Swiss Re is a wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance, and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. In April 2014, the Swiss company turned to gamification in order to address some business inefficiencies. In the process it reaped significant savings, reduced its carbon footprint, and demonstrated social responsibility by aiding poor farmers in Kenya.
Drowning in data
Swiss Re was paying millions of dollars each year to maintain an old network drive that housed a great deal of data the company suspected was irrelevant. The company wanted its 13,000 employees to sort through an accumulation of 143,000 gigabytes of data, deleting what they no longer deemed necessary. Recognizing that few employees would voluntarily take on what might be considered a long and onerous task, Swiss Re turned to G2G3 for help.
G2G3, an Edinburgh-based leader in gamification solutions, developed myProductivity for Swiss Re. The innovative product was a customized version of an underlying gamification platform G2G3 already had. It featured several game-based quests employees could participate in, along with a countdown format that challenged them to remove unnecessary data from their computers within 70 days. The more the employees deleted, the more “honey coins” they collected. Leaderboards added an element of friendly competition to the game.
Figure 1: myProductivity was designed by G2G3
The challenge was linked to Honey Care Africa, a charity program Swiss Re had partnered with to help 2,000 poor families in rural Africa become more self-sufficient via beekeeping and honey-making operations. Employees could donate their collected honey coins to fund a variety of designated gifts Swiss Re had pledged to the program, including beehives and equipment.
On launch day, 10 percent of Swiss Re’s workforce engaged with the program. Within four weeks, 60 percent of the target audience completed the task—significantly ahead of schedule. At the conclusion of the 70-day period, 87 percent of all employees had removed their old data from the network, freeing 91 percent of the old storage drive. The program also generated an unprecedented amount of excitement.
Figure 2: Employees who participated earned honey coins, which they could later donate to a charitable cause
Based on the positive response it received, Swiss Re decided to institute a calendar of other quests tied to other business challenges.
Think before you ink
Like many companies, Swiss Re was spending a lot of money on printing. It enlisted G2G3 to develop a gamified tool that would illustrate the impact printing had on the business and inspire employees to be more conscious about it. In addition to raising awareness about the costs of printing—both material and environmental—Swiss Re’s goals were to significantly trim the actual number of pages printed and, ultimately, to reduce the number of printers in the workplace.
G2G3 developed another quest. The platform used a combination of game mechanics including regional leaderboards and charitable donation incentives, once again in the form of honey coins that employees could allocate to the Honey Care Africa program.
The program was a resounding success. When the 13-week quest concluded, five million fewer pages had been printed compared to the same period a year prior, and Swiss Re realized direct savings of $350,000. In addition, Swiss Re was able to remove almost 200 printers, which allowed it to lower its carbon footprint and make progress toward the company’s long-term sustainability goals.
Swiss Re’s gamification initiatives motivated staff to adopt desired behaviors, drove company-wide cost-saving initiatives, and improved workplace productivity. To watch a video about the program, click here.