A leading professional services firm – Managers Empowering Employees Through Recognition

A leading professional services firm – Managers Empowering Employees Through Recognition

“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:

  • Rewards
  • 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 flexible points and recognition app powered by SelfDrvn includes gift cards from 200+ merchants including Lazada, Zalora, Adidas, Grab, SASA, FashionValet, and more.

Achieving a 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’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.

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