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Luke Jamieson

Turning Play Into Purpose at Playfulli

Melbourne, Australia

Luke is a top global CX influencer and thought leader on customer and employee engagement. Combining vision, high energy, creativity and execution, he's an inspiring and refreshing keynote speaker, podcaster and blogger.

Luke's been featured in the numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, is a certified LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator and studied design thinking at D.school, Stanford University.

His approaches have attracted many coveted awards and his enthusiasm for CX and EX has helped shape some of Australia’s largest organisations customer and employee experience programs.

Available For: Advising, Consulting, Influencing, Speaking
Travels From: Victoria, Australia
Speaking Topics: Employee Engagement, Future of Work, Gamification, Innovation, Lego Serious Play

Speaking Fee $5,000

Luke JamiesonPoints
Academic0
Author43
Influencer69
Speaker16
Entrepreneur55
Total183

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Company Type: Company

Areas of Expertise

Agile
AI 30.07
Business Strategy 30.05
Change Management
COVID19 32.31
Culture 31.75
Customer Experience 39.66
Customer Loyalty 30.78
Design Thinking 35.65
Digital Transformation
Diversity and Inclusion
Emerging Technology 30.94
Entrepreneurship
Fintech
Future of Work 37.39
HR
Innovation 31.46
Leadership 30.59
Management 30.29
Marketing
Mental Health 34.86
Predictive Analytics 30.15
Procurement
Social 30.41

Industry Experience

Automotive
Financial Services & Banking
Higher Education & Research
Hospitality
Professional Services
Retail
Telecommunications

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Publications

1 Advisory Board Membership
NewAccess for Small Business - Beyond Blue
Beyond Blue
June 07, 2021
NewAccess for Small Business seeks support to support the mental health and wellbeing of small business owners and to prevent the deterioration of symptoms to the point that higher intensity support may be required. While Beyond Blue has extensive experience delivering NewAccess, this represents the first national telehealth service and the first support service tailored to the mental health of small business owners.
As a result, Beyond Blue has committed to working closely with the small business community in the
establishment and implementation of this service.

See publication

Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Mental Health

6 Article/Blogs
The Intersection of Engagement and Productivity
Centrical
November 22, 2021
Engagement and productivity are uttered almost daily in the business community. Most people understand they are related, but mistakenly think that the road between engagement and productivity is linear. In fact, they are part of a complex, interconnected web. Leaders and organizations that care about the performance of their companies need to care about engagement and employee experience (EX). They cannot focus single-mindedly on productivity without addressing the underlying factors. Leaders need to zoom out and look at the bigger picture that connects engagement to productivity to business success.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work

Do Super funds have a case of “Keeping up with the Jones'”?
The Evolved Group
June 17, 2021
In a recent survey by The Evolved Group, 67% of you voted that you don't feel you have a good understanding of the upcoming changes to the superannuation guarantee rate. This could lead to a flurry of enquiries from concerned members to their super funds - but how prepared are they? This made me reflect upon my 10+ years in the superannuation, CX space and in particular my perspective on CX technology adoption in the industry and how Superfund Listening is challenging the status quo.

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Tags: AI, Customer Experience, Emerging Technology

Gamification - A Misunderstood Science
PLAYFULLi
October 22, 2020
Gamification is still a mostly untapped and misunderstood science. For over a decade it has had much scepticism and hype with hit and miss success, however as the craft matures and is understood at a deeper level it is now starting to become a sustainable alternative to traditional ways of measuring and engaging employees from both a learning and performance perspective.

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Tags: Innovation, Management, Leadership

Connecting from Home Through Gamification
LinkedIn
May 08, 2020
Let me be the 7th billionth person to state the obvious…the Coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and has changed the nature of how we work, for the foreseeable future.
Most of our workplaces have done a tremendous job in ensuring we have the technological resources we need to keep us connected to our respective workplace responsibilities. But now we have a new challenge. Unfortunately, staying motivated and focused can be incredibly challenging during this time.

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Tags: Business Strategy, COVID19

Our top 5 to making work from home more playful
Luke Jamieson / Playfulli
March 30, 2020
Our top 5 tips to making work from home more playful

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Tags: Customer Experience, Leadership

Brainstorming and Innovation… in the Palm of Your Hands
Playfulli
March 11, 2020
Are you tired of sitting at work and hitting a behemoth-sized wall when you’re trying to brainstorm ideas?

It’s time to connect your mind to the world and with the rest of your body. It’s time to start thinking with your hands.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Innovation

1 Founder
Playfulli
Playfulli
September 01, 2020
Founder of Playfulli - A leading gamification, customer experience and employee engagement advisory. Specialising in using play to define purpose and help organisations with strategy, innovation and performance as well as understanding what motivates and engages employees.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Future of Work

1 Industry Award
Top 150 Global Customer Experience Thought Leaders and Influencers of 2020
Survey Sensum
July 15, 2020
Here is a list of top 150 Global Customer Experience Thought Leaders and Influencers who have taken Customer Experience to the whole new level. They have not only brought new perspectives on the table but have redefined the customer experience exceptionally!

See publication

Tags: Customer Experience

1 Industry Council Member
CSIA Judge 2021
CSIA
August 10, 2021
The Australian Services Excellence Awards (ASEAs) are Australia’s premier customer service awards program, attracting hundreds of nominations each year and culminating with attendees coming together each year at the ASEAs Gala Dinner to recognise best practice, performance and innovation in customer service, highlighting their importance in today’s business climate.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Customer Loyalty

8 Influencer Awards
Top 100 CX thought Leader for 2021
Survey2Connect
October 15, 2021
Survey2Connect selected their choice for the top 100 CX thought leaders around the globe - Here is the list:

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Tags: Customer Experience

Thinkers 360 Top 25 Thought Leader - Mental Health
Thinkers 360
August 10, 2021

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Tags: Mental Health

Top 200 Thought leaders to follow in 2021
Engati CX
December 21, 2020
Whether you’re looking for inspiration, or you’re interested in getting fantastic insights on the latest Customer Experience and Artificial Intelligence trends. Meet the 200 luminaries who have taken these worlds by storm and have created a community like no other.

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Tags: Customer Experience

Engati CX's Top 14 Experts Dec 2020
Engati
December 03, 2020

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Tags: Customer Experience

Thinkers 360 Top 50 Thought Leader - Future of Work
Thinkers 360
December 01, 2020

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Tags: Future of Work

Top 150 Global Customer Experience Thought Leaders and Influencers of 2020
Survey Sensum
July 17, 2020
Here is a list of 150 Global Customer Experience Thought Leaders and Influencers who have taken Customer Experience to the whole new level. They have not only brought new perspectives on the table but have redefined the customer experience exceptionally!

The below-given list is a general list and is irrespective of any ranking or order. All the Thought Leaders present in this list have significantly impacted the Customer Experience Domain in their own way.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Innovation, Leadership

Global Top 25 CX Influencer - Panviva
Pavnviva
May 25, 2020
Top 25 Customer Experience Influencers to Follow. As a leading company in the customer experience space, Panviva is committed to surrounding ourselves with other experts in the field. For the second year, we have identified a list of the top CX thought leaders in the industry. As you read this list, you will extract insights, tips, and strategies to use as your customer service compass on your journey to becoming customer centric.

Panviva received many submissions of qualified and fantastic candidates and it was not easy to narrow down this list. This year, we’ve included more female and global influencers to better reflect our mission to provide stellar CX to industries worldwide.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Innovation, Leadership

Top 20 Gamification Gurus - Rise Global Power 100
Rise Global
May 04, 2020
Rise Global track the most influential people to follow on topics you care about using real time data from Twitter and Kred.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Innovation, Leadership

1 Keynote
NEWCASTLE & CENTRALCOAST CX NETWORK
CX NETWORK
August 25, 2020
NEWCASTLE & CENTRALCOAST
CX NETWORK
Join us via Zoom for an inspiring presentation + Q&A with one of Australia's
most influential CX & EX Thought Leaders, Luke Jamieson of PLAYFULLi

See publication

Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Future of Work

15 Media Interviews
Play is a Serious Business, Work is Serious Play
Apple Podcasts
August 11, 2021
In this episode, Luke tells us about his experience using gamification and play to increase employee enjoyment and deliver far greater impact and success.

Luke Jamieson is the founder and CEO of PLAYFULLi. Named in the Top Global CX and EX thought leaders by Survey Sensum, Panviva, Thinkers360, Rise Global and Engati CX and has been featured in many publications including the Wall Street Journal for his thoughts on employee engagement, motivation and purpose. He’s a certified LEGO Serious Play facilitator and has studied design thinking at D.school at Stanford. He is an expert in helping organisations use play to define purpose, increase employee experience, support diversity, foster positive cultures, and deliver on sustainable progress. His approaches have attracted many coveted awards and his enthusiasm for CX and EX has helped shape some of Australia’s largest organisations customer and employee experience programs.

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Tags: Social, Management, Leadership

Centrical Chooses Victoria for APAC HQ
The Australian
May 27, 2021
The company is landing Down Under in a bid to help employers keep their workers engaged through gamification software.

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Tags: Future of Work, Innovation

Employee engagement and performance management vendor Centrical is expanding into the APAC region with the opening of its Australian headquarters in Melbourne's CBD
ITWIRE
May 27, 2021
The Australian office is to be headed by Centrical regional director Luke Jamieson, who has been named one of the globe's top CX influencers and thought leaders by Panviva, Engati CX, Thinkers 360 and Survey Sensum.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Innovation

US/Israeli HR tech company sets up APAC HQ in Melbourne
Technology Decisions
May 27, 2021
Centrical, a US/Israeli AI-powered employment management platform that combines advanced gamification with personalised micro-learning and real-time employee performance management tools, will open its first APAC office in Melbourne, with plans to hire up to 30 employees.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Innovation

The Power of One-to-One Engagement
Pega
December 07, 2020
Here is the final chat in the Pega Systems series with Matthew Nolan, Senior Director of Product Marketing - Decision Sciences, as we explore the power of one-to-one engagement
#cx #ai #aiethics #engagement

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Tags: AI, Customer Experience, Predictive Analytics

What is Hyper-Personalisation?
Pega
December 04, 2020
Contrary to what many organisations may believe, hyper-personalisation isn't just addressing a customer by name when contacting them—it’s about understanding who they are and what they need. Senior Director of Product Marketing, Decision Sciences at Pega, Matt Nolan, explains what hyper-personalisation is and why it’s so important as he speaks PLAYFULLi’s CEO, Luke Jamieson.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Predictive Analytics

Activating real-time, one-to-one relationships (Part 1)
Pega
December 01, 2020
It's imperative brands develop real-time, one-to-one relationships with customers, but how do organisations make this a reality? For Matt Nolan, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Decision Sciences at Pega, it's a real passion-point. Check out his our recent chat: https://lnkd.in/dcFQMVu

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Predictive Analytics

Gamification in CX
Engati
August 29, 2020
Exploring the relationship of CX with Gamification in an interview with Engati CX

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Future of Work

How Microsoft increased agent productivity in its contact centers by 10% using advanced gamification.
Centrical
August 25, 2020
Luke interviews Dee Nilles - Business Program Director at Centrical on how Microsoft increased agent productivity in its contact centers by 10% using advanced gamification.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Future of Work

Gamification in CX
EngatiCX
August 18, 2020
Exploring how gamification and CX are symbiotic.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Future of Work

New era, new opportunities for Aussie call centres, post-COVID-19
Citrus Group
May 25, 2020
Amid the disruption, job losses, new ways of working in isolation, and other challenges, there is a beacon of hope post-COVID-19
It has opened up a host of opportunities for the local contact centre industry. Business has had to recognise the importance of Australian, onshore, call centres to deliver customer service in isolation. For Australians who have lost jobs or are seeking new roles, there are openings for people of all ages and all skill levels

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, COVID19

Playing around with gamification
Focus magazine
May 01, 2020
Is the methodology of setting KPIs flawed?

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Future of Work

Drive improvements in customer and employee engagement
The Evolved Group
March 12, 2019
Learn how a leading not-for-profit super fund is using our technology to drive improvements in customer and employee engagement

Luke Jamieson, chats to Paul Burley, Growth Director at The Evolved Group, about the journey the organisation has been on to improve customer and employee experience using HumanListening - the most complete insights and knowledge management platform available.

HumanListening delivers real-time human insights to empower your business.
Let us show you how we can improve your business outcomes – book a demo at www.humanlistening.com

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Future of Work

Luke Jamieson on how gamification changed the game at First State Super
Matchboard
September 22, 2018
Luke Jamieson has never been afraid to challenge the status quo. His career habit of innovation has made a real impact on customer and employee engagement, resulting in multiple global awards. In this exclusive interview, we chat to Luke about his positively disruptive initiatives at First State Super. You’ve abandoned traditional contact centre metrics at….

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Future of Work

Call Centre Delivers for Staff and Customers
SuperTalk
December 01, 2014
SaletTalk spoke with Luke Jamieson about new staff initiatives at the fund's award-winning call centre.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Innovation

3 Panels
How Gamification (games psychology and mechanics) can benefit business and personal ambitions
ORMA - The Global Consumer Commerce Centre
October 21, 2021
Gamification has attracted a lot of attention over recent years as a way of engaging attention and influencing behaviours.

For many people, gamification has been associated with points, badges and leader-boards as tools to engage and motivate users.

The truth is that gamification offers far more and, when used appropriately, can transform business and personal activities.

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Tags: Customer Experience

How Gamification (games psychology and mechanics) can benefit our business and personal ambitions
IORMA
October 15, 2021
Gamification has attracted a lot of attention over recent years as a way of engaging attention and influencing behaviours. For many people, gamification has been associated with points, badges and leader-boards as tools to engage and motivate users. The truth is that gamification offers far more and, when used appropriately, can transform business and personal activities.

Gamification combined with technologies such as smartphones is being used in a variety of ways to improve our lives – most noticeably in healthcare, education and training. Today, gamified mobile applications help us to adhere to exercise regimes, decrease our weight, manage a chronic illness, learn faster, motivate employees and customers and/or maintain/develop our cognitive abilities …..

Our expert panel of speakers will share their experiences of the use of serious games and gamification to engage users and achieve better outcomes.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Innovation

Getting your WFH employees to love their work, your company, and your clients
Centrical
June 07, 2021
Months after their shift to working from home, lots of employees still feel isolated, disconnected from their co-workers, and company. Quite likely, they pass that feeling to the customers their deal with daily. They probably fell out of love with their jobs. You can have them feel that love again.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Innovation

9 Podcasts
Survive Revive Thrive - Episode 6
VIS Global
October 25, 2021
What will change in the near future? Will the world of technology continue to give us the solutions we need? What new challenges lie ahead? Will the webinar really die away? Luke Jamieson, Regional Director ANZ at Centrical, discusses his own personal and professional journey and takes through how he has survived, revived and thrived. He also discusses what the future of work might look like and the role technology might play.

All this and more in our latest episode of ‘Survive Revive Thrive’ brought to you by VIS Global. Listen ON! -- About Luke Jamieson Our guest today is top global CX influencer, a multiple award winner and thought leader on customer and employee engagement – the world knows him as Luke Jamieson. He has helped shape some of Australia’s largest organisations' customer and employee experience programs. He is also an inspiring and refreshing keynote speaker, podcaster and blogger.

Luke's been featured in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal and has studied design thinking at Stanford University.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Future of Work


Innovative Minds
August 11, 2021
The nature of work has changed, impacting both the workplace and the workforce. In this new WFH/hybrid paradigm, how do we keep our employees engaged with the organization’s mission and values, as well as each other? In this podcast, we interview business leaders and hear their stories and viewpoints on how to use innovation to engage the workforce.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Innovation

Working PLAYFULLi & Unlocking your Polymath Superpower with Luke Jamieson
The Polymath PolyCast
June 08, 2021

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Innovation

The right way to do gamification
CX Central
December 01, 2020
Justin Tippett interviews our founder Luke Jamieson to learn about the benefits of gamification at work and how to implement it successfully

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Leadership

The Games We Play
Luke Jamieson
November 12, 2020
We are all game designers at heart we just all don’t know it yet. Tune in to hear Luke Jamieson and Dr Zach Fitz-walter discuss some of the funny games we play in our everyday lives.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work

Talking Wyndham
Talking Wyndham
October 21, 2020
Talking Wyndham

Talking Wyndham is your weekly insight into the people who make the City of Wyndham surprising, fascinating, vibrant and interesting.

Talking Wyndham is an initiative of the Committee for Wyndham, presented by Kevin Hillier

What is gamification? Find out as we speak with Luke Jamieson, founder & CEO of Wyndham based gamification business PLAYFULLi

Find them at http://playfulli.com

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Future of Work

Gamification of CX - Luke Jamieson on Engati CX
Spotify
August 14, 2020
Engati is the world's leading no-code, multi-lingual chatbot platform. Blog link: https://blog.engati.com/ | Subscribe now. Luke Jamieson, founder and CEO of Playfulli talks about Gamification of CX on Engati CX. He says that gamification can be a very powerful incentive, motivator and can boost customer engagement exponentially. The best way to improve CX would be to make customers feel satisfied by the product which would make them the advocates for it. If you like the video, please subscribe to the channel, so we could keep producing more content like this!

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking

Gamifying Engagement in Remote Teams
The Science of CX
May 26, 2020
Steve Pappas interviews Luke Jamieson on employee engagement and how gamification is helping to provide a shared purpose and real time learning wilts working from home.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Culture, Future of Work

The Power of Gamification
Playfulli
May 23, 2020
Murray Guest from Inspire My Business had Luke Jamieson on his awesome podcast - inspired energy.

They discuss how gamification can be a game changer for your business, especially when it comes to KPIs and repeatable behaviours. Luke’s explains how he is an advocate of making it competitive but not with unhealthy competition and how traditional KPIs focus on who will be ‘the best’, which only benefits the short term.

Key episode highlights include:

We are currently in a global ‘work from home’ experiment, and it’s time to find out ways to help people master their roles and find purpose.

The five love languages do translate into the work environment and in the way we like to receive recognition. You need to identify what people are motivated by.

Create an environment where someone is competing against themselves, not others.

Our systems are only as good as our attitudes.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Leadership

1 Speaking Engagement
Success 2021
Centrical
June 08, 2021
Join the leaders who are reimagining the world of work to ensure employee and business success

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Innovation

Radar

2 Trends
Conversational AI

Date : October 20, 2021

Traditional chatbots tend to funnel users to a specific answer where as conversational AI works in the opposite way, probing and expanding just like a real conversation. Interestingly people are more likely to share more personal stories with people they don't know which is one reason Psychologists are so popular. With that in mind it is easy to see how Conversational AI is the next generation of chatbot tech.

See Radar

Gamification

Date : October 04, 2020

Gamification is still a mostly untapped and misunderstood science. For over a decade it has had much scepticism and hype with hit and miss success, however as the craft matures and is understood at a deeper level it is now starting to become a sustainable alternative to traditional ways of measuring and engaging employees from both a learning and performance perspective.
Both Gallup and Fifth Quadrant have conducted surveys for the last decade around employee engagement and astoundingly the figures have remained horribly similar with only roughly 25% of employees saying they are actively engaged with their performance. This is by no means surprising given few companies have done much to change how they train, design kpi's and engage employees.
Playfulli, who developed an employee profiling tool, tested with over 65,000 people shows that there are actually 8 motivational profiles across an organisation, of which most organisations only tend to engage two (25%) when designing how employees are measured, reinforcing this notion that only a quarter of employees are engaged.
Gamification when implemented correctly goes beyond simply points, badges and leader-boards (a common entry level approach) and instead focuses on behaviours, motivational diversity , employee strengths and micro-learning.
In the past many gamification platforms have tried to portray themselves as the silver bullet for performance and in doing so found short-lived success. Many realised that simply "gamifying" the same old metrics and expecting a different result yielded only short-term success. As these gamification platforms matured, they realised that they needed to solve for the root cause, not the symptoms and thankfully this is now showing fantastic results with organisations courageous enough to explore the scientific art of gamification.
Gartner has predicted the 70% of fortune 500 companies will attempt gamification. Those who approach it in a scientific way and are willing to turn their back on traditional lag metrics are likely to see results that will buck the 10-year trend we have been witnessing of low employee engagement.
Gamification should be on the radar of any organisation looking to drive greater employee engagement and knowledge retention (particularly those with a distributed workforce) even if they have tried and failed in the past because like most technologies and concepts, gamification has matured rapidly from where it was merely years ago especially those that have built in machine learning and AI capability.

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1 Prediction
Gamification - the key to augmented management

Date : October 08, 2020

The Gamification industry has had many resurgences in the past 10 years however it is finally here to stay and with good reason. Gamification has finally matured beyond simple game mechanics designed to drive spending and productivity behaviours to a full-blown behavioural psychology and motivational design industry supported by tech (not led by it).
With distributed workplaces a norm and likely to stay that way managers are finding it harder to see employee behaviour and basing coaching on lag measures. Gone are the informal catch-ups, replaced by structured and scheduled video calls - eroding employee trust.
Gamification combined with Machine Learning, AI and micro-learning is helping managers by prompting the them with insightful coaching tips, challenges and conversations. Gone is the pouring over of data and spreadsheets, structuring and preparing performance conversations sourcing long winded online training modules that are always completed and instantly forgotten. Gamification has long been focused on roles closest to entry level and managers where left with the admin but those day are gone. Advanced Gamification, real-time performance, lead measurement and micro-learning are going to augment a manager’s activity and ease the admin burden allowing them to build trust and empathy with the people they lead and create repeated positive behaviours positive that fuel amazing workplace cultures.

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Blog

10 Article/Blogs
Is a Change of Scenery Really as Good as a Holiday?
Thinkers360
January 10, 2022

Because of the pandemic, most of us have had our suitcases tucked away for the last two years. Traveling has been near-impossible—data shows that in October 2019, over 900,000 Australians left the country, whereas in Oct 2020 and 2021, it was under 15,000 people. Many employees do not want to use their vacation time on something that is less than ideal—if you can’t get away, why take a vacation?

This lack of international travel coincided with the rise in remote work, where employers and employees alike have realised that they can work from just about anywhere. Getting out of the city or where you live and exploring a new place suddenly became possible without taking off time from work.

Enter the workcation. It’s work with a side of vacation, or working while kind-of-vacationing. This new phenomenon is on the rise, embraced by both workers and companies.

But is a change of scenery really as good as a holiday?

Pros of Workcations

Workcations or hybrid holidays have a number of positives them, the biggest being the chance to get away from the normal day-to-day and have some fun while still getting work done and bringing in a paycheque! Here are some other pros:

  • Higher employee engagement. Employees feel like they’ve been stuck at home for two years, so new scenery can boost employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Potentially good for tourism. Most countries are struggling after the pandemic decimated tourism industries, so this new trend may boost struggling industries.
  • Projects don't stop when key dependencies are not available. If people can work while on vacation, key projects don’t need to be on a two-week hold while the key person is away.
  • More attractive place to work. More employees will be attracted to jobs with flexible work schedules and the ability to travel and work at the same time. They will also love their new office at the beach or a fun, new city!

Cons of Workcations

Despite these positive attributes of the working holiday, there are some downsides that also need to be considered. The cons of workcations include:

  • Increased leave liabilities for businesses. This is the amount that the employee is owed upon leaving a position based on the leave they have accumulated.
  • Lack of a real break and inability to switch “off.” Some employees might not be able to get the mental health break they need because there is no true downtime.
  • Distracted from work. Employees may be distracted by their new environment and, therefore, just not do their best work.

The Way of the Future

This is a fairly new phenomenon and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds as we put the pandemic behind us. However, the idea is that this is a positive shift for employees, away from being measured in hours and time-in-office. Instead, their output and results will matter, both of which can be achieved pool-side.

A workcation can be an effective and rewarding way of measuring employees and may inspire them to be more productive. The flexibility of a workcation is a way to reward employees and allow them autonomy over their schedule and lives, ultimately creating a win-win situation.

See blog

Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work

Is the King’s Reign Over? Culture May Usurp Customer as Businesses’ Top Priority
Thinkers360
December 12, 2021

There’s an old adage that gets tossed around in the business world: Customer is King. All business activities and decisions are based around keeping the customer happy. This was the focus during the Age of the Customer, a concept popularised in the early 2010s and dominated the last decade of business.

But is the King’s reign now over? We are moving into an after-COVID (AC) world that will look dramatically different in 2022 than it did in those pre-COVID (PC) days where face masks were not even available, let alone a daily fashion choice.

The AC world will look different for a variety of reasons, because of both macro-scale economics reasons and personal life changes. There is already a dramatic labour shortage that is creating real challenges and opportunities in the workforce. Challenges for businesses to keep up operations, but also an opportunity to step into a new era, where culture is king.

Business culture refers to a feeling and an ethos of a company—you know who they are and what they’re about. In the AC era, both employees and customers will seek companies that have a positive, ethical, inclusive, and sustainable culture.

Customers will look for this because they want to feel aligned with companies, they give their money to and they want a good customer experience (CX). Employees desire strong company culture because now, perhaps more than ever, they need to be engaged and excited by their work. Even before the pandemic, culture was important to employees—a study by Glassdoor in 2019 shows that 77% of employees consider a company’s culture before applying and a staggering 56% say that it is even more important than a salary.

The only question is, how do companies create such a utopia to recruit and retain high-quality talent? I believe there are six key ingredients that work together to build a positive, inclusive culture:

  1. Create a sense of purpose. For employee’s to be aligned with the company’s mission and vision, it needs to be first made clear. Companies should develop clear language around their mission, communicate it to employees, and invite them to be part of it.
  2. Build a sense of meaning and impact. No matter their role, every employee wants to feel like what they do on a daily basis Companies need to value each employee’s skills, knowledge, and abilities, and let them use them to contribute in a meaningful way.
  3. Celebrate individual achievements. There should be a healthy amount of celebration over individual goals and wins—even if they fall short of company goals. No, this isn’t just giving someone a participation ribbon. Instead, it’s recognising everyone starts at a different baseline, and yet each person can make great achievements.
  4. Give employees a sense of progress. Everyone hates the feeling of being ‘stuck,’ whether in a task or at their job. Progress is important for morale and productivity, so companies need to give their employees a sense of where they’re going. Clear direction however should not be prescriptive and lineal because careers for most people are not straightforward like a highway… they’re an adventure! Companies need to remember that plans might change, but that shouldn’t stop them from clearly laying out various options for next steps.
  5. Provide autonomy. Autonomy is the ability to make appropriate decisions over one’s scope of work, at any level in the company. This can build trust in both parties because it doesn’t undermine the other person’s skill or ability. Consider, too, the impact it has on creativity! Someone who is allowed to make decisions is allowed to innovate and create—a highly desirable trait for any company. After all, ‘Creativity is seldom manufactured— instead it is found in one’s own freedoms.’
  6. Give employees a sense of ownership. Autonomy goes a long way to building a sense of ownership, but it is more than just that. Leaders and managers need to sometimes be hands-off and let people make mistakes so that they continue to learn and grow. Learning should also be celebrated in and of itself, rather than just the tangible ‘wins.’ Anyone who puts in effort and time to learn and increase their knowledge and understanding deserves recognition.

These six points are key ingredients to creating a good workplace culture, and together they create a sense of belonging. Humans naturally seek belonging from their external environments, especially those that they spend significant time in like a workplace. Employees who feel a sense of belonging are more productive and deliver higher customer satisfaction—both of which are good for business!

Employees are coming out of a difficult season and approaching work in the AC world will require businesses to focus on creating a strong workplace culture that provides a sense of belonging. Ultimately this will lend itself to engaged, productive employees who deliver strong customer experiences. So, is the reign of King Customer over? Well, they will at least have to share their throne with culture as companies learn to navigate the new world of work.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work

Welcome to the Age of the Employee
Thinkers360
December 05, 2021

Why EX is the Foundation to Great CX and Business Performance

We live in an ever-changing world, where new technologies and inventions have the power to fundamentally shift both business and society. When it comes to the relationship between businesses and their clients or customers, these shifts through the decades are pronounced.

It is widely understood that the last decade has been the Age of the Customer. Two studies were published by Forrester Research in 2013 that highlighted the impact and use of technology that signalled a change from the previous Age of Information.

The Age of the Customer of the last decade is defined by the power that customers have. Customers are more connected than they have ever been and are able to direct businesses through their power and influence on social media and third-party review sites. Just think—today, companies can be “cancelled” over a PR blunder or have a hard time getting business with poor Yelp reviews.

Businesses have responded by trying to create an amazing customer experience (CX) with things like personas, customer journey maps, or customer experience maps etc. They have embraced two-way communication on social media and work hard to earn their client’s trust and repeat business.

Focusing on CX is great and absolutely necessary, but the foundation of every CX is EX—the employee experience. CX led organisations continue to be market leaders but one thing that is often unseen, is that they are also great places to work. That’s because CX led companies have realised that although CX is the head, EX is actually the neck and will turn CX wherever it decides. Happy, engaged, and knowledgeable employees will be able to elevate the CX in a way that disengaged employees will not.

I propose that we are entering into a new age: The Age of the Employee. After all, it’s only taken a decade and a pandemic for businesses to understand that every CX starts with great EX. Companies need to focus on their EX or they will no longer be competitive in the after-COVID (AC) era.

Business through the Ages

Let’s take a step back for a moment. The last century has seen massive shifts in technology, business, and society. We don’t even really need to state that—it’s obvious. What’s less obvious is the nature of these shifts. A lot of experts and analysts have divided the last century into different “ages,” with each having a unique and defining feature. A summary of these ages are as follows:

  • Early 1900s—Age of Manufacturing: At the turn of the century, mass manufacturing took the world by storm. Companies like Ford or Boeing revolutionised the markets with their mass-production capabilities.
  • 1960-90—Age or Distribution: Increasing global connection and transportation networks allowed companies like Wal-Mart to distribute products far and wide, no longer limited to their immediate geographical markets.
  • 1990-2010—Age of Information: The rise of the computer and Internet made it possible for those who could control information to control the flow of goods and services, such as Amazon or Google.
  • 2010-2020—Age of the Customer: Social media and other internet-based platforms allowed customers and consumers to discuss their experiences with brands, shifting the power into the hands of customers. Businesses had to shift their priorities towards keeping the customer happy in order to avoid negative reviews.
  • Now—Age of the Employee: Precipitated by a global pandemic, employees have found their voice and expressed what they want in a workplace. Businesses will need to reckon with changing employee-employer dynamics and understand and invest in EX, as the foundation for CX.

The Age of the Employee

As mentioned, the Age of the Employee has been ten years plus a pandemic in the making. While the last decade of focus on customers has gotten a lot of things right, it has also missed a fundamental piece: behind every CX is an employee—a real human who is interacting with that customer and making a positive or negative impact on them.

Focusing on CX cannot be a siloed pursuit as it is inextricably intertwined with EX. Companies are slowly coming to terms with this and initiating employee care or engagement initiatives.

Then the pandemic came. And everything shifted.

For the first time, employees were asked to do something remarkable—work from home in the midst of an uncertain global pandemic. Some people struggled and some thrived with the work from home set up. But, as a collective, employees found their voice.

Employees felt like they could, finally, prioritise their health and family over work. They had additional free time without normal commutes to purse hobbies and side hustles. Pandemic losses caused people to re-think priorities and things that are important. They became comfortable working in pyjamas.

These shifts are monumental. Any company that thinks they can just call back their employees and things will maintain status-quo are sorely mistaken. The pandemic has given a voice to employees and, now that they have found it, they are not going to be silenced.

Businesses have two options: ignore the new-found voice of employees and try to pretend the pandemic didn’t happen, or listen to the voices asking for change and make real investments into EX and employee engagement. I think most people will agree that the latter option is the best choice: it’s time to embrace the Age of the Employee.

How to Invest in Employees

There are a number of strategies that businesses need to implement in the AC era to focus on employee engagement. And, while the pandemic is making these changes an urgent necessity, it’s important to recognise that they are a long time coming. Ignoring EX in the pursuit of CX has been a major oversight of the last decade. It’s time to merge the two and realise that they work towards the same aim.

Here are some of the ways companies can invest in their employees as people, creating a holistic EX that boosts engagement, productivity, and efficiency. Companies should invest in:

  • Continual learning and knowledge acquisition. The more employees know, the more invested they will become in the products and services. This leads to more engagement on their projects and high-quality CX.
  • Corporate child care and family benefits. Children were also affected by the pandemic and became accustomed to their parents working from home. Corporate childcare is an option for employees who want to stay closer to their children and it provides more flexible arrangements.
  • Technology. The pandemic highlighted digital inequity as employees moved to WFH arrangements. Companies need to invest in both technology and coaching to allow all employees access to what they need to be effective and comfortable in a WFH setting.
  • Physical and mental wellbeing. The pandemic took a toll on everyone’s health, both physical and mental. Companies need to recognise this and invest in it. Specific focus should be given to creating open and psychologically safe spaces for all employees; DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) needs to be at the forefront.
  • Employee portfolio careers and side-hustles. Employers need to accept that their employees have been pursuing new hobbies and side-projects during the pandemic. Flexibility towards this signals value and care to employees.
  • Physical premises. People have been cocooning for the last 2 years and are going to need some enticing out of the comfortable surrounds they have created. Investing in and refurbishing physical premises will help entice employees to embrace coming into the office. Make it comfortable, just like their home is.
  • Autonomy. Employees who are given autonomy in the workplace are more innovative, creative, and have a greater capacity for problem-solving. Businesses need to prioritise this to maximise the potential of their employees.

The Age of the Employee is an extension of the Age of the Customer and has been precipitated by the pandemic. It presents an opportunity for businesses to stay competitive in the AC era by honouring and valuing their employees’ new-found voices, but it will also make all the difference in their CX.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work

The Great Resignation: Hype, Fact, or Awakening?
Thinkers360
November 28, 2021

The Great Resignation—it sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it? It’s likely that many of you reading this have heard this term thrown around in the past few months. The Great Resignation is used to discuss the (apparent) influx in resignations as employees are called back to work in the After-COVID (AC) era. This phenomenon has been covered extensively by the media, such as in this article in the Harvard Business Review.

The data from the article shows that attrition rates in some industries is upwards of 30% during the COVID-19 period. Another 57% of respondents in a survey indicated that they would consider taking a new job in the upcoming year. Those number are high—they seem abnormally high. People appear to be leaving their jobs in droves, leaving employers scrambling to find good talent to replace them.

But what if I told you that this level of turnover is not new? In fact, it’s been this way for a long time.

Data from Fifth Quadrant in 2018, firmly in the Before-COVID (BC) era, shows that turnover rates in the Australian financial, services, and consumer products industries were over 50%. If this was the case BC, why are we so surprised to see high attrition AC?

If you take a critical look at this BC data and compare it to the never-ending articles and discussion about The Great Resignation, you have to ask: is it hype, fact, or is everyone just waking up to what has been going on for years?

High Attrition Rates are Not New

Despite what many people are saying, high attrition rates are not uncommon. As mentioned, the Fifth Quadrant 2018 report indicated that BC turnover was high, with upwards of 50% of employees in some industries resigning from their jobs.

Part of the reasons that these AC statistics about employees leaving are so shocking is because we were at a virtual standstill as a society for nearly two years during the pandemic. Most people stayed put in their jobs, recognising it was a turbulent time and grateful for any employment as many others were laid off. The Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the period from February 2020-2021 (peak pandemic) had the lowest annual job mobility rate on record—7.5% of employed people changed jobs, lower than it has ever been.

Now that we are back to normal(ish) in the AC period, things are returning back to normal: people are evaluating their jobs, overall satisfaction, and life circumstances—some of those evaluations lead to resigning from their positions. The same data-set mentioned about indicates that job mobility was higher in the BC era, with 8.1% of employed people switching jobs in the year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (February 2019-2020).

Work From Home and Other After-COVID Changes

High levels of attrition and people leaving their jobs is nothing new. It’s a long-established pattern, especially in some industries with low employee engagement and job satisfaction. The hype of this supposed Great Resignation is that we are more aware of the changes in work because of the pandemic. New factors like work-from-home (WFH) have dramatically influenced how we do work and has led to another factor that impacts employee retention.

People leave jobs for all kinds of reasons. Some of the most common BC reasons include:

  • Changing personal circumstances.
  • Limited opportunities for growth and promotion.
  • Poor renumeration and benefits.
  • General dissatisfaction.

These reasons will always be there and are still relevant in the AC era. What the pandemic did, however, was add a few other reasons for employees to hand in their resignation:

  • Companies that won’t allow WFH any longer.
  • Employee voice no longer considered (some employees experience increased agency and decision-making around the pandemic and certain restrictions or workplace changes).
  • Personal discomfort to return to work due to health concerns or other personal reasons.
  • Pursuing hobbies and side-hustles picked up during the pandemic lockdowns.

There is no doubt that these factors, especially the first one, are a significant reason that employees are quitting their jobs. But are these factors increasing the overall level or resignation? Or are they simply additional reasons to add to the mix?

Given the statistics, it appears that the latter is true—employees are resigning at a rate comparable to the BC era, but just have different reasons and rationale to do so. The Great Resignation is, effectively, a return to BC ‘normal.’

Moving into the Age of the Employee

The debate about whether the Great Resignation is hype or fact will continue to rage on. In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter. The truth is that high levels of attrition and employee resignation are problematic no matter the cause.

Whether they are leaving because they are not getting a promotion (BC reason) or they aren’t allowed to work from home anymore (AC reason), the underlying influencer is the same—lack of employee engagement and poor attention to the employee experience (EX).

We are moving into a new age—the age of the employee. It’s one where companies will have to prioritise EX or face the consequences of high attrition and poor performance. The age of the employee has been a long-time coming and the pandemic has helped precipitate this change. Employees have found their voice during the pandemic, speaking up about things that are important to them, including flexibility (WFH), work-life balance, well-being and increased emphasis on workplace safety.

So, what can employers do to prioritise EX and stem the return to normal attrition? Here are a few of the top things to focus on:

  • Continue to engage employees by allowing them to use their new-found voice. Value the opinions and ideas of each employee, no matter their level in the company.
  • Provide autonomy, both over their job responsibilities and work arrangements (i.e., WFH and flexible schedules).
  • Create a sense of belonging and safety in the workplace by embracing DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives.
  • Focus on physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Tie work to a sense of meaning and purpose.

Instead of getting hung up about the Great Resignation and whether or not this is a real phenomenon or just hype, we should focus in on why employees leave. Companies that focus on employee engagement and embrace the new age of the employee will be able to mitigate and decrease attrition rates.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work

Understanding your EX:
Thinkers360
November 12, 2021

Let’s talk about your EX. No, not a past romantic interest, but the employee experience. Employee Experience (EX) and employee engagement are increasingly being placed at the foreground of company operations but what does this mean, why bother and where do you start?

Leaders need to focus on EX because it helps them understand their employees as people and not just a number in the company. Ultimately knowing your employees will go a long way to achieve positive company results.

There are two important building blocks that you should know and understand when trying to create a better employee experience. First, it is important to create a sense of belonging by embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Second, leaders need to understand and tap into intrinsic motivators for each employee, inspiring them to take action, be creative, and work at a high level.

Why Employee Experience Matters

EX determines employee engagement and this matters on both a personal and company level. For some time now companies have understood that customer experience (CX) strategies are also good for business. Now CX leaders are realising that every CX starts with a good EX. Leaders who care about their employees will create a space where they are happy and engaged. But it goes beyond individual job satisfaction. By understanding the full employee experience, companies can work towards a highly engaged workforce.

Engaged employees are those who have sense of purpose, meaning, progress and belonging, feel challenged, and are given autonomy. This results in higher focus, productivity, creativity and satisfaction in their job, all of which will ultimately benefit the company.

Consider, for example, an employee who has been given creative license and autonomy to work on a certain project. That employee is likely to become highly engaged in their work, utilising their creativity and passion. So, when the time comes to engage with clients in the sales process, that employee is going to create an amazing customer experience (CX)—they are passionate about the product, with deep knowledge and ownership. The strong CX leads to happy customers, which leads to loyal customers, which helps the bottom line. Employee engagement starts a virtuous cycle that supports EX, CX, and the bottom line.

Employee engagement and experiences are not simple topics and there are a lot of different avenues to discuss. However, I want to focus and share on two foundational blocks for creating positive EX in a company: creating a sense of belonging and tapping into intrinsic motivation.

Diversity and Inclusion for Employee Engagement

One of the most important determinants of employee engagement is whether employees have a sense of belonging. Belonging is defined as ‘an affinity for a place or situation.’ Other terms for affinity include like-mindedness and kinship. The starting point for any company is to ensure that they are a safe, open space for every employee, no matter their background or identity.

DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives have become increasingly more common in the workplace in attempt to address the racial, gender, or other inequalities that are unfortunately still prevalent in society.

While DEI is more common today, it can still be a sensitive topic. It challenges each person to embrace differences and confront their unconscious biases, which are judgements or behaviours we are not aware of. This moves us out of our comfort zones and can be uncomfortable. But, if a leader is committed to creating a sense of belonging, embracing DEI and managing unconscious bias is a necessary first step.

Here are some strategies:

·      Be accountable to your own biases as a leader. Be proactive in trying to understand those around you and take steps to listen and learn from others.

·      Listen to others and give them space to express themselves. Practice active listening and truly seek to understand.

·      Call-in, don’t call-out. Try to take the opposite route from today’s ‘cancel culture.’ Instead of calling someone out for their mistakes, call them in. Ask questions like ‘When this happened, what did it mean to you?’ or ‘This is how it came across. What did you intend for it to mean?’

·      Be okay with not always getting it right. Acknowledge where you are wrong and make changes.

·      Amplify voices of those who are ignored. Make a conscious effort to amplify the voices that may be ignored or historically undervalued.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of DEI, however implementing these tips as a leader can help you become more aware of your unconscious biases and take some steps towards building a safe space of belonging for employees. Make sure you continue to educate yourself about DEI from professionals and educators to take it to the next level.

Building Intrinsic Motivation

If embracing the diversity of each individual is the baseline for creating a sense of belonging, then understanding intrinsic motivators is the baseline for productivity in a workplace. Companies are missing out on real productivity and creativity from their employees because they don’t understand the psychology of motivation and what makes people do what they do.

Intrinsic motivators come from within a person, I like to think of it that they come from your heart’s desires not from what your eyes envy. Some intrinsic motivators may be a desire to do well, feel a sense of progress, a love for a certain task, a sense of connection and more autonomy. In contrast, extrinsic motivators are about gain and the avoidance of loss and include financial and tangible rewards, status and fame, all whilst trying to avoid consequences.

One downfall of extrinsic motivators is that they tend to be one-size-fits-all. While one person might love a free lunch, another person doesn’t because of their food allergies. One person may really want an iPad whilst another is not interested in technology or already has one, and we all perceived the value of money differently depending on our personal situation. $25 may be a lot to one person but to another it only represents a small value. Extrinsic motivators may work in the short-term or as I like to say they are loud and get attention, but they do not have long-lasting impacts like intrinsic motivation. In contrast, intrinsic motivators tap into deep human desires, such as feeling valued, purposeful, and recognised—what we all desire. These intrinsic motivators tend to be quieter but have a long lasting and powerful effect.

To increase intrinsic motivation and, in turn, employee engagement, focus on these factors:

·      Embrace Purpose by allowing employees to develop goals with personal meaning.

·      Release control over every minute detail and allow employees autonomy and decision-making power within the scope of their role.

·      Build cooperation into the workplace so that everyone can receive satisfaction from helping others.

·      Embrace creativity and innovation by providing space for curiosity.

·      Give recognition and be generous with praise and affirmation for accomplishments.

To Wrap Up

Employee experiences determine employee engagement and is something that leaders need to be thinking about. A workplace that is safe and open to all employees creates an important sense of belonging. DEI initiatives and conversations that force leaders to confront unconscious biases is a powerful first step towards achieving this.

In addition to focusing on this sense of belonging, leaders need to find ways to boost intrinsic motivation. What motivates their employees towards success, innovation, and productivity? Building a workplace that empowers employees to take on challenges and be more autonomous, leaves room for failure, gives recognition regularly and encourages creativity.  These are all positive first steps to tapping into the power of intrinsic motivation to achieve employee and company success.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work

The Intersection of Engagement and Productivity
Thinkers360
November 08, 2021

Engagement and productivity are uttered almost daily in the business community. Most people understand they are related, but mistakenly think that the road between engagement and productivity is linear. In fact, they are part of a complex, interconnected web.

Leaders and organisations that care about performance of their companies need to care about engagement and employee experience (EX). They cannot focus single-mindedly on productivity without addressing the underlying factors. Leaders need to zoom out and look at the bigger picture that connects engagement to productivity to business success.

Virtuous Cycle of Employee Engagement

When the term “engagement” is used in the marriage context, it’s understood as a mutual promise and expression of intent. However, when it’s used in a work context, we often only consider one side—an employee is either engaged or not. But employee engagement is also two-sided. Employers have a responsibility to understand and focus on employee engagement.

It begins by understanding what employee engagement looks like. The starting point for any company is enjoyment—employees need to like their work and enjoy what they do on a day-to-day basis. From there, it kicks off a virtuous cycle of employee engagement:

  • Employees who enjoy their work have a thirst for knowledge and are curious.
  • Curiosity leads to greater knowledge and understanding.
  • Increased understanding develops a sense of value for the knowledge.
  • It is natural to care about what a person values.
  • Care leads to pride in the work or company.
  • Pride continues to increase enjoyment and continues the cycle.

All of these factors work together to increase employee engagement by tapping into natural intrinsic motivators. When someone loves their work, they will naturally start diving deeper to learn more and develop that sense of value, care, and pride over their work.

Connecting the Dots

Employee engagement is a multi-faceted experience, as we’ve just seen. But, as it continues to run its own virtuous cycle, it begins to connect with productivity, customer experience, and business success.

An engaged employee has deep knowledge and understanding about their role, responsibilities, and the company’s products and services. Knowledge naturally increases quality of work, efficiency, and productivity, as they are able to work more effectively.

Another intersection is by creating excellent customer experience (CX). An engaged employee values and cares about their work, which will help them create a good CX because they are authentically seeking to help and serve customers. Excellent CX will lead to loyal customers and business success, but it will also develop a sense of pride for the employee, that they are part of a company that cares for customers well.

Increased productivity and strong CX will both lead to business successes. An effective leader will recognise all of these intersections and understand the value of continuously re-investing back into employees. Creating a good EX is not a one-time thing, but requires continual work and prioritisation.

It might seem confusing to untangle the web of connections between employee engagement, customer experience, productivity, and business success. However, the fact that they are connected is actually a message of hope: if you prioritise these things in your company, you will set off a chain reaction of positive changes in the company.

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Tags: Culture, Customer Experience, Future of Work

The Future of Work: Post-COVID-19 Trends and Technology Innovation
Thinkers360
October 25, 2021

Starting with the obvious here: COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live, work, and play. The pandemic has made all of us into futurists, wondering and predicting what the world will look like in a post-COVID era.

There’s no doubt that the future of work will be different. How, exactly, is yet to be seen. Based on recent and emerging trends, it seems that there will be changes in three categories: shifts in interpersonal communications, introduction of new technologies, and changing jobs.

Communication and connection

As we emerge from our “Zoom cocoons” over the last two years and return to in-person work, there will be shifts in how we communicate and connect with one another. While it will affect everyone, the Human Resources vertical will be most deeply affected by new post-pandemic dynamics.

Here are some shifts in the future of work from an interpersonal perspective:

  • Potential workplace segregation because of differing beliefs about vaccines, masks, and other topics. Workplaces will need to navigate the tricky balance of competing opinions and voices.
  • Death of the webinar. With many people experiencing video-fatigue, common tools like the webinar might become obsolete in favour of in-person or other methods of communication.
  • Augmented coaching and training for leaders and managers. Many people found it hard to lead a team virtually, without the benefit of in-person communication and body language. There will likely be a rise in assisted management coaching to help get leaders heads out of the spreadsheets and get their hearts back in the workplace.

Introduction of new technologies

Technology is ever-changing and evolving. The pandemic also accelerated technological advances out of necessity. It is likely that we will see an emergence of new and exciting technologies that both aid our work, but may also create new challenges to overcome.

Here are some top technology trends to expect in the future of work:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) explosion. We’re really just at the tip of the iceberg with AI—there is so much more potential for it to be used in our workplaces. The challenge will be how to manage AI in an ethical and responsible way, which will prompt the emergence of new roles and industries surrounding AI ethics.
  • Chatbot enhancements. Already used widely, chatbots can be useful to help automate processes. They are, however, still fairly basic and can be improved on. We may see chatbots become more sophisticated, able to “talk” to a customer in a conversational way. In a recent Linkedin survey it was discovered that people are more likely to share a personal in-depth story with a stranger rather than somebody close to them. Chatbots and in particular, conversational AI could quite possibly find a new home in this space.  

Changing jobs and roles

The lines between work and home became blurry during the pandemic. Many also found extra time to take on new side hustles with their extra spare time. How will this all incorporate back into the workplace?

Here are some of the changing jobs and roles expected post-pandemic:

  • Incorporating the gig economy into the traditional workplace. Managers and leaders will have to become more accepting of the new norms like side hustles and portfolio or gig-based work.
  • Flexible work schedules. Managers will need to learn how to accommodate work-from-home and flexible schedules that so many employees are now used to.
  • New jobs and roles. No one expected a pandemic, and few were prepared for it. It’s likely that business readiness and disaster recovery will become a key role to fill for businesses and organizations.
  • Ethical AI roles. AI will replace many data driven roles. For example many roles in that trawl through previous cases for precendece could be replaced by AI however new roles in AI Law that address the ethics behind AI could be a whole new field.

A futurist knows that you can’t know exactly what will happen, but you can make good predictions based on current trends, which we’ve done here. After all, the old adage rings true: the only thing constant in life is change.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Future of Work

Gamification – A Misunderstood Science
Thinkers360
October 22, 2020
Gamification is still a mostly untapped and misunderstood science. For over a decade it has had much scepticism and hype with hit and miss success, however as the craft matures and is understood at a deeper level it is now starting to become a sustainable alternative to traditional ways of measuring and engaging employees from both a learning and performance perspective. Both Gallup and Fifth Quadrant have conducted surveys for the last decade around employee engagement and astoundingly the figures have remained horribly similar with only roughly 25% of employees saying they are actively engaged with their performance. This is by no means surprising given very few companies have done much to change how they train, design key performance indicators (KPI’s) and engage employees. Only now with catalysts like the royal commission into banking and finance in Australia, which demanded large institutions change how they measure and incentivise staff are we seeing a substantial shift to behavioural based metrics. Playfulli, who developed an employee profiling tool, tested with over 65,000 people shows that there are actually 8 motivational profiles across an organisation, of which most organisations only tend to engage two (25%) when designing how employees are measured, reinforcing this notion that only a quarter of employees are engaged. What is Gamification? Gamification is the application of game mechanics and behavioural science into non-game activities (like work) in order to achieve an objective. When implemented correctly it goes beyond simply applying points, badges and leader-boards (a common entry level approach) and instead focuses on behaviours, motivational diversity , employee strengths and micro-learning and tethered to a much wider range of game mechanics that engage the human desire for achievement, progress, purpose contribution, connectedness and belonging. In the past many gamification platforms have tried to portray themselves as the silver bullet for performance and in doing so found short-lived success. Many realised that simply "gamifying" the same old metrics and expecting a different result yielded only short-term success. As these gamification platforms matured, they realised that they needed to solve for the root cause, not the symptoms and thankfully this is now showing fantastic results with those organisations courageous enough to explore the scientific art of gamification. Gartner predicted that 70% of fortune 500 companies will attempt gamification but that 80 odd percent would fail due to poor design. Now once bitten and twice shy there is still some reluctance to try gamification again, however those who approach it in a scientific way and are willing to turn their back on traditional lag metrics are much more likely to see results that will buck the 10-year trend we have been witnessing of low employee engagement. Gamification Back on the Radar Gamification should be on the radar of any organisation looking to drive greater employee engagement and knowledge retention, particularly those with a distributed workforce. Even if they have tried and failed in the past it is absolutely worth another go, because like most technologies and concepts, gamification has matured rapidly from where it was merely years ago especially those platforms that have built in machine learning and AI capability. The Gamification industry has had many resurgences in the past 10 years however it is finally here to stay and with good reason. Gamification has finally matured beyond simple game mechanics designed to drive spending, product use and employee productivity to a full-blown behavioural psychology and motivational design industry supported by tech (not led by it). Gamification and the Future of Work With distributed workplaces a norm and likely to stay that way managers are finding it harder to see employee behaviour and basing coaching on lag measures. Gone are the informal catch-ups, replaced by structured and scheduled video calls - eroding employee trust. Gamification combined with Machine Learning, AI and micro-learning is helping managers by prompting the them with insightful coaching tips, challenges and conversations. This helps say goodbye to the pouring over of data and spreadsheets, structuring and preparing performance conversations sourcing long winded online training modules that are always completed and instantly forgotten. Gamification has long been focused on roles closest to entry level and managers were left with the administration of it (another arduous task taking them away from leading people) but those days too are a thing of the past. Advanced Gamification, real-time performance, lead measurement and micro-learning are going to augment a manager’s activity and ease the admin burden allowing them to build trust and empathy with the people they lead and create repeated positive behaviours that fuel amazing workplace cultures. Seek out a platform that offers Micro-learning, has rich features beyond points, badges and leader boards, has proven machine learning and AI, is easy to integrate, support workplace collaboration and is content rich. Combine this with proven gamification implementation and design experts and you are sure to be among those leading the future of work.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Future of Work

Fostering Friendship
Thinkers360
May 23, 2020
There are a lot of reasons why we may or may not enjoy our jobs. From how fulfilling we find the work, to how much money we make, to the hours we’re required to keep, a complicated tangle of factors are involved with determining our job satisfaction and engagement. Due to our tendency to focus on elements such as salary and productivity, we tend to overlook an incredibly important facet of our experiences in the workplace: our friendships. At a time that according to Gallup workplace engagement is lower than ever, it’s essential to take a look at the things that really make us feel good about our jobs, which are often the people we are surrounded with. Think about it this way, what would make you more excited about your job, your KPI’s, the intranet, performance reviews, email upon email and the instant coffee or having genuine, real friendships with your co-workers. Relationships that allow you to connect, commiserate, laugh, and have some fun at work? The answer to me is obvious, and it’s the reason why I want to put a spotlight on the importance of fostering friendship in the workplace. In this article, I’ll explore why it’s so important to have social connections in the workplace, dig into how powerful work friends are, and explain how gamification can help foster socialisation at work. We Are Social Creatures The same way that many animal species naturally live their lives in groups, instinctively choosing to be in each other’s company, human beings too, are hard-wired to be social. We naturally seek the companionship, approval, and guidance of others, and we’ve done so since we were Neanderthals in caves as part of our survival. In fact, our social nature is part of our biology, our neurology. We even have a hormone that exists explicitly for that purpose. Oxytocin, often nicknamed the love hormone, encourages us to bond with friends, lovers, and family members. When we are physically close to others, our brains are flooded with oxytocin, giving us feelings of well-being and warmth that encourage us to connect with others more and more. In fact, studies have shown that oxytocin can even help increase our trust in other people. And it’s not just about warm fuzzies; socialising is a matter of life or death and I’m not trying to be dramatic. Humans need each other to survive, not only to meet our primary physical needs for food, shelter, and reproduction, but also to keep us well. It’s proven: being socially isolated can increase your risk for premature mortality (dying early). Now, I’m not saying that you’ll die if you don’t have friends at work. But I am saying that you’ll have a much better time in the office if it’s filled with at least a few friendly faces. Friends at Work There’s science to back up this claim too. According to Gallup, close work friendships can boost employee satisfaction by 50%. And people who have a best friend in the workplace are more likely to fully engage in their work - by 700%. That’s no small potatoes. There’s a myriad of significant benefits to friendship in a workplace beyond just productivity and happiness. Camaraderie in the workplace can help tie employees together, allowing us to feel like we belong and we’re not in it alone. Friends can help support us in difficult times as well as celebrate our successes, making the experience of going to work much more engaging and livelier. Beyond that, workplace socialisation can contribute to a greater sense of purpose at a job. Your motivation to succeed becomes amplified by the desire to contribute for the sake of your teammates. It makes your day-to-day about more than just yourself and essentially gives you a mission to work toward. The same way that we’re willing to make sacrifices and face challenges for our loved ones, we’re willing to work harder for a team that includes people we care about on a personal level. Friends and Play When we play games, physical or digital we tend to forget the challenges life’s thrown at us. Play helps us disconnect the part of our brain that worries, even if it’s momentarily. Think back to a time you were playing a game, scoring that goal in your favourite sport or defeating the bad guy at the end of a computer game or when passing go and collecting $200. Were you thinking about some work challenge or worrying about the things that keep you awake at night? I doubt it. When we play it lifts us above day-to-day reality. Our innate, human need to socialise can be leveraged by smart, well-designed purposeful play and gamification, to improve employee engagement, retention, and performance. A workplace can use game mechanics like friendly competition, collaboration, exploration and social sharing to foster friendship, camaraderie, and purpose amongst employees. It can be used to give employees a mission within their team, encouraging them to work harder not for the company but for their peers. If isolation is teaching us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t take our social ties for granted. It’s clearer than ever that socialisation is a core motivator. Strategic play and gamification can tap into this and improve employee engagement, help organisations reach their goals and improve individuals’ lives. To find out more about how to harness the power of friendship, strategic play and gamification, contact PLAYFULLi today.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Innovation, Leadership

Connecting from Home Through Gamification
Thinkers360
May 07, 2020
Let me be the 7th billionth person to state the obvious…the Coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and has changed the nature of how we work, for the foreseeable future. Most of our workplaces have done a tremendous job in ensuring we have the technological resources we need to keep us connected to our respective workplace responsibilities. But now we have a new challenge. Unfortunately, staying motivated and focused can be incredibly challenging during this time. Why? Because while we’re all connected to our work, we’re isolated from the other necessary connections that are essential to mental health and well-being. So how do you take care of the well-being of staff remotely? How do you replicate the natural energy and camaraderie that comes from working in a workplace with other people? Enter HR departments and change managers who are now trying to develop and implement strategies and tools aimed at engaging staff from home. Let’s face it, most business continuity plans don’t include ongoing employee engagement strategies. Employee engagement can be tough at the best of times and now it needs to be done remotely which is where injecting gamification could help. Gamification can help employees form and maintain good habits as well as help employees rally around a common purpose or goal. The honeymoon is over! Turns out for many that working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Previously and certainly before it was forced upon us, working from home sounded appealing to most. There’s no commute and you can work in active wear if you choose without being judged. Plus, there’s nobody around to stop you from combining your daily tasks with keeping on top of house chores or travelling down any YouTube wormhole. Win-win! But now that it’s a daily outlook with an ambiguous end in sight, how do we replace the energy that comes from a team or workplace dynamic? Staying personally connected benefits everybody Of all the elements now missing in the workplace, the most critical to morale is camaraderie. Naturally, these connections have psychological benefits, and increase workplace satisfaction. In fact, a Gallup report found that stronger bonds in the workplace could lead to 7% more engaged customers and 12% higher profit. Plus, there’s the routine and shared goals that are much more straightforward when you have that hub (the office) where everyone gathers. Those relationships can have a positive impact on an organisation’s bottom-line. And during such a challenging time, may make all the difference on whether your business stays afloat. Why gamification is a great strategy Did you know that gamification programs approached with the right intent and knowhow have seen employees say they are happier (88%) and made them more productive (89%) at work? That’s because well designed gamification is a great vehicle to recognise the motivational diversity within an organisation. Furthermore, successful gamification focuses strongly on promoting the camaraderie that will keep your team working not just with each other, but for each other, with common purpose. Through this method, your team can challenge themselves in a controlled, safe environment. There isn’t the worry of failure, but only the prospect of getting better and striving towards improvement and mastery of role. Plus, implementing gamification while your employees work from home will help provide good work habits for when social distancing and isolation is not a part of our daily vernacular and we can embrace being in close proximity with others, once again. So, whilst many companies are cutting costs where possible, there are others taking the opportunity to test out strategies they hadn’t considered or otherwise were planning further down the track. This might just be one of those strategies’ worth testing. To find out more about using gamification to engage employees at home (or in the workplace) contact the team at Playfulli.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Innovation, Leadership

Opportunities

1 Business
Employee experience and innovation through play

Location: Australia / Virtual Global     Date Available: May 05th, 2020    Fees: Contact for a proposal

Submission Date: May 04th, 2020    Service Type: Service Offered

Helping companies improve employee experience, innovate, problem solve and strategise with the power of play.
- Gamification strategy, design
- Gamification product selection, procurement, implementation and managed services
- Lego Serious Play facilitation
- Innovation through strategic play

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