Category Archives: QuoDeck

‘Karma points’ keep employees motivated

Gamification encourages healthy competition, and the immediate incentives range from gift vouchers to virtual one-on-ones with the CEO for racking up a certain number of ‘karma points’

Mumbai: About four months ago, helping a colleague out or going above and beyond the call of duty only earned Sukrit Sarkar, 24, a pat on the back. Now, the associate product manager at HR platform Springworks earns points every time he does something to help a team member. Sarkar had the most points, 300, until another colleague overtook him on the leaderboard last week.

Appreciation is fuel in any organization, but while working from home, it’s often easy to miss thanking that one team member who goes the extra mile. Companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Goodera as well as startups like Springworks have turned to gamification to induct new employees, motivate existing ones, and run training modules remotely during the covid-19 pandemic. Gamification encourages healthy competition, and the immediate incentives range from gift vouchers to virtual one-on-ones with the CEO for racking up a certain number of ‘karma points’.

“When you work from home, other people on the team don’t know what you’re doing. And it’s nice when your teammates recognize your contribution,” says Sarkar. “In the physical office, we’d chat or congratulate one another. That was missing.”

Bengaluru-based Springworks built a gamified peer-to-peer recognition platform called Springengage in late April after its staff moved to working remotely. ‘Kudos’ (appreciation and gratitude for help) from a fellow employee earns the person 10 points, while a ‘shoutout’ (when someone goes beyond his or her role or does something that helps the company) brings in 100 points. The scores are displayed on a leaderboard, which creates a healthy competition.

“It has helped me keep motivated during these times. It has made us more curious about each other’s work. If someone gets a kudos or a shoutout, I want to know how the person solved the problem,” says Sarkar. Recently, he redeemed half his points for a ₹500 Amazon voucher to buy a book that was long on his wishlist.

Game-based activities are also helping companies induct new hires and interns, all of whom are rejoining work remotely now. For the first time in its history, Procter & Gamble India inducted 90 interns into a two-month stint virtually this year. To ensure learning and collaboration was engaging and interactive, a gamified module was created on its app. As the interns completed mandatory and optional training courses on the app, answered quizzes and challenges, they accumulated points. This was tallied on a leaderboard on the app with the top scorers getting gift hampers.

“We wanted to innovate and truly translate our on-ground ‘GetIn’ onboarding programme to a fully virtual experience. Gamifying the experience with deliberately planned touch-points increased the overall participation and engagement on the app. This also created a sense of community, drove engagement and motivated interns,” says PM Srinivas, head, HR, India sub-continent, Procter & Gamble.

At Goodera, gamification has worked to get its young staff to interact again, and ease work stress. Over the last few months, the tech company working in the space of CSR has rolled out a virtual volunteering facility. While employees met all their deadlines, moral seemed to be flagging during the lockdown. So, founder Abhishek Humbad introduced virtual volunteering for his team. But it really took off when employees could earn ‘karma points’ for individual and team effort, social impact of the voluntary work and more. The points, which reflect on a leaderboard on Goodera’s internal platform, earn employees gifts, ecommerce vouchers or a virtual one-on-one meeting with the CEO. “People notice what others are doing, and it also nudges them to do more,” says Humbad.

Webinars and informal Zoom meet-ups are losing novelty. “Gamified content gives a sense of micro achievement, which makes people feel good,” says Arijit Lahiri, co-founder, QuoDeck Technologies. The Mumbai-based game learning app creator has seen its turnover double since the start of the pandemic, he says, adding that clients are requesting casual games to fit into a storytelling format.

Rajib Chowdhury, founder, TGC Technologies, which helps companies create gamified activities, however, says companies should not get swept away by gamification and ignore other aspects of deeper employee engagement. “Companies have to be clear about what they want to achieve from the whole exercise. Besides uplifting morale, companies need to focus on creating purpose,” he says.

By Reshmi Menon, journalist at livemint.

This article was first published on livemint

The 7 Key Objectives of your Induction Program

A sense of belongingness is a very important aspect for an individual joining a new workplace. A new employee who feels accepted and included at the workplace, adds to the overall growth of the organization as well as the employee.

An Induction Program can be said to be the first step to welcome new employees.  Through the Induction Program, organizations introduce the new hire to the workplace, roles and responsibilities and culture. It creates a feeling of trust with other employees and significantly improves employee retention.

The induction program addresses key aspects of working in the organization:

Inclusion: Inclusion is an important aspect for an individual entering a new group. Making them feel a part of organization can be done with a warm welcome by the team members. An employee must not feel like an outsider at the workplace. This should be collectively handled by the higher officials as well as other employees.

Introduction: The new employee should be introduced to all the departments and colleagues. Ideally, a mentor can also be assigned to initiate them into the projects which the employee would work on. It helps as employees can speak out their doubts and clear them with the guidance of a mentor.

Rules and Regulations: A key part of induction is explaining the rules and regulations of the organization like work hours, dress code, annual leaves, appraisals, incentives, and flexible working arrangements. This creates a sense of awareness and predictability for the employee.

Vision and Mission: The aims and objectives of the organization, and its work culture should be made clear, so that the employee has a clear idea of the work environment and how to behave.

Job description: The incumbent’s job profile along with their responsibilities and challenges needs to be briefed to them. This can be explained with the help of earlier projects and the execution done by members of similar profile. The employee must know about their key tasks as well as the qualities required for completing them. In this way they can brush up their skills or learn new skills, if required, to be prepared for all the upcoming new tasks.

Role training: Practical execution is always easier after an employee knows all the aspects of a particular job profile. A newly joined employee can be trained, so that they have a grasp of all the responsibilities of their position. A guide or mentor can assign tasks in the initial months and the organization can assess the strengths of the employee, basis which similar tasks can be assigned in future.

Feedback:  After a few weeks of joining the employee can be asked about his experience and if any suggestions or modifications should take place. An employee feels motivated and appreciated, when such feedback is taken.

Employee Induction needs a proper planning and needs to be revised after every year for new perspectives. It is a key to ensure retention for employees.

New employees need to feel comfortable in their new work environment and become productive as soon as possible. With some of the factors discussed here, retention rate of employees increases. In closing, induction needs to be thought of as an investment in an employee for the long-term benefit for the organization.

What is BCP and Why do you Need One?

BCP IS NOTHING BUT PLANNING EVERYTHING!

What Is Business Continuity Planning (BCP)? 

Business continuity planning (BCP) is the process involved in creating a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company. The plan ensures that personnel and assets are protected and can function quickly in the event of a disaster. The BCP is generally conceived in advance and involves input from key stakeholders and personnel.

BCP involves defining any and all risks that can affect a company’s operations, making it an important part of the organization’s risk management strategy. Risks may include natural disasters—fire, flood, or weather-related events—and cyber-attacks. Once the risks are identified, the plan should also include:

  • Determining how the risks will affect operations
  • Implementing safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks
  • Testing procedures to ensure they work
  • Reviewing the process to make sure that it is up to date

BCPs are an important part of any business. Threats and disruptions mean a loss of revenue and higher costs, which leads to a drop in profitability. And businesses can’t rely on insurance alone as it covers only a fragments of costs and the customers who move to the competition.

Business continuity planning (BCP) is the process a company undergoes to create a prevention and recovery system from potential threats such as natural disasters or cyber-attacks.

BCP is designed to protect personnel and assets and make sure they can function quickly when disaster strikes.

BCPs should be tested to ensure there are no weaknesses, and that they can be identified and corrected.

Understanding Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a plan to help ensure that business processes can continue during a time of emergency or disaster. Such emergencies or disasters might include a fire or any other case where business is not able to occur under normal conditions. Businesses need to look at all such potential threats and devise BCPs to ensure continued operations so the threats don’t become a reality.

A business continuity plan involves;

Analysis of organizational threats

A list of the primary tasks required to keep the organizational operations flowing

Easily located management contact information

Explanation of where personnel should go in case of a disaster, if

Information on data backups and organization site backup

Collaboration among all facets of the organization

Buy-in from everyone in the organization

Consider a finance company based in a major city. It may put a BCP in place by taking steps including backing up its computer and client files offsite. If something were to happen to the company’s corporate office, its satellite offices would still have access to important information.

An important point to note is that BCP may not be as effective if a large portion of the population is affected, as in the case of a disease outbreak.

Developing a Business Continuity Plan

There are several steps companies must follow to develop a solid BCP. They include:

  • Business Impact Analysis: Here, the business will identify functions and related resources that are time sensitive. 
  • Recovery: In this, the business must identify and implement steps to recover critical business functions.
  • Organization: A continuity team must be created. This team will devise a plan to manage the disruption.
  • Training: The continuity team must be trained and tested. Members of the team should also complete exercises that go over the plan and strategies.

Companies may also find it useful to come up with a checklist that includes key details such as emergency contact information, a list of resources the continuity team may need, where backup data and other required information are housed or stored, and other important personnel.

Along with testing the continuity team, the company should also test the BCP itself. It should be tested several times to ensure it can be applied to many different risk scenarios. This will help identify any weaknesses in the plan which can then be identified and corrected.

Business Continuity Impact Analysis

An important part of developing a BCP is a business continuity impact analysis. It identifies the effects of disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses the information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.

FEMA provides an operational and financial impact worksheet to help run a business continuity analysis. The worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers who are well acquainted with the business. These worksheets will summarize the following:

The impacts—both financial and operational—that stem from the loss of individual business functions and process

Identifying when the loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts

Completing the analysis can help companies identify and prioritize the processes that have the most impact on the business’ financial and operational functions. The point at which they must be recovered is generally known as the “recovery time objective.”

Business continuity plans are pre-drafted, pre-determined protocols for how your organization will overcome a business disruption caused by an emergency.

Containing a serialized checklist of risk-mitigating actions to take, business continuity planning addresses both natural and human disasters that can strike, ultimately bringing operations to a halt. Such disaster scenarios include:

  • Weather incidents, such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes
  • On-premise accidents
  • Technological outages
  • Breaches and cybersecurity events
  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Any other significant system, process or operational failure that stalls core functions and grinds “business as usual” to a halt

The goal of a BCP is to mitigate the damage and reinstate operations before any of the above scenarios become existential business threats. Even small-seeming events like a severe storm damaging physical building infrastructure can trigger consequences affecting other core business domains. For example, consider the effects of a tornado that destroys the only third-party warehousing service you use to store your inventory, or a ransomware attack holding hostage your customers’ payment and account information.