See how Tata Consultancy breaks hierarchical structures with gamification
HR Director for Tata Consultancy Services, Nupur Mallick shared her thoughts on the importance of gamification in the workplace.
The balance between work and socialising can be difficult to achieve, yet TCS’s use of a customised social media platform has ensured employees have fun whilst at work.
Nupur talks about employee engagement, the hierarchical structure and how companies can start their own social media platform.
Tata Consultancy Services’ enterprise social network ‘Knome’ is a platform that connects over 350,000 employees around the world on one online forum.
“The Knome platform has helped us in creating a culture which is understood and accepted by everyone”
In producing this, TCS has gone through a cultural transformation, and encourages gamification for employee engagement of all ages.
The platform not only encourages employees to interact, but also to break hierarchical barriers.
Nupur said: “It has created a homogeneous company culture – so despite the challenges of having geographical boundaries and having people from five different generations, the Knome platform has helped us in creating a culture which is understood and accepted by everyone. Employees feel engaged, committed and part of the business that they are in. In fact it is regardless of what role, where or the rank they have in the organisations.”
She added that: “In terms of gamification, it incorporates a bit of fun and healthy competition. It also brings fun and happiness into the workplace and makes employees feel a very emotional connection, and in helping employees for long term relationships. It’s important to have a gamification element in the workplace also because it helps employees get instant feedback. It’s like getting encouragement and it all leads to having a very homogeneous culture, it breaks the silence within the organisation.
How can companies implement this?
With a customised app, TCS steered away from ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions for socialisation and found a way to personalise the employee experience.
After finding e-mail communication slow, Nupur said; “It was not particularly engaging for our workforce and we wanted to democratise the company. For us it was very important to have this social platform”
Other organisations can follow in their footsteps by firstly “Understanding the employees needs and desires, and then developing something that is very engaging for your company where employees can discuss freely and talk to their colleagues.”
Nupur then adds that companies should look at using a more customer focussed social platform rather than just off-the-shelf solutions. She suggests that a blogging platform is also beneficial which can all be bought from the market.
“But if you are looking for something which should resonate with your employees, and their needs and the change they want to bring in their organisations through the use of social platforms, it is then best to go for a custom-built model.”
The workplace is ‘more than just a workplace’
For TCS, Nupur says that employees are made to “bring their whole self to work” this means they feel comfortable in that environment and their needs are matched.
She says, in this whole-person approach that the key to making the workplace, ‘more than just a workplace’ is by understanding that: “Family is a very important pillar, it’s the culture of inclusion for spouses and children and we ensure they come to as many social events as possible.”
“We want to focus a lot on health and well-being, we sponsor several of the world’s biggest marathons, we have TCS ‘fit for life’ app which enables employees to create virtual teams to find an amazing partner or even to compete with each other.”
“Again, there is a focus on community engagement; our founder Jamsetji Tata said,“What comes from the community has to go back to the community.”
Breaking the hierarchical structure
With a customised social media platform, TCS has taken steps towards breaking the hierarchical structure by including everyone on one platform.
Other organisations can also take this step in order to reach towards a culture of respect for everyone says Nupur.
She says: “Hierarchical structures get broken right from the beginning – especially thanks to this social media platform that promote and connect all levels of the organisation. This means we treat everyone equally to ensure that all employees progress and the hierarchical structure is broken.”
Not only does the platform encourage this, TCS has also taken on many initiatives to encourage interaction between employees, regardless of their job role.
She adds: “We have a lot of training initiatives, we have global delivery leadership for entry level managers and special programmes designed to develop mid-level women managers. We spend a lot of time skilling our younger workforce so they can take on more responsibilities, employees also have opportunities to choose their own mentor. We encourage a work life balance, so it’s just the culture of respect for everyone which is what helps us in breaking the hierarchical divide in the organisation.”