SelfDrvn’s PlaySk00L Gamification Series: 4 Key Insights

SelfDrvn’s PlaySk00L Gamification Series: 4 Key Insights

SelfDrvn recently held its PlaySk00L Gamification Series 2: Employee Experiences Geared for Success at SelfDrvn HQ on the 25th of July, 2018. Our participants had an engaging afternoon of learning about concepts like gamification design thinking, how to implement gamification within organisational duties, and the future of gamification in the ASEAN region.

Our Customer Success Director, Melvin Chan delivering the opening notes.


JC Ng, from our event partner Impact Volution, introducing the participants to how gamification can be implemented at work.

Our speakers line-up delivered some golden nuggets of information on gamification and its effect on organisations. Here’s a quick summary of some insights we learnt from the PlaySk00L Series 2 session!


  1. Gamification is not all about games

You may be asking – but gamification has the word “game” in it! Well, you’re half right. As mentioned by our speaker Melvin Chan, the Customer Success Director of SelfDrvn, gamification does not necessarily need to involve complex game mechanics, such as those in modern computer games today. Gamification can be implemented on a very basic level via a rewards mechanic or leaderboard, to improve certain work (e.g. sales quotas, or resolving software bugs) or mundane office chores (e.g. refilling paper for the copier) to make them more engaging and incentivise people to continue taking positive actions.

JC engaging participants in the gamified team-building activities.


Participants used the SelfDrvn application to compete in the activities for the day.


2. A tool for enhancing the employee journey

Game thinking can be used as a guideline that serves the employee in an organisation. As with most computer games, the player is put in the boots of a Hero, who has autonomy, mastery over their roles, and are devoted to a purpose. Take Lara Croft from Tomb Raider as an example. As the main character, she has autonomy over which paths she takes, and how she takes them in the game-world, mastery over her role as a wall-climbing, puzzle-solving, trap-evading adventurer, and is devoted to the purpose of finding her long-lost father. Applied at work, this concept can evoke high-level engagement for an employee, when they are in control of the work they produce.

Our CEO, Mun Choong introducing Game Design Thinking and its application in the workplace.


3. The ASEAN market is growing

The ASEAN countries in particular have shown a strong inclination and receptiveness towards gamification in recent years. This is attributed in part by the high penetration rate of smartphones and social media in the region. The hype of gamification in the US market has somewhat fizzled out, but is just starting to spark in the ASEAN region, according to Mun Choong. This Accenture report supports the notion of gamification becoming more intertwined within workplace activities by suggesting employers to reach out to the intrinsic motivation of employees in the region, chiefly the need to belong within a community, and the chasing of status in, and outside of work. Performance management, ranking systems, and attractive incentives will not only aid in retention of current employees, but also the on-boarding of new roles.

4. Game thinking aligns personalities and career paths

In the session with Mun Choong, participants had the chance to dive deeper into their personality archetypes and personal characteristics, during the Game Design Thinking Sprint. Based on the 4 archetypes and motivations of Doers (social), Teambuilders (freedom), Visionaries (order), and Trailblazers (individual), we were all invited to explore from 12 cards in total, our personalities. As it seems, some people have different personalities at work, compared to being at home. This presented us with some food for thought: can we be truly happy if we maintain two separate personalities, depending on our environment? These personality tests can also prove useful to determine an individual’s cultural fit in an organisation, or their roles in specific departments with different requirements.

Participants identifying their personalities: are they Doers, Trailblazers, Visionaries, or Teambuilders?

SelfDrvn’s PlaySk00L Series brings together industry experts and the public to dive into current matters and topics relevant to the HR and Gamification scene. Like our Facebook page to be updated on any future events!

The New Era of Engagement Solutions

The New Era of Engagement Solutions

Start with a profound desire to understand how and why your people work.

Look employee engagement up online and you shouldn’t be surprised to see a fair few articles about making the workplace more human again. More human? With the exception of certain extreme situations, the average workplace consists primarily of humans and, in fact, is largely driven by humans. So why the need to become more human?

Gathering Information

The reality is that while many organisations strive to incorporate best practices for a whole host of workplace-driven issues, there is often a gap (sometimes wide, sometimes not) in terms of what and how they achieve this.

Take employee surveys, for example. Speak to employers and they tell you how difficult it is to get people to complete these surveys. Speak to employees and they tell you how much they distrust it and feel it’s a waste of time.

employee-survey                                                    Surveys can be tedious at times, and not contribute meaningfully in the short-term (or long-term for that matter).

Often, these surveys are akin to a theoretical exercise, cumbersome and time-consuming to run. The typical perception is that nothing will change in any significant way. As employers, we need many ways to get our finger on the pulse but once we do, what do we do with such information?

Making Use of Feedback

Some years back, Aon published their Future of Engagement Survey which indicated at least two alarming issues. First, much of the employee feedback was used to look back on rather than for predictive analyses. Second, the line manager’s role in using the employee data was often not emphasised – it was the HR business partner who was the primary user of this people data.

Don’t you agree that these two things need to shift? First, this relevant and timely data should be used in a proactive and forward-looking manner so that rather than simply examining past behaviours and action, you can take steps to address issues as they surface. Second, far more people need to be actively involved not just in the collection of employee data but the dissemination of the same. The same survey also indicated how technology was not often adopted in how employee feedback was communicated – a mere 6% used electronic means such as blog posts, chat rooms and webinars to share information.

The Challenge at Hand

This issue presents a challenge in many ways, yet simultaneously, an opportunity too. With organisations now ever more dispersed, more mobile and grappling with an ever increasing data overflow, it begs the question how we can leverage technology to ease our lives, simplify processes, automate simple tasks and ultimately, improve employee engagement across as many levels as possible.


This is why tech platforms like SelfDrvn which incorporate gamification and real-time feedback are so successful – they put the employee in the driver’s seat. They involve the employee in identifying what works and what does not as well as source new ideas about potential remedial action. Most organisations have top management defining remedial action but with platforms like these, increased employee involvement means a greater degree of ownership and therefore, greater responsibility on them, for making the workplace great again. It shifts the “I-centric” viewpoint from that of the employer to that of the employee. And that’s not a bad thing.

Driving Digital Transformation With Enterprise Gamification

Driving Digital Transformation With Enterprise Gamification

Businesses today face a very VUCA world, where VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Change today is accelerated by technology like the internet, mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT). Taxi Companies. Nokia. Blackberry. Blockbuster. What do these companies have in common? Simply put, they did not adapt and meet the rapid pace of change in the industry.

In addition, the influx of millennials into the workforce has increased pressure on organizations to become more digital. According to PwC’s Survey, the millennials will form 75% of Global Workforce by 2025. Being digital natives, 75% of millennials believe access to technology will make them more effective at work. Maggie Buggie, Capgemini’s VP Global Head of Digital Sales and Markets, noted this trend and attributes this pressure from the richer digital experiences that people have at home.


Driving digital transformation with enterprise gamification


To meet these challenges head-on, many organizations lean towards digital transformation programs to retain a competitive advantage. This means exploring and implementing innovative and often fundamental changes in business operations to incorporate digital solutions and remain competitive in the current global digital economy.

The good news is that companies that have successfully achieved true digitization are twice as likely to report industry-leading growth, profitability and customer satisfaction than their competitors. The bad news? These digital transformation projects have a 75% failure rate and this is due to poor employee engagement, cultural resistance to change and a lack of strong management involvement.


Why is Digital Transformation a Challenge?

The reason for these failures is the assumption that digital transformation is all about technology. Less attention is put into COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION and the PEOPLE who are instrumental in making the processes work. In larger organizations, the transformation process is slow, even as agile start-ups are taking up larger market shares.

Then there’s the global employee engagement challenge. Research by Gallup indicates that only 13% of employees around the world are engaged at work, and only 24% agree that the digital technology that their organization provides allows them to complete their tasks efficiently.

Meanwhile, in Adobe’s Future of Work study, 85% of employees who feel that their company’s technology is ahead of the curve, say that they love their job. This means that for any digital transformation implementation to be successful, the employees need to be engaged first.


How to make digital transformations successful?

Creating a successful and mature digital transformation requires an in-depth understanding of digital cultures in the organization, behavioral psychology, and employees’ social motivations. This is one of the reasons why we created SelfDrvn; a technology platform to help organizations motivate and engage employees using enterprise gamification while providing behavioral analytics to give managers actionable insights into how to keep employees motivated and get the best out of employees.

Driving digital transformation with enterprise gamification

Enterprise gamification, however, is not an absolute, silver-bullet solution to digital transformation challenges. Nor is it just about awarding points and badges to employees and forgetting about it. Organisations must put significant thought into the design of any enterprise gamification solution to get effective results from it. Such designs must put the users—the employees—at the center of the digital transformation. Other crucial factors include getting full support from key company management, and frequent communication, especially about the progress of the digital transformation. Research by McKinsey links these (in addition to planning for continuous improvement) to an increased likelihood of success for transformation exercises.


How Does Enterprise Gamification Help?

Driving digital transformation with enterprise gamification


What Can You Do Today?

If you have already started or are in the initial stages of starting a digital transformation program, you must ensure that the focus is on raising employee engagement to accomplish your organizational goals. Do this by increasing your communication with them, providing frequent (if possible, instant) feedback, recognizing their achievement, and celebrating milestones.

Digital engagement platforms like SelfDrvn makes processes like these easier to accomplish for organizations. Behavioural analytics also provide a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t, allowing organizations to be agiler and adapt to rapid changes.

For instance, like in computer games, enterprise transformation processes can set a goal to accomplish on the digital engagement platform. They can facilitate collaboration and teamwork among stakeholders to achieve the goal while providing instant feedback and recognition on contribution, innovation, progress, and achievements to sustain employee engagement.

Agile Performance Management

Agile Performance Management

The Annual Performance Review is dead.

That’s what you’d found if you are researching on the internet on employee performance management these days. Fortune 1000 companies like General Electric are reportedly abandoning annual performance reviews in favor of a more agile way of managing and motivating employee performance.

Source: Business Insider (Side bar)

What is the manager’s typical sentiment on annual reviews? According to a research conducted with Fortune 1000 companies by CEB Research, the process is widely viewed by managers and HR as largely ineffective in providing accurate information in helping employee performance. The effectiveness of annual reviews is increasingly affected by rapid changes at the workplace (see info-graphic below)

Source: CEB Research, PwC Millennials at Work Report, Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016

Why is this happening?

Our recommendation to improve annual reviews
  1. Adopt agile management principles into performance management. For example, performance check-ins can be structured like a quick 10-20 minute weekly 1:1 huddle between manager and employee. 
  2. Create an open culture where regular peer feedback is encouraged and rewarded. Real time peer feedback when combined with coaching makes performance reviews more effective. A great way to culture the culture of feedback is to reward employees who give out helpful feedback to help their peers improve.
  3. Set peer feedback goals for every employee, to make feedback more real-time, allow employees to not only give peer feedback, but also solicit them from their peers any time.
  4. Apply Agile & S.M.A.R.T principles in employee goal setting. Manage them like 7- to 30-day sprints.
  5. Strike a balance between setting corporate KPI and personal goals for employee. Ask employees about what they expect from an experience, growth and contribution perspective and include mutually agreed objectives as part of their development goals.
  6. Use peer feedback to help managers set improvement goals for employees.
  7. Digitize real time peer feedback to reduce the time taken for managers and HR to collect and analyse peer feedback. An intuitive mobile peer feedback app will do wonders to the level of adoption of peer feedback among employees.

Tackle High Absenteeism with Employee Wellness Initiatives

Tackle High Absenteeism with Employee Wellness Initiatives

What is employee wellness?

Employee wellness relates to the physical and mental health and well-being of employees. Therefore, employee wellness initiatives are activities designed to improve employee wellness.

Employee wellness is already widely practiced by many companies. According to SHRM (2015), 80% of employers offer preventive wellness services and information.

300%: Average ROI of employee wellness programs according to a study done by Johnson & Johnson.


How to make the most of your employee wellness program?

  1. Take a holistic approach to reap the full benefits of employee wellness programs. According to Gartner, companies should see employee wellness initiative as an integral part of employee support program along with workforce management and talent management tools. Using a holistic strategy an employer may incorporate multiple activities around encouraging physical activities, diet, social activities, disease management and volunteering among employees. By taking care of employee wellness, companies can ensure employees can reach their full potential.
  2. Make employee wellness initiatives inclusive and engaging to mitigate the drop-out effects after early adoption. Use gamification and collaboration tools to increase adoption, and measure the impact of any initiatives deployed to help justify continued investment in the wellness strategy.
  3. Help employees get healthy by cultivating healthy habits. Use commonly available mobile and wearable technologies to facilitate collaboration and change the wellness behavior of employees. One innovation example: Muse, a wearable to cultivate mindfulness.
  4. There are many paths to wellness but which one works the best? “Wellness” means different things to different organizations and people, so it is important to listen to employees and tailor your programme to focus on what matters the most to your employees. To get more buy-in and adoption and crowd-source wellness ideas from your employees ask your employees for what they want.
Driving a Culture of Employee Recognition at Work

Driving a Culture of Employee Recognition at Work

“There are two things people want more than sex and money: recognition and praise.”
– Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics


Why is employee recognition so important?

We are living in a world disrupted by technological innovation and tectonic shifts in consumer expectations. The business operating environment has become Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA).  Stories of how dominant industry giants of the past like Blockbuster and Nokia were caught by disruption to become irrelevant almost overnight have been repeated many times as cautionary tales in a VUCA world.


Driving a Culture of Employee Recognition at Work

How do companies thrive in a VUCA world? They need a good strategy supported by highly engaged employees to help them become more adaptive, innovative, collaborative and agile. Companies wanting to improve customer experience need to heed this advice: You’re never going to give good customer experience if you don’t offer good employee experience.

Employee recognition can contribute to an overall positive employee experience that will drive the creation of high performing teams. According to, more than 80 percent of employees said they were motivated to work harder and stay at their jobs longer when they received appreciation for their work.


Driving a Culture of Employee Recognition at Work

An engaged employee is more committed to do great work that delights customers and is less likely to leave the company. These characteristics of an engaged employee contribute to a company’s bottom line. Therefore, a well-executed employee recognition program should be an integral part of any company’s talent management program.

What is the state of employee recognition now?

The statistics around employee recognition is bleak. It clearly shows that companies need to take a hard look at the effort they are putting into recognizing employees for good work done. The good news is, there is plenty you can do to improve how you recognized your best performers.

What can companies do to improve employee recognition?

How do companies make the most out of their investments in employee recognition? Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Promote a culture of recognition
    Now that we understand how important recognition is, it should be something that companies do on a daily basis, starting with the top management demonstrating how they would walk the talk. A simple thank you from the boss costs almost nothing but would make a world of difference in motivating the employees who received them. Recognizing your team in company communications and social media is also a great way to show you care and to create a sense of pride in the employees.

  2. Measure & improve recognition efforts
    Companies should also measure how well employees feel recognized in different parts of the organization by conducting regular employee engagement pulse surveys. Consider designing survey questions to gather data-driven insights to focus their efforts in improving employee recognition culture.

    Driving a Culture of Employee Recognition at Work
  3. Listen & be flexible
    Instead of taking the traditional one-size-fit-all approach in designing employee rewards and recognition program, companies can consider using an open and anonymous channel to solicit new ideas and suggestions from employees on what will make them feel more valued. We at SelfDrvn Enterprise have taken the idea of dot voting and turned it into a mobile game on our platform where employees could vote anonymously on their peer’s ideas and get rewarded with participation points.Driving a Culture of Employee Recognition at Work
  4. Recognize not just good outcomes, but the right behaviors & attitude
    There are occasions where the right behaviors can be leading indicators of positive business outcomes. For example, in addition to recognizing an employee achieving their sales target, recognizing the initiative that the employee has taken to learn how to sell new products may have a positive impact on his sales performance in the future.
  5. Promote peer recognition
    In addition to formal recognition by company and direct managers, peer recognition can help create a sense of team spirit, friendship and belonging among the employees. Not only that, Employee Engagement Survey Research from Gallup has found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50% and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.
  6. Make it personal and specific.
    At the end of day, recognition is only effective if it is heartfelt, personal and specific to the positive behavior of the employees and the result achieved by them. It shouldn’t feel like “a computer-generated email”. A good communication on recognition should be written in a personal style like a thank you card and should be specific about:
    • Who is being recognized?
    • Who is recognizing them?
    • What specific individual action or decision deserved the recognition?
  7. Make it fun!
    More and more, companies are leveraging mobile technology and gamification to reward and recognize employees. With technology, recognition can become more “agile” where people could be recognized instantly by managers and peers for good action taken. With API integration to business systems, companies can create an employee-centric, game-like experience where employees get instant feedback and immediate recognition whenever they hit their key performance indicators. Through instant recognition powered by technology, the employees will perceive a strong link between their actions and the recognition received, and they are more motivated to repeat them in the future


Driving a Culture of Employee Recognition at Work

With innovative HR technology, there are also other mechanisms like live auction & shopping cart using employee reward points that will add a creative twist & personalized flavor on employee rewards & recognition.

Learn the art of employee appreciation and Register with us today.

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