Driving Digital Transformation with Enterprise Gamification

Mun Choong Lam | Founder and CEO | Selfdrvn Enterprise - Insights Success

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 organisations 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.

Other challenges that organisations encounter today include

* Increasing competitive pressures

* Ongoing battle for talent

* Getting products and services to market quickly

* Battling for consumers

To meet these challenges head-on, many organisations 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 digitisation 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 organisations, 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 organisation 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 organisation, behavioural psychology and employees’ social motivations. This is one of the reasons why we created SelfDrvn; a technology platform to help organisations motivate and engage employees using enterprise gamification while providing behavioural analytics to give managers actionable insights into how to keep employees motivated and get the best out of employees.

Enterprise gamification means applying game thinking or game mechanics to non-game situations in the workplace. This translates to integrating the psychologically motivating aspects of games to real-life work processes to influence positive employee behaviour. Common gamification techniques include leaderboards, points, badges and levels, incremental goals and timely performance feedback.

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 centre 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 enterprise gamification helps

At its basis, enterprise gamification helps organisations reconsider the way its people, processes and technologies interact to produce results. These results— based on case studies—include;

* Driving faster achievement of business outcomes

* Cutting the cost of enterprise change

* Improving employee retention

* Motivating cultural shifts to create employee loyalty and “the holy grail of advocacy from the employees”.

What you can do today

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

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