Aggregating large amounts of trade data real-time and presenting them in reports for analysis. Ensuring document security against forgery or information leaks. Managing complex network infrastructure involving multiple operating systems.
These tasks are all in a day’s work for staff at technology company CrimsonLogic.
As part of a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry and a provider of innovative digital solutions to governments around the world, it has to ensure that its employees perform at consistently high levels.
That is why it invests so much in the professional development of its staff – from organising learning festivals to promote a learning culture in the workplace, to empowering employees to take charge of their own learning journeys.
“We want all our employees to have an attitude of self-directed learning which they embrace for life,” explains its chief executive officer Mr Saw Ken Wye.
Building a culture of innovation
Innovation is very much part of the company DNA as its teams constantly improve and refine its products to maintain pole position as a leader in the IT space.
The pursuit of innovation takes place on-the-job as technical staff work on their projects. While doing so, they are also encouraged to share best practices with other teams.
The company’s twice-yearly CrimsonXchange session gathers different teams to highlight missteps, and share effective solutions as valuable learning points.
Mr Saw believes this is the most effective way for employees to grow.
"We have a 10-20-70 rule when it comes to learning: 10 per cent learning in classroom training, 20 per cent through mentorship, and 70 per cent on-the-job," he says.
After all, in an IT company, the real test of a technical employee’s skills is reflected in the accuracy of coding, product performance and the frequency of errors, he adds.
To make learning fun, the company organises innovative competitions such as a hackathon and Eureka Challenge, that involves experimenting with ideas to win prize money.
Recognising the need for staff development
CrimsonLogic is a SkillsFuture Employer Awards 2020 recipient. The Awards honour exemplary organisations that champion employees’ skills development and build a culture of lifelong learning at the workplace.
“Winning the award shows that the company is committed to our employees’ development and growth, and serves as a benchmark of what we are doing with the best in Singapore,” says Mr Saw.
To that end, the company has created a philosophy it calls Employer 4.0 to make learning a joint, ongoing responsibility between employer and employee.
By helping his employees upskill and become more employable, Mr Saw believes they will be more inclined to remain in the company.
"The more valuable they become, the more they will recognise the opportunities they can seize in the company, and stay on," he explains.
Empowering employees to chart their career growth
All employees are responsible for curating his or her own learning plan and keeping track of their progress through My SkillsBank, an in-house platform.
The company has also adopted the Skills Framework for Infocomm Technology to benchmark its employees’ capabilities against the industry’s.
Employees can identify their skills gaps based on the framework, and take up relevant training courses through online external course providers such as Udemy.
They are also encouraged to attend relevant training by course provider Coursera, and pick up soft skills such as people management on LinkedIn Learning, an e-learning platform by the networking site. All courses are sponsored by CrimsonLogic.
"We are clear about supporting our employees to equip themselves with the right skills for growth. If employees want to go for relevant training, we will give them our full support," says Mr Saw.
This support from the top has been well-received by staff of all levels, as those who upskill themselves include technical staff such as enterprise and solutions architects, cybersecurity staff and even a senior technical director.
Those earmarked for leadership roles are further groomed too. They undergo a psychometric assessment so the company can customise development plans based on their competencies, and prepare them for the next stage of their careers.
Nurturing future talent to help them shine
Beyond empowering its staff, CrimsonLogic is also committed to developing the aptitude of the next generation.
It partners with the Institute of Technical Education to develop the curriculum for infrastructure network, cybersecurity, and cloud management and operation courses.
The company also believes in giving students the opportunity to put their skills into practice.
Its Global Technology Internship Programme was launched in 2019 to take in local university students. High-performing students are shortlisted for the Graduate Technology Associate Programme, launched in 2014, which places fresh university graduates in an accelerated training programme.
Looking ahead to grow a resilient workforce
To Mr Saw, learning is an ongoing journey. In 2021, he will focus on "reskilling employees to the next level" in the areas of robotic process automation, microlearning, data analytics and cybersecurity.
Soft skills are equally important, so the company will also be training employees in the areas of critical analysis and problem solving, innovative thinking, resilience building and emotional intelligence.
“We are focused on reskilling employees to the next level. Work and learning go hand-in-hand,” he says.