Starting December 2014 issue, we will begin featuring the winners of the TechHR Spotlight Awards 2014. PlayDay won in Futurism in Talent Management category at the TechHR Conference 2014.
In the summer of 2010, Raj Dam left his cushy job at Dell to pursue a living out of a hobby – quizzing. “Social media and mobile gaming had changed how a quiz was conducted and consumed, this was no longer a realm of ‘celebrity quizmasters’ in live or TV shows, I thought there was a space to build a quizzing company that would solve the content engagement issues for HR and Marketing teams at large enterprises.” And he was right. Within three years, QuizWorks became one of the top two companies in its space clocking a 100 per cent growth year on year. At one end, it was helping IBM and Microsoft quizzify their product features and take it to the CIO community, while on the other it was helping companies like Mahindra and UltraTech create a preferred employer brand among college students. QuizWorks went on to create projects that would help a company connect with stakeholders – employees, customers, society etc. It worked with International Justice Mission to create awareness on Bonded labour, with CII on environment, with WWF on wildlife, New Zealand High Commission on the destination and with marquee brands like Daimler Benz, ACC Cements, EXL Service, Genpact, Birla Sun Life, Wipro, Adobe, in using quizzing as an employee engagement and learning technique.
“We were solving learning challenges in organizations through quizzification and were using game mechanics, long before the term ‘gamification’ was trending” Dam says. “And the learning we had doing such projects, paved the way for Playday to be born.”
PlayDay was born in April this year when they realized there was a need to have a singular platform where many issues could be addressed at one: Geographically spread workforce, odd working hours, accessing content through multiple devices, millennials with low attention span, training dependency, learning not being captured analytically etc. So, the challenge was not just how to engage people with content, but how to maximize and track learning.
“We felt that there was an opportunity for us to develop a product, which has a content management system that uses game mechanics and both structural and content gamification. It will publish rich media content through its in built content management system, provide an assessment layer on the given content and have an analytics engine measuring the learning effectiveness. All this in a gameful environment,” Dam added.
PlayDay thus is an interactive learning tool that uses gamification as a way to enhance learning effectiveness. It is used for new hire onboarding and HR policies by the HR team while the sales department uses this for building product knowledge and sales skills among new and existing enterprise sales representatives. In its philosophy, Playday is built on Edward Deci and Richard Ryan's work on Self Determination Theory (SDT), which if applied in a learning environment says that learning could be successful if it has three elements a) Autonomy (or Self-paced, not forced) b) Relatedness (or Social, i-can-connect-with-co-learners) and c) Competence (path to mastery or 'level-up' in game parlance)
It uses structural gamification tool such as badges, medals, certificates, quests, community and leaderboards to enhance intrinsic employee motivation and engages the user to propel through the given content and also content gamification techniques like narrative driven immersive game experience depending on the learning objective and the desired learning outcome. Detailed assessment and reporting makes it easy to track real-time results and make strategic decisions to help produce better ROI for your future trainings and campaigns. The product’s competitive advantage lies in its ability to engage and motivate users to achieve training completion by capitalizing on behaviour psychology using gamification. This helps it to stand out in the $13 billion training market among leaders such as Skillsoft, SABA, SumTotal, SAP etc.
So, in a billion dollar industry, what are the aspirations of PlayDay? “We at Playday are very clear that we want to become a global company. Our evolution will be in two parts: a) Geographical evolution – We are looking to enter North America next year and then Singapore, Malaysia and Australia b) Product expansion – We are constantly developing the product and adding new technical as well as gamification features. But as of now, we are disrupting the enterprise learning area and are really enjoying this journey,” he said.