We’re still here for you! Read about Cincom’s response to COVID-19 here.
Largest Provider of Commercial Smalltalk
Cincom is one of the largest commercial providers of Smalltalk, with twice as many partners and customers than other commercial providers.

Tom Nies

Why Companies Should Reskill or Upskill Talent during the Pandemic

AG5

The Ever-Evolving Need

Even before our current crisis, changing technologies and new ways of working were job disruptors for many employees. In 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that as many as 375 million workers, or 14 percent of the global workforce, would need to either switch occupations or acquire new skills by the year 2030 largely due to the rise of artificial intelligence. In a more recent McKinsey Global Survey, 87 percent of executives said they were experiencing or were expecting to deal with skill gaps in the workforce over the next few years. Unfortunately, less than half of the survey takers knew how to address the problem.

That was before 2020. Now with the coronavirus pandemic, this issue has become increasingly more urgent. Workers across a variety of industries are rushing to figure out how they can adapt to these rapidly changing conditions. Meanwhile, companies are on overdrive as they seek to match workers with new roles that are changing quickly. This issue is about more than just working remotely or the role AI has or will have at companies (as the initial surveys hinted to). It’s firmly about companies reskilling and upskilling their workers to deliver a new, post-pandemic business model. As McKinsey & Company said,

“To emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, companies should start reskilling their workforces now.”

Harvard Business Review said,

“Under normal conditions, workers constantly shift between different industries, albeit at a slow pace. However, the COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent need to make labor shifts happen much more quickly.”

To meet this challenge, companies need to create talent strategies that develop their employees’ skills, knowledge, adaptability, resiliency and capabilities, as well as their social and emotional skills. Companies can wait no longer.  It’s time to increase budgets, training and a commitment to reskilling and upskilling.  This will have both a positive short-term (pandemic) and long-term (post-pandemic) affect for businesses.

What Is Reskilling and Upskilling?

Simply put, “reskilling” is the development of new or additional skills that can assist workers as they move to a new role. Whereas “upskilling” is the training that enables workers to become better at a job in which they are already performing. If done correctly, workers who gain new skills can become an adaptable army that is flexible as our world changes.

Thought leader, Beth Steinberg, the VP of People and Talent at Chime, an American technology neobank company that provides fee-free financial services through a mobile app, has hired over 10,000 workers while unfortunately laying off 2,000 people during her career. Being that Chime has no physical branches and all business is carried out exclusively online or by app, this experience has given her a unique perspective that she shares in a post by the First Round Review on “How to Lead and Rally a Company through a Layoff.” In the article, Steinberg said:

“By extracting the skill sets you need from the person you think might have them, all of a sudden there are many other ways of obtaining the capabilities you need to grow … from a management point of view, these types of options keep your workforce flexible and lean. Also employee development not only gives you more depth with your existing workforce, but it’s a retention mechanism.”

Introducing AG5 Skills Management Software

AG5With offices in Amsterdam and Berlin, AG5 has been developing skills-management, competence-management and skills-matrix software for 15 years. AG5 has developed the only plug-n-play skills-management software in the industry.

Many industries have taken blows from this global pandemic, resulting in layoffs, hiring freezes or furloughs. Some of the major industries affected include transportation, hospitality, restaurants, oil and gas. AG5 Skills Management Software fits into those affected industries, serving a wide spectrum of companies like KLM Cargo and AKKA Technologies in aviation and logistics, ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Gent in steel manufacturing, Cérélia and Intersnack in food production and Buyitdirect (an IT reseller) to name a few. AG5 also helps safety and rescue-related organizations such as firefighters and ambulance personnel.

AG5 provides valuable insights for reskilling employees, showing their customers an overview of their workers’ current and missing skills. This is especially relevant for today’s circumstances where organizations have to adapt quickly to changes in supply/demand and with people working remotely. Insights from AG5 also provide a better overview of employees with similar skills that can replace colleagues who are sick. 

In fact, one customer said,

“A lot of our staff took courses during corona lockdown – they updated their training information in AG5 themselves. But with AG5, we kept everything nicely under control – we got all the new skills recorded quickly and easily, even though most of us were working from home. I save myself around twenty hours a month using AG5 instead of our old database system.”
– AG5 Customer

AG5 noticed that many prospects use Microsoft Excel as a skills-management system. When compared to the AG5 Skills Management Software, Excel quickly becomes too complex as the amount of data increases. AG5’s software is very user-friendly and requires zero programming skills whatsoever. It’s a robust solution that doesn’t require much manual work, compared to Excel sheets, for example. On top of that, it allows valuable insights to become visual. With AG5’s Skills Management Software, team managers gain an overview of their team(s) that’s easy to share across several organizational levels.

What sets AG5 apart from LMS and HRM systems is its dedication to skills management, competence management and a skills matrix. Other platforms and tools offer skills management as an additional service, which is too simplistic or basic for some organizations.

“We’d always on boarded and trained new staff members – a process that takes about four months. But using AG5, they can see for themselves how they’re progressing, and this serves as a huge motivation.” – AG5 Customer

What Is Cincom’s Involvement?

Cincom® VisualWorks® helps AG5’s development team to be very productive in an ever-changing environment. AG5 is constantly gaining a clear, competitive advantage over other vendors as they can instantly adopt any new training methodology, increased legislation requirements or changed organizational structures and thus be able to quickly respond to new demands.

According to Anthia Moehamadidris, Growth Marketeer at AG5,

“AG5 is built using Cincom VisualWorks, which has proven to be extremely robust for years. This programming environment plays well with all kinds of new technological developments, whether on the front or back end. In our industry and with our current growth, that is a real relief.”

To read more about AG5 Skills Management Software or to watch a video that visualizes it, click here.

AG5