“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-country 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.
A.S Louken managed to easily track employee communication on a centralised platform that they can see over 90 users from 49 locations where their employees are based (including customer location based employees) participated in the launch campaign.
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.
Employees can now organise internal events, invite participants, track RSVPs and use QR code to scan attendance, all at one place.
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.
“As we listen to our people’s feedback, we decide to focus on a few areas to enhance our employee experience. We try to cultivate a culture of real-time recognition in our company, where a simple token of recognition for a job well done can encourage our colleagues to feel appreciated and motivated. Given that the younger workforce are digital natives, we opted for an flexible points and recognition app to consolidate our various people engagement activities into a single platform.”
Human Capital Leader, Big 4 Professional Services Firm
A prominent professional services firm
The Company is one of the “Big Four” professional services firm that provides audit assurance, tax, and consulting services. The Malaysia office employs over 2,500 employees.
How this Big 4 Professional Services firm increased employee motivation and engagement with SelfDrvn
The challenge – retention of valuable workers
The company was facing tough competition for millennial workers; a demographic that is tech-dependent and craves reward and recognition. Users of the existing employee recognition program were frustrated with the administrative burdens and lack of real-time recognition, resulting in unmanaged burnouts and subsequently leaving the organization.
The objective – enhance employee engagement and retention through the use of real-time recognition
The company wanted to improve user experience by providing point driven real-time recognition directly from managers to employees that are transparent with rewards and recognition feature for the redemption of points earned and awarding badges for the positive behaviour. The key driver for the success of the objective needed to be a reduction in administrative burdens and ease of use for employees and managers.
The solution – real-time rewards for high performing employees
Enter SelfDrvn – a one-stop solution to engaging employees as well as their managers. SelfDrvn is a user-friendly, comprehensive employee engagement digital solution. It provides a consumerized user experience using mobile technology, gamification, and data analysis to transform the employee experience.
With the launch of the flexible points and recognition app powered by SelfDrvn, the company focused on three key features of the that enabled the company to achieve its objective of managers recognizing employees anywhere, anytime and track the results:
- Badges Allocation for positive behaviours
- Report: Allocated Reward Transaction
- Rewards Transaction Report
With the features above, employees are able to keep track of points rewarded by their managers by points and badges as a result of recognition of tasks done and for performing actions like peer support, collaboration, and subsequently convert the points to vouchers that are of use to the users – all powered by a single mobile application.
To the managers, they are now able to promptly instill positive morale to the team by quickly distribute points electronically to employees who can then receive their recognition immediately.
Rewarding High Performing Talents with their gifts of choice
Based on the employee’s performance, high performing employees are rewarded with points which they can accumulate the points and use them to redeem rewards that are meaningful to them, something that they choose and truly want.
Rewards that are redeemable through a flexible points and recognition app powered by SelfDrvn includes gift cards from 200+ merchants including Lazada, Zalora, Adidas, Grab, SASA, FashionValet, and more.
Achieving high 80% adoption rate
After implementation of the flexible points and recognition powered by SelfDrvn, the use by the company’s managers began to rise immediately and significantly to an adoption rate of 80%. Within the first 6 months, over 2,000 employees received recognition and this garnered positive reviews from the users that also include the impact of more regular, quantifiable recognition by their managers. Based on a gamification model, SelfDrvn fosters participation, healthy competition and meaningful dialogue with managers, teams and co-workers.
The case for success
With constant competition for market share as well as talent, companies must invest wisely and with sufficient data to support business decisions. Historically, businesses haven’t always viewed employee engagement as a prime driver of the bottom line.
The company’s results are strong indicators that a clear, timely and transparent recognition given by managers are key to employee engagement to celebrate their efforts and timely feedback of their performance in their job activities – made easier when powered by an ease-of-use employee engagement solution can dramatically increase participation and buy-in from employees and managers.
Want to use real-time rewards and recognition for your employees too? Request for a demo on how it works here!
“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.
Message in a Bottle allows you to receive collective anonymous feedback from your employees and let them vote on the their top 3 most agreeable and top 3 answers they disagree to. This helps organisation to focus on issues that matters most to their employees through their collective voice.
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”.
The employee experience is about the entire journey – every touchpoint, every interaction of an employee’s time spent within an organisation. For many Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers, this may take place over the course of years, if not decades but for many folks today, it may be a period of months or a few short years. Nevertheless, it is still about the journey.
This begs the question, if we can positively impact the employee experience (EE), if we can create memorable experiences, do these not make a difference in their lives and the work they create? Yes, of course it does.
Crafting a positive employee experience involves the entire journey an employee will go through.
Organisational Structures Need to Change
Perhaps, that is the reason why EE has become such a trend. Jacob Morgan talks about the emergence of roles like “Global Chief Employee Experience Officer” or “Head of Employee Experience”. Denise Lee Yohn, in her Forbes article, talks about 2018 being the year of employee experience. What does all this mean?
It is recognition of the clear correlation between frontline engagement, customer service, productivity, performance as well as revenue growth. This affects all employees – candidates, contingent workers as well as alumni. With this correlation must come the shift in our approach from instructional design to experience design. When it comes to experiences, organisations have long held the view that it is about the employee fitting into the organisational culture. It has long been about how we need to get our people aligned to our organisational objectives.
Employee Experience is Built By Your People
But work has meaning not just for the organisation but for the people within. Work brings meaning to our lives, helping us connect the individual tasks we accomplish with the greater goals we work to achieve. As such, organisations need to come half way, realising that it is incumbent upon them to meet the employee at the middle. We, as organisations, need to not just fit employees into our organisational culture. These employees create the very culture itself. When we talk about learning and development, our goal should no longer be about finding out what’s missing in the employee toolkit but rather, asking them what they would like to learn. Our goal should be as Josh Bersin puts it, “to deliver learning to where people are”.
“Employees create the very culture itself.” Get your people aligned to shared organisational objectives.
The focus is on the employee. It is not about what we want from them on their first day, for example. Rather, it is about asking what we’d want their first day to be like. The difference is subtle yet palpable.
In the Deloitte 2017 Report, Reimagine and Craft the Employee Experience: Design Thinking in Action, there is clear reference to the need for design thinking to come front and centre, with 3 principles being fundamental to effectively engaging the workforce.
Principle One – Empathise
The first principle is empathy – that empathy helps you see things differently, allowing you to create different experiences which can have varying levels of engagement. As you move up in your career, you will notice less focus and importance placed on your technical ability and far more focus on those skills that really matter – the ability to influence, to listen well, to empathise, to connect, to collaborate and to lead. This is why empathy matters.
It is a skill that allows us to understand, to share and connect with others in terms of what they see, hear and feel. In other words, it allows us to step into the shoes of another. How are we to effect change, to solve problems, to think up new solutions if we only ever see things from our own narrow world-view? This is why empathy is the first of five blocks in Ideo’s Design Thinking Framework.
Principle Two – Envision
The second principle is about stepping outside ourselves because to envision, we must generate a variety of options and see how these can become potential solutions. It is about understanding that we need not be limited into thinking that there is only the one way forward or a zero-sum game.
Principle Three – Experiment
The third principle is experimentation. In another word, testing, where you collect both qualitative and quantitative data so that you are data-driven. You get closer and closer to a more meaningful evaluation of your problem. This helps you come up with solutions that are more targeted.
We worry that that AI and increased automation will take away many jobs. Yes, it will but at the same time, it will free us to do more meaningful and valuable work. The kind of work that matters. If we want that to grow, to develop further, to manifest in a variety of ways previously unimagined, then we need to craft the kind of employee experiences that touch us in more ways than one.
SelfDrvn, an all-in-one tech platform to retain, reward and engage talent, has become the first Malaysian company to be featured in the Gartner Hype Cycle! SelfDrvn was listed as a vendor in the Worker Engagement Platform category for the 2018 Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace.
What is the Gartner 2018 Hype Cycle Report?
Gartner’s annual Hype Cycle measures the maturity and adoption rates of various technologies and provides insight into how relevant they are in solving business problems. The Hype Cycle helps you discern the hype from what is commercially viable by providing a graphical representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications. This helps you discover how one technology or application can evolve over time.
Previous Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace, 2017. Source: Gartner
Each Hype Cycle drills down into 5 key phases of a technology’s life cycle, namely:
- Innovation Trigger;
- Peak of Inflated Expectations;
- Trough of Disillusionment;
- Slope of Enlightenment; and finally,
- Plateau of Productivity.
By mapping out the technology against the different phases of its life-cycle, stakeholders and potential investors can then decide how soon to get on board, how to reduce risk on their tech investment decisions and compare the investment against potential business value.
The Hype Cycle for the Digital Workspace report includes suggestions for potential advancements and suggestions for best-fit solutions and vendors.
SelfDrvn, sample Vendor in the Worker Engagement Platform category
This year, SelfDrvn was listed as a vendor in the Worker Engagement Platform category with the following metrics:
Benefit Rating : High
Market Penetration : 1 – 5 percent of target audience
Maturity : Emerging
Worker Engagement Platforms are designed to boost employee engagement and motivation by providing positive worker experiences. Behavioural economics and positive psychology represent some of the focus areas in order to maximise worker adoption.
Gartner’s VP of research and HR tech Ron Hanscome explains – these platforms are designed to incorporate various disciplines such as gamification, corporate social responsibility, social recognition tools as well as industry-specific workforce management solutions. The aims are simple – increase engagement and performance by looking at elements such as recommendations, mindfulness and connecting through purpose.
Multiple activities are supported such as regular feedback, coaching, competition, team or social activities, personalisation as well as social recognition. Game-style mechanics help to increase adoption in general. Worker engagement with the platform is, therefore, quite high thanks to these activities. Consequently, workers provide more input and feedback on work-related factors. Among other things, they can discuss work schedules, best practices and working conditions, thus providing real-time feedback on their engagement level.
Worker engagement platforms are an emerging aspect of the current digital workplace. As employees are increasingly mobile and on-line, such platforms reach out to the evolving needs of the workforce today.
Strong correlation between engagement and business impact
Employee engagement correlates very strongly with business performance as indicated by numerous studies by Gartner, Gallup, Hay, Willis Towers Watson and more. Worker motivation and engagement are critical in any work environment especially when innovation, creativity and cross-collaboration is called upon. Disciplines such as neuroscience, behavioural economics and positive psychology, when embedded in these platforms, teach us a great deal about motivating individuals.
Organisations today should have a strong focus on employee engagement in the workplace. Ron Hanscome suggests that by investigating and piloting some of the tools and techniques showcased, organisations can come to their own decisions about the strengths and weaknesses of these different tools fitting into their individual organisational culture and context. As these solutions are still emerging, there is no commonly defined feature set. The use of leading design practices such as the use of personas or worker journey mapping will help ensure functionality improvement and better worker experiences.
SelfDrvn was established in 2015 by our CEO, Lam Mun Choong — an entrepreneur with a background in software engineering and a passion for understanding human sciences. Our mission is to enable a world where employee wellbeing is the key to company success. We want to help companies develop a thriving workplace culture that can build great employee engagement, recognition, retention and performance. So we’ve designed a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform that can help organisations improve engagement with their employees and customers through effective communication, gamification and behavioral analytics. Our product is part technology, part psychology, and part process. We believe that positive empowerment and people-centred strategies are the keys to building a successful business.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
The Gartner Peer Insights Logo is a trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc., and/or its affiliates, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
Gartner – “9 Questions That Should Be in Every Employee Engagement Survey”
Gartner – “Hype Cycle For the Digital Workplace, 2018”
Gallup – “How Employee Engagement Drives Growth”
Willis Towers Watson – “The Power of Three – Taking Engagement to New Heights”
Six aspects to build on every day.
What’s different about workplace culture today? One significant difference is that we’re in the age of the connected stakeholder. Whether it is your employee, partner, customer or community at large, this connectedness can either break or make you, as an organisation, in more ways than one.
When you talk about organisational culture, this used to be something that was very internally driven. The experience, for the longest time, was managed within and to a great extent, what happened inside stayed inside. Word of mouth and referrals, of course, had its place. But today, our always on, always accessible culture and smartphone-driven ways has led to a leaching of this culture outside the organisation. What used to be known just to employees can now spread like wildfire on various platforms – regardless of its veracity. And that can be either a bad or good thing.
Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce therefore called it right when he said that, “your company culture is your brand’.
Your organisational culture translates into your brand – be it in client meetings, or the way your customers view your organisation.
Aspects of culture
That said, what can we then do about ensuring we build a strong and sustainable workplace culture? You can make sure you tick off the boxes in six aspects of culture.
OC Tanner is a $500 million global company specialising in recognition and culture. They have invested a lot of time and resources in conducting extensive research with more than 10,000 companies where their focus has been on the employee’s view of culture. Their research shows that there are six aspects of culture in particular that people look for in a great place to work, which are purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, well-being and leadership.
This is about connecting your employee to your organisation’s reason for being. This sense of purpose is how your employee makes a difference to your organisation and how your organisation makes a difference in the world. And millennials have long focused on what drives an organisation. These are different values from the days of old where people stayed in one spot for 30 years, waiting on a golden handshake that may or may not come.
As an employee, having a common purpose with the organisation can make all the difference in terms of effort and performance at work.
This is giving it all to your employees – the ability to learn new skills, to develop, to realise their potential and to contribute meaningfully. It seems to make absolute sense except that there are many organisations that are driven by one thing and the employee is their means of getting to it. That narrow-minded approach means they don’t stop to think about their employee and what they may want or need, thus wasting precious time and resources recruiting and retaining people who don’t buy in or remain engaged.
Always think about how your employees can benefit from an opportunity to upskill themselves or for the company to promote cross-functional learning.
Success for the employee, in many ways, is success for the organisation. This necessarily involves a degree of empowerment and letting go in order for employees to fail forward, try new things and not be penalised for exploring and innovating.
“The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” If every organisation embraced so wholeheartedly this mantra by IBM’s Thomas Watson Sr, things may be very different in our world today.
When employees are empowered to innovate and correct mistakes, the organisation sets up a system that motivates and encourages employees to fail forward to success.
Who doesn’t feel valued when they are appreciated? While it is very important that organisations recognise both outstanding work and unique contributions, I feel it’s just as important to value and recognise effort as well. It would be good to realise that we do not all start at the same starting line in which case, efforts vary and therefore, need to be taken into account as well.
Developing a culture of recognition can significantly boost satisfaction and retention in the workplace.
Particularly relevant in today’s always on, technologically-driven workplace, a focus on employee well-being goes beyond foosball tables, a well-stocked pantry and gym membership. It’s recognition that an employee’s health is many fold – physical, social, emotional and financial. An organisation is made up of people, right to the top, who make decisions for the organisation every day. This means these leaders themselves experience a sense of well-being which they should rightfully ensure is an experience other employees get as well.
Well-being initiatives should be in place, beside any foosball tables, game rooms, or a fancy pantry.
Leadership comes from the top and drives everything, in many ways. Good leadership connects employees to purpose, empowers them to do great work and helps bring people together in teams and as a whole. Or they don’t. Don’t just let your organisational culture exist – build it, refine it often and mould it to get it just right.
Leaders must live and breathe the organisational culture that they put in place. Be the positive change you wish to see in your organisation.
Culture is challenging because your organisational culture exists whether you want to confront it or not. As Jacob Morgan, author and futurist, shared – “A physical environment doesn’t exist unless the organisation creates or designates one. But the corporate culture is like air–it’s around all the employees who work there even if they aren’t always aware of it. That is what it’s so crucial to actually create and design a culture instead of just letting it exist.“