While companies are cutting costs to deal with the uncertainty and fallout from Covid-19, CrimsonLogic is forging ahead with even more investment in its people.
During the extended period of working from home last year, the technology solutions company poured in more resources into e-learning, as well as virtual coaching and mentoring sessions. By taking face-to-face workshops online, it was able to reach a larger audience across more countries. The company also encouraged more employees to retrain or upgrade themselves.
"Out of the crisis came the opportunity to learn digitally," said Ms Sylvia Koh, its chief people officer. "The use of technology facilitated the breaking down of geographical barriers and we managed to include employees from our overseas entities. As a result we doubled the number of people who were trained."
A provider of innovative digital solutions to governments around the world, CrimsonLogic is lauded for its commitment to employees' skills development. It is 48th in the Singapore's Best Employers 2021 list, and ranks seventh in the IT, Internet, Software & Services category.
A learning culture like no other
When CrimsonLogic started transforming its workplace culture in 2014, it also revamped its learning and development with a 10-20-70 rule - 10 per cent learning in classroom training, 20 per cent through mentorship, and 70 per cent on the job.
This was done to maximise the company's resources and to ensure that every employee gets an opportunity to learn and develop his or her skills.
While the rule still serves as a guide, e-learning will play a bigger role as the company embarks on a new training framework called Organisation Development 2022 Journey. It is rolling out more bite-sized learning that can be woven into employees' work routines, making it easier for employees to keep up with industry trends.
"The learning culture is that we don't separate work and learning, and it is a life-long journey," said Ms Koh. "Most importantly, the employee must be self-motivated and have the attitude to learn."
As part of the new learning journey, the company is focusing on three areas - critical thinking, emotional intelligence and technical skills - to stay ahead.
CrimsonLogic is hoping that employees who think critically and are adept at interacting with others will not only be better at solving root issues of problems but also provide better customer service.
Moreover since technical skills evolve quickly, it is crucial that employees continue to keep up with the latest technologies, so they can come up with innovative products and services for customers.
Helping employees stay employable
A recipient of the SkillsFuture Employer Awards 2020, which honour exemplary organisations that champion employees' skills development and build a culture of lifelong learning at the workplace, CrimsonLogic has come up with a philosophy called Employer 4.0 to drive home the message that learning is a joint responsibility between employer and employee.
Employees take charge of their own learning plan and keep track of their progress through an in-house platform. They can identify skills gaps based on the Skills Framework for Infocomm Technology, which the company has adopted to benchmark its employees' capabilities against the industry's.
Employees are then encouraged to upskill and attend training by external course providers, such as Udemy or Coursera, and on e-learning platform LinkedIn Learning. All courses are sponsored by CrimsonLogic.
"We are clear about giving our employees full support to equip them with the right skills for growth," said Ms Koh.
Mr Riyadi Ho Peng Ky, who has worked in the company for four years, appreciates the support from the top. The head of Product Engineering has gone through a number of courses, among which he finds one titled Relational Leader - with Emotional Intelligence to be the most useful. He says it helped him to be a better individual, team player, and leader.
By investing in the employees and helping them to upskill, the company believes they will be more inclined to remain in the company.
"The more valuable they are, the more they should be able to recognise the opportunities they have in the organisation and stay on," said Ms Koh. "Short-sighted companies may limit training and development for worry of losing their investment if the employee chooses to move on from the company."
Mr Ho agrees, pointing to CrimsonLogic's willingness to invest in external training and certification, including globally recognised ones, for the staff.
"I don't find many employers out there who are willing to invest extensively in their employees, probably for fear that the employees may then have higher value in the market and risk being poached by another employer," he said.
"I particularly like what our CEO said, 'If we invest and care for our people, they will in turn contribute to the company.' This is very true."