“We are using Louken@Livewire (Powered by SelfDrvn) to engage our people, gather ideas from different subsidiaries, and soon, to measure individual employee performance”
– Paul Liew, Community Manager at A.S. Louken
A home-grown team of brand activation specialists
A.S Louken is a Singapore-based branding agency with around 100 employees. They offer comprehensive branding solutions and strategic direction to a wide variety of business clients in different industries, helping enterprises in Asia become market-leading brands of tomorrow to over 1,000 clients across more than 10 countries.
The Challenge: Non-effective communication cross-company and across subsidiaries
After a period of growth, A.S Louken experienced what most fast growing companies are going through, the growing gap of communication between the management and the people who are primarily working on solution for the customers as well as the customer facing staff. Delayed messages coming through and to between the key management team and the important pulse that comes from the frontliners, as well as the growing gap of flow and understanding between departments to deliver effectively to customers’ expectations are common in Louken.
Fewer exposure to collaborations among departments resulted in a negative impact to work productivity. Therefore, it was a top priority to establish a simple way for everyone to be informed and get to know each other. They needed a highly engaging and effective solution allowing employees across the company to communicate with each other and be informed about both business news and fun team building events while maintaining accessibility to all employees at any given time.
The solution to improving communication and driving positive behaviours: Better aligned communication, listening to the voice of employees and driving a better reward and recognition system
SelfDrvn works closely with A.S Louken to deliver a solution that meets the objectives of:
- Easy integration and aligned communication flow among the subsidiaries
- Driving collaboration through a common group level platform
- Transparent recognition of high performing employees
As a result, SelfDrvn supported A.S Louken in launching an enhanced LiveWire@ASLouken (Powered by SelfDrvn) company-wide to power engagement via mobile and desktop channels. This means all employees from different business units and subsidiaries share a unified communication platform for better alignment. Groups and social feed functions and reward & recognition features become the primary value drivers to meet the objectives.
Employees were rewarded for organising peer programs such as rock climbing, cooking and cardio dance activities via the Events section through badges and points that are eventually be used to redeem privileges and rewards from the company “shopping store” within the platform.
The impact is instant. On the first day of launch of LiveWire@ASLouken platform saw a dramatic increase in cross-company communication. The management and HR were able to see the conversations and how employees were using it – and most importantly, the management experienced the power of nudging – rewarding desired behaviours through gamification that is instrumental to build habits.
AS Louken managed to easily track employee’s communication on a centralised platform that they can see over 90 users from 42 different topic discussion points, where employees from different locations participated since the launch of the campaign. After the campaign period, the company have formed 8 focus discussion groups to form a mini community with like minded interests.
To prove habit building practice a success, a total of 937,800 reward points and 14,212 badges were rewarded over 3 months upon SelfDrvn/Livewire implementation for active value creation and collaboration between employees from different groups tracked via the platform. This means:
- As average points rewarded for completing desired action is 100 points per activity, there were at least 9,378 actions completed and recognised over the the period.
- That is about 104 actions that instilled collaboration and value creation done by each employee in the company over the same period!
A.S Louken now has a quantifiable way to track employee participation, communication and engagement. The real-time and usable statistics generated show that people are actively using the system to talk with each other, work together and organise team building events. It automatically tracks communication and event venue participation.
People who did not previously know each other now have an easy and fun way to engage with each other and they receive rewards they want as a result. People who are communicating are more likely to find opportunities to work together on projects and the platform tracks collaboration and peer recognition. Importantly, no one is left out of critical messages from HR and management because everyone has access.
Over time, the company’s leaders can see opportunities for additional improvement and can easily identify what areas or groups require more attention.
A.S Louken has a firmer plan to use the platform tools to listen to the voice of their employees more, through real-time ad-hoc feedback and survey. This could facilitate more frequent employee performance discussions and eliminate the current once a year paper-dependent process. In addition, it will be incorporated as an important communication channel in the upcoming change management practice to roll out new culture values that will involve rewards and celebration of every employee who lives and embodies the values of the company.
“SelfDrvn encourages participation by all in a campaign primarily because what colleagues do on the platform is highly visible. Furthermore, being rewarded for taking part in certain activities certainly help drive participation”
– Jian Long, Engagement Champion, CA Trust PAC
A leader in audit, tax, and advisory services
CA Trust Pac is an independent member of the TGS Global Network Limited, an international network of professional business advisors. They offer audit, tax, and advisory services to small and mid-sized businesses, government as well as non-profit organizations.
The Challenge: Employee Retention
CA Trust Pac had one primary challenge – address retention levels.
As a small organization of 90 employees, growing the team was much less a priority to retaining the people they had and ensuring employee engagement was on the mark. One of their goals was to be seen as an employer of choice for young Accounting talent. Addressing employee social well-being and health and wellness were, therefore, top concerns.
They decided that events would be a primary platform through which they would undertake greater employee engagement as these were in-person activities. These events would provide a better listening channel as well help them provide better analysis of any data collected.
The Solution to increase employee engagement: Listen to the Voice of the Employee (VoE)
SelfDrvn represented a single yet comprehensive platform to manage multiple drivers of employee engagement. With a variety of tools and touchpoints including employee pulse surveys, reward, recognition, peer feedback, goal setting, and wellness, it was possible to tackle a number of aspects of the employee experience.
Take the app, Message in a Bottle, for example – this motivated employees to participate in idea generation, provide feedback as well as make suggestions for improvements. It is designed to allow for anonymous feedback and ideas generation that in turn, made it more engaging, fun and rewarding. And gamification meant that employees could compete among themselves and earn rewards for their contributions.
The Newsfeed allowed employees to keep engaged socially, collaborate and stay informed.
Real-time rewards and recognition fuelled greater participation and by incorporating many of the employees’ ideas, participation rates increased which had a knock-on effect on the rest of the activities.
Success in increasing employee’s participation rate
As the statistics show, employee participation rates went through the roof at 97.5%. This increase in participation led to the creation and sharing of 1 idea from every 2 employees too (which is 4x more than traditional methods) all of which contributed to making their internal campaigns and initiatives an overwhelming success – signifying the true embodiment of a campaign that is “driven by employees for employees”.
Our (and Nettium’s) CEO, Lam Mun Choong was a keynote speaker at the 2018 Talent Ecosystem Conference, held on the 15th of August at Connexion, Bangsar South. He delivered a session on the topic of “Driving Business Outcomes by Focusing on the Employee Experience”.
Mun Choong first introduced the concept of design thinking – a process that serves as a protocol for solving problems and discovering new opportunities. Deloitte research indicates that companies where HR delivers the highest levels of value are almost 5X more likely to be using design thinking in their programmes compared to their peers.
Central Aspects of EX
When his team (Nettium) first approached the idea of designing their EX, they centered their strategy around addressing employee needs, making work more human, and to make work simpler through living out company values. Applying design thinking, his focus has been on three central aspects of the EX – culture, the workspace and technology.
Nettium’s Improved Benchmarks
Mun Choong outlined some intriguing statistics from Nettium over a 3-year period, ending 2015. While Nettium showed a 2X rise in headcount (86 to 174), the company’s productivity index went up by 2.5X, quality index by 1.4X, and customer satisfaction rose from a B- to a B+.
Nettium also showed lower absenteeism, which brought more than MYR1.36 million to their annual bottom line. A higher rate of employee advocacy was seen as well, which contributed to more than MYR600,000 in annual savings for their recruitment costs. More than 50% of all employees hired up to now have been coming in through employee referrals.
These findings have reinforced the belief that a good EX contributes significantly to the bottom line. Hence, should be approached with some rigour.
Here’s a sneak peek into the 3 central aspects of Nettium’s EX that Mun Choong shared.
The Employee Experience – Culture
There are three gaps, in particular, that Mun Choong wanted to address. First, the knowledge gap because employees often lack an awareness of the culture that the organisation needs. They are often more concerned with their own situation.
Second, the mindset gap – not everyone will believe in the culture that the organisation needs. You will, therefore, need to spend time to see how you can bridge this gap.
Finally, the behaviour gap where employees do not always incorporate the behaviours related to the culture that the organisation needs.
All 3 gaps had to be filled before focusing on communicating the importance of culture. Leaders have the responsibility to manage things operationally based on the culture they create. This involved budgets, structures they establish, as well as policies they enforce.
The Employee Experience – The Workspace
Mun Choong wanted the workplace to be employee-centric, which reflecting the company’s aspirations and values. He involved the employees from the start. The office is Instagram-able, and creates a sense of belonging and pride for all. The workspace helps greatly in employer branding.
Flexible options are present, ranging from open, team-based workspaces, stand-up meetings, sofas and cafes, recreation and nap rooms. He mentioned that people often ask about the purpose of a nap and games room – is he encouraging his people to sleep on the job, or play when they should be working? Would it not be distracting?
Mun Choong’s response was that the environment needs to be a product of the people who have to live and breathe there for a significant portion of their lives. With a 74/26 male to female ratio where the average age is 29, this is what was in demand. He trusts that people will enjoy and appreciate the environment, and trust that they will accomplish what they need to. The philosophy is, “We treat people they way they want to be treated and the way they deserve to be treated.”
Games room (there’s a PS4, pool table, and foosball table)
Yoga classes to unwind after a long day at work.
The Employee Experience – Tech
Mun Choong decided that helping managers become better coaches and mentors would be a key piece to the positive EX by providing more insight into individual strengths, motivation and stress factors. After all, Gallup research showed that managers account for up to 70 percent of variance in employee engagement.
Behavioural analytics are used to determine the cultural fit, as well as opportunities for job crafting.
Building the culture around collaboration and continuous feedback was going to help. He knew that he could allow technology to become an enabler for a whole host of things – personalised micro learning, provide real-time employee recognition, personalised rewards and flex benefits, help employees improve self-awareness and achieve their goals in real-time.
In his closing notes, he summarised that EX does help to drive better business outcomes. If employers can connect the relationship between the two strongly, they can ensure greater longevity in these campaigns and a better business all around.
This blog post showcases some key slides from Mun Choong’s keynote speech. To get the full public release set of slides, let us know your email here and we’ll email you a copy!