SelfDrvn App on Microsoft Teams enabled Principal Asset Management to drive change and influence their hybrid workforce to embrace new core values and adopt agile learning culture. With SelfDrvn, Principal created a positive culture of recognition, collaboration, and fun competition, which resulted in a highly engaged hybrid workforce.

Executive summary

Principal Asset Management, a South East Asia-based asset management company, needed to align its employees to the new strategic direction to build a strong corporate branding. In 2020, Principal implemented SelfDrvn App in Microsoft Teams to engage employees on their corporate values and self-learning. The solution aided Principal to engage employees digitally and emotionally, and real-time insights into employee sentiments helped improved the outcomes of core values adoption and learning. In the midst of the pandemic when most of their employees were working from home, Principal managed to create a sense of belonging and safeguard employee well-being through digital engagement on Microsoft Teams.

The Customer 

Principal Asset Management Berhad (formerly known as CIMB-Principal Asset Management Berhad), is a joint venture between Principal Financial Group, a member of the FORTUNE 500 and a Nasdaq-listed global financial services, and CIMB Group Holdings Berhad, one of Southeast Asia’s leading universal banking groups.

Established on 13 June 1994, Principal Asset Management Berhad is headquartered in Malaysia and has a footprint across Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. The company serves 400,000 investors in Malaysia and Singapore with over RM56 billion in Assets Under Management as of June 2019. It offers a wide variety of solutions to help people and companies in building, protecting, and advancing their financial well-being with its unit trust, retirement schemes, discretionary mandates, and asset management expertise.

With innovative ideas and real-life solutions, the company helps make financial progress towards a more secure financial future possible for clients of all income and portfolio sizes.

Business problem: Challenges & Opportunities

As Principal underwent a corporate restructuring, the company needed to align hundreds of employees across Southeast Asia to the new strategic direction.

Initially, employees were informed about the corporate restructuring and rebranding via a town hall and some subsequent face-to-face sessions. However, without consistent engagement and continuous reinforcement, the employees struggled to understand the refreshed Principal brand and core values. There was minimal to no application of their learning in their daily work, peer learning and collaboration were not evident to sustain the culture. This became a concern for management which wanted core values to align with strong corporate branding both internally and externally.


Solution Overview: How did Microsoft Teams Help

Principal used SelfDrvn App in Microsoft Teams to communicate new cultural expectations of how employees should conduct themselves, with each other, and with clients.

Through the SelfDrvn App in Teams, Principal made “change management” come to life on a daily basis. Through daily engagement of fun and bite-sized activities, real-time data on employee behaviour and sentiments were collected and analyzed to provide insights to drive ideas for improvement. In this way, Principal were also able to provide senior stakeholders with proof backed by concrete data that employees’ mindsets and behaviors on the ground are shifting in alignment with the new direction.

SelfDrvn App in Teams was being used for the following purposes:

• To communicate new cultural expectations and challenge employees to demonstrate their understanding and practice the behavior.
• To recognize in real-time employees who applied the new core values to their daily work .
• To drive employee self-learning growth mindset while working in a hybrid setting.


Fun-filled hybrid engagements to spread core values

As an example of hybrid gamification, Principal employees were challenged to watch bite-sized videos, and answer pop-quizzes on their core values on the SelfDrvn App. They were also challenged to complete digital quests such as a “treasure hunt” to spot the behaviors of their peers and managers who practiced their core values at work. They would share these core value stories within the digital community channel known as “OnePrincipal,” where everyone can interact with postings from their peers. The employee-generated content on the channel helped to reinforce the culture when employees could see how core values are being practiced widely in the organization. When using designated hashtags to share their stories on the app, employees were rewarded automatically and instantly for their contributions.

Core values recognition badges were created and encouraged employees to award these badges and points to their peers, subordinates, and supervisors, whenever there were demonstrations of such behaviors in the workplace.

Best of all, the reward points can be redeemed on SelfDrvn App for both monetary and non-monetary rewards, tailored to their locations and needs.




Running virtual events as a refresher

Bite-sized quizzes on the new corporate branding and core values were created to evaluate employees’ understanding. Those who are keen to learn more and interact with their peers were invited to participate in virtual community events on Microsoft Teams. Employees could scan a QR code from the event organizer and earn additional points as a result.

Driving fun collaboration & friendly competition with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has enabled real-time communication with employees and through the integration of the SelfDrvn App in Teams, Principal succeeded in driving real-time peer collaboration and increased engagement with fun competition. With real-time rewards and recognition, Principal was able to nudge employees to further reinforce desired behaviors.



Outcomes and learnings


With SelfDrvn App on Microsoft Teams, Principal succeeded in driving change and new learnings among its hybrid teams within 6 months.

• About 82% of the 390 employees in Singapore and Malaysia have adopted the platform with 52% of them in constant conversation on the OnePrincipal channel on SelfDrvn App. As many as 1,626 designated core values badges were given out in 2020 alone, providing data-driven proof that core values were being practiced on the ground by various individuals and teams.

• 919 digital self-directed learning courses were completed by employees during the pandemic in 2020.

• Employees rated the platform 7.5/10 for overall satisfaction score.

• With their success to engage employees using SelfDrvn App on Microsoft Teams, Principal has won two industry recognition awards in 2020: Human Resources presented Principal the Gold Award in the HR Innovation category for the HR Excellence Award for the Year 2020; and the Fintech-Human Resources Technology Award at the Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards 2021.


“Staff and culture are at the heart of any business. We knew we needed to do something different this year to keep our crew ‘fresh’ and engaged. Our SelfDrvn digital platform has been a game-changer to the company. Some of the app’s advantages include reinforcing our core values and fundamentals in a very real and relevant way (and it’s fun!), staff development, team building possibilities, and receiving fast and accurate business updates.”

Laura Tofteland, Branding & Marketing Consultant – ASEAN Region


Want to know more about SelfDrvn App on Microsoft Teams? Visit SelfDrvn Page on Microsoft Appsource: