, and is motivated by the progress that a client makes.

U: How did you feel when you first found out that you won the Service Excellence STAR Award?

PK: I was really surprised!

LA: I was very surprised too. However, I am also really happy because this shows us how important having good service is and what it means to an organisation like ours.

SA: Also surprised! I did not expect it at all. At the same time, I am thankful and appreciative to those who nominated me for this award!

U: What do you think is the difference between good quality service and exemplary quality service?

PK: I am not sure it can be properly defined, neither do I think we need to differentiate it. To me, as long as these acts of services are done sincerely and from the heart, they are all great quality services. Even the smallest actions count and can make a difference.

LA: I think the main difference is going the extra mile. When we go the extra mile for the comfort or the convenience of the clients, we are showing exemplary customer service!

SA: Likewise, I think exemplary quality service is being proactive and going above and beyond what is needed or expected!

U: What would you like to say as an encouragement to the staff members who want to emulate your success and go for the award?

PK: Continue to do good work! Keep it up.

LA: I always believe that starting every day with a smile makes a big difference. Do your best in all that you do, and do it right! Lastly, treat others the way you would like to be treated and you should be good to go!

SA: Simply continue on to provide good service with passion and commitment!