SBC103 case






The growing phenomenon of lacking life skills among Gen Z in Vietnam has always been a huge concern, about which multiple studies have indicated the emergent numbers of consequences that result from this trend. Therefore, KICK-IT-OFF was developed through both primary research such as interviewing and secondary research to fill the gap of the current solutions and to become a comprehensive pioneer program.  The key point of social business as KICK-IT-OFF is to have an utilized Human Resource (HR) Strategy as well as Human Resource Management (HRM) Strategy to create innovation for society. Two main theory directions would be the HR Mobilization and Analysis of HR Needs for Social Entrepreneurs. 



KICK-IT-OFF is a project that aims to empower Gen Z individuals by providing them with the necessary life skills for sustainable development, with the ultimate objective of making them inclusive society pioneers. KICK-IT-OFF utilizes gamification to create immersive learning opportunities that simulate realistic scenarios where learners can apply their knowledge and skills. The project also recognizes that people have different learning styles and paces, and thus offers a 1:1 mentorship program that is mutually beneficial for both the mentor and mentee. To achieve its goals, KICK-IT-OFF needs to deeply understand the importance of planning and running an appropriate HRM strategy. This enables the project to work collaboratively to co-create solutions that are both desirable and feasible, while also having a meaningful impact.


Value of KICK-IT-OFF

An overall lack of lifeskill is among reasons attributed to risks for young people such as poor performance, depression and even suicide. According to the Education Commission and UNICEF, nearly three quarters of young people aged 15 to 24 in 92 countries with available data are off-track to acquire the skills needed for employment (2022). Another survey claimed that 6 in 10 parents worry their teenage children lack essential life skills (2019) which include how to deal with their stress and feelings, time management, personal finance management and even self-care. Claire Round of National Citizen Service (NCS Trust) claimed that there are multitude of ways in which youngsters today can learn essential life skills for their future. The fact that most schools only cater for academic skills and lack of social-emotional skills is a further reason to be blamed for the shortage of life skills among the youth.


KICK-IT-OFF deeply understands the needs and context of the people affected. KICK-IT-OFF aims to design a simulation games app where players must make decisions to solve real-life problems replicated in the games to score points. Tips and tricks of soft skills will be implemented into the story games and players could also practise basic survival skills through AR application. The game takes less than an hour to play and it fosters players’ understanding of major decision-making points in real-life problems. In designing a comprehensive solution, we aspire to develop a 1:1 mentoring program for people to learn and grow in their personal and professional development. They are beneficial for both mentors and mentees, as well as for the organisations that implement them. 


Skilling and Profession

Skilling and profession in HRM of KICK-IT-OFF are important for several reasons accorded to the HR Mobilization concept. First, they help professionals of KICK-IT-OFF to keep up with the changing needs and expectations of the business and the workforce, such as adapting to vision, mission, new technologies, regulations, and trends, that can create positive impacts on society. Second, they enable KICK-IT-OFF to demonstrate value and credibility to the social project and its stakeholders. Third, they foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement among professionals of KICK-IT-OFF, which can enhance motivation, engagement, and satisfaction. There are various ways to develop and improve skills and professions in HRM of KICK-IT-OFF that might affect social innovation. Some of the most common methods are:

  • Formal education: This involves pursuing a degree or diploma in life skill or a related field from an accredited institution. Formal education can provide a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge and principles that can be applied to professional practice (Erik, 2023).
  • Professional certification: This involves obtaining a credential or designation from a recognized HR association or body that validates one’s competence and proficiency in specific life skills. Professional certification can enhance one’s reputation and marketability in that field (Erik, 2023).
  • On-the-job training: This involves learning from one’s own experience or from others in the workplace through coaching, mentoring, feedback, or shadowing. On-the-job training can help KICK-IT-OFF members and collaborators to acquire practical skills and insights that can improve one’s performance and effectiveness.
  • Self-directed learning: This involves seeking out opportunities to learn independently or with others through various sources and platforms, such as books, articles, podcasts, webinars, online courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, or networks. Self-directed learning can help one to expand one’s knowledge and perspectives on various life skill topics and issues.


Expansion and Sustainability

Expansion and sustainability are two important goals of KICK-IT-OFF in the current competitive and dynamic business environment. Expansion refers to the growth and development of a project’s size, scope, and market share, while sustainability refers to the ability of a project to maintain its economic, social, and environmental performance in the long term (Duvnjak and Kohont, 2021). HRM plays a vital role in achieving both expansion and sustainability goals, as it can influence the attraction, retention, development, and motivation of the human capital that is essential for KICK-IT-OFF success (Duvnjak and Kohont, 2021). Some of the most comprehensive methods KICK-IT-OFF has used learned from the Analysis of Human Resource Needs for Social Entrepreneurs theory are:

  • Sustainable HRM: This is a new approach to HRM that integrates the principles and practices of sustainability into the design and implementation of HRM systems and policies. Sustainable HRM aims to create a positive impact of KICK-IT-OFF on the well-being and integrity of members, society, and the environment, while also enhancing organizational performance and competitiveness. Some of the characteristics of sustainable HRM practices are pro-financial, pro-social, and pro-environmental (Fei and Wang, 2022).
  • HRM and innovation: SHRM, or strategic human resource management, is the alignment of HRM with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. SHRM can foster innovation in KICK-IT-OFF, which is the creation and implementation of new ideas, products, processes, or services that add value to the organization and its stakeholders. Innovation can help an organization to expand its market share, improve its efficiency and quality, and differentiate itself from its competitors (Fei and Wang, 2022). Some of the HRM practices that can promote innovation are member empowerment, training and development, reward systems, and knowledge management (Fei and Wang, 2022).
  • Sustainable innovation of HRM in sustainable social development: Sustainable development is a broader concept than corporate sustainability, as it encompasses the economic, social, and environmental aspects of development at the global level. Sustainable development in KICK-IT-OFF requires a transformation of values, norms, and institutions that shape human behaviour and interactions. Sustainable HRM can contribute to sustainable social development by influencing the project culture, stakeholder relationships, accountability mechanisms, and sustainability reporting (Mariappanadar, 2020). They might lead to the successful influences of KICK-IT-OFF on social as the aimed objectives of the project. 


Leadership and management are two key factors that influence the success of social innovation in KICK-IT-OFF. Leadership and management have different but complementary roles for innovation. The leader of KICK-IT-OFF have dual roles when managing innovation:

  • In a bottom-up role, the leader stimulates innovative social results as they facilitate ideas and initiative coming from individuals and teams.
  • In a top-down role, the leader is the primary means for the project to realize its social innovation goals and strategies.

According the HR Mobilization concept, some of the specific roles and responsibilities of leadership and management for social innovation of KICK-IT-OFF used are:

  • Setting the vision and direction for social innovation: The important roles of KICK-IT-OFF need to communicate a clear and compelling vision of what innovation means for the organization, why it is important, and how it aligns with the strategic objectives and values of the organization.
  • Creating a culture of innovation: KICK-IT-OFF’s leaders and managers need to foster a culture that encourages creativity, experimentation, collaboration, risk-taking, learning, and feedback. They also need to model the desired behaviors and attitudes for innovation, such as curiosity, openness, flexibility, and resilience (Barsh et al, 2008).
  • Providing resources and support for social innovation: Leaders and managers need to allocate adequate time, money, people, and tools for social innovation. They also need to provide guidance, coaching, mentoring, recognition, and rewards for innovators and innovation teams.
  • Enabling social innovation networks: Leaders and managers of KICK-IT-OFF need to facilitate the formation and functioning of dynamic networks of internal and external stakeholders who can contribute to innovation. These networks may include employees, customers, suppliers, partners, competitors, academia, government, or society at large.
  • Driving social innovation performance: Leaders and managers need to monitor, measure, evaluate, and improve the innovation process and outcomes. They also need to ensure that innovation is aligned with the customer needs and expectations, the market trends and opportunities, and the project capabilities and constraints (Mokhber, 2017).


HR competency for social innovation is the ability of professionals to foster a culture and environment that supports and encourages creativity, experimentation, collaboration, and learning among employees and teams, in order to generate and implement new ideas, products, processes, or services that add value to KICK-IT-OFF and its stakeholders. Some of the common elements and dimensions of this competency of KICK-IT-OFF based on the Analysis  Human Resource Needs for Social Entrepreneurs theory are:

  • Business acumen: The ability to translate the organization’s purpose, mission, goals, and context into strategy, positioning HR policies and activities to best serve the organization’s interests and support innovation.
  • Digital agility: The ability to interpret external trends, analyze customer needs, co-create business strategy, and leverage digital technologies and platforms to achieve sustainable business results and social innovation of KICK-IT-OFF.
  • People advocacy: The ability to create a strong internal and external culture, get the best out of people, and act as a trusted champion and communications expert for social innovation.
  • Deliver impact: The ability to monitor, measure, evaluate, and improve the innovation process and outcomes, ensuring alignment with customer needs and expectations, market trends and opportunities, and organizational capabilities and constraints, that support the creation of creative impacts on society.
  • Specialist skills: The ability to develop and apply specialized knowledge and skills in specific HR domains or functions that are relevant for social innovation.
  • Innovation translation: The ability to translate innovative ideas into practical solutions that meet the needs of the organization and its stakeholders that make a huge impact for urgently needed people.
  • Innovation competency: The ability to develop useful ideas that are new, better, or unique; introduce new ways of looking at problems; put creative ideas into practice; embrace diverse perspectives; foster interdisciplinary work; adapt to change; promote growth; and engage in continuous learning to create sustainable positive impacts. 


Recruitment in HRM for social innovation in KICK-IT-OFF is the process of attracting, selecting, and hiring talented and creative individuals who can contribute to the generation and implementation of new ideas, products, processes, or services that add value to the project and its stakeholders. Recruitment in HRM for innovation requires a strategic and proactive approach that aligns with the organization’s vision, goals, and culture of social innovation (Jotaba, 2022). Based on Human Resource Needs for Social Entrepreneurs theory , the key aspects and best practices of recruitment in HRM for social innovation of KICK-IT-OFF are:

  • Define the social innovation competencies and skills: Before starting the recruitment process, it is important to identify and specify the competencies and skills that are needed for innovation in different roles and functions (Jotabá, 2022). These may include technical, functional, behavioral, and cognitive skills, such as creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, curiosity, learning agility, and risk-taking that must be appropriate with the vision, mission and social value of KICK-IT-OFF.
  • Use innovative recruitment methods: To attract and reach out to potential innovators, it is advisable to use innovative and diverse recruitment methods that can showcase the project’s brand and values, as well as engage and challenge the candidates. 
  • Assess the suitable potential: To select the best candidates for social innovation, it is essential to assess their innovation potential using valid and reliable tools and techniques that can measure their competencies and skills for innovation (Verlinden, 2023). Some examples of assessment tools and techniques are personality tests, cognitive ability tests, situational judgment tests, work samples, case studies, simulations, and role plays, that might be the evidence to evaluate the appreciation of candidates for the social value of KICK-IT-OFF, and look for their readiness to accompany with the project.
  • Provide feedback and support: To hire and retain the potential innovators, it is important to provide them with timely and constructive feedback on their performance and potential during and after the recruitment process. It is also important to support them with adequate resources, training,development, recognition, and rewards that can enhance their motivation, engagement, and satisfaction. KICK-IT-OFF usually hosts many meetings to innovate and motivate members to understand the current situation and the future directions. 


In conclusion, KICK-IT-OFF is a transformative project focused on empowering vulnerable Gen Z individuals with essential life skills for sustainable development. The success of KICK-IT-OFF hinges on its ability to deliver an effective and engaging HRM program that aligns with the needs of social innovation. KICK-IT-OFF can gain a deep understanding of the crucial of HRM in developing a program that meets the innovative needs of society. By taking a comprehensive approach based on the previous programs, KICK-IT-OFF can continuously improve to ensure effective impacts on society. Ultimately, HRM plays an essential role in KICK-IT-OFF’s ability to empower the next generation of leaders and create a more inclusive and sustainable society.



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