Playing to win in sustainable business
This article was also published in Finansavisen.no.
Insurance giant Gjensigide invests in Attensi’s game-based training to promote its green credentials.
In a single generation the issue of sustainability has moved from a fringe concern to the top of the agenda for Norwegian business. Where once a firm’s success was measured by how much money it made, now it’s all about the three Ps – Planet, People and Profit.
A respect for all three is the price of doing business for every company when society – including investors, consumers and potential employees – increasingly insist that the brands they support serve as good corporate citizens.
This shift in attitudes means that a reverence for what is known as ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance – matters as much as revenue and expenditure.
According to McKinsey, companies with high ESG scores consistently outperform the market in the medium and long term. The challenge for businesses is how to embed a culture of sustainability in their operations in a way that goes beyond tokenism.
The answer to this challenge is staff training which is fun, easy to follow and flexible, so every worker at every level can master the skills and knowledge they need to display a commitment to sustainability.
Insurance company Gjensidige found the solution with world-leading, Norwegian game-based training expert, Attensi. Partnering together, Gjensidige and Attensi used real-life scenarios to create playable scenarios where staff could recreate typical interactions with customers.
“Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges facing companies today,” says Christian Kavli, Attensi’s head of professional and financial services for Norway and the EU.
“And the challenge we face with our customers is that they often don’t know where to start to engage the employees and get them on board with the change that is needed.”
Attensi’s game-based simulations give employees the chance to learn new skills and fresh ways to communicate sustainability in a safe, risk-free environment where they can repeat training.
The training – named The Sustainability Game – is based on gaming mechanics and techniques which people already know, love and understand. The simulations are bite-sized and available on devices like phones and tablets so training can be completed anytime, anywhere.
Gaming features, including points-scoring and leaderboards, drive friendly competition, meaning employees want to play the games repeatedly – so the learning sticks.
Mette Kolstad Wiig, the head of the Nordic Gjensidige Academy, said: “Our goal was for all employees to understand why a focus on sustainability is important for Gjensidige and our customers.
“We wanted them to know Gjensidige’s focus areas and board-approved goals for sustainability. It is when employees feel pride in our work and can give examples of sustainability in conversation with customers, partners and others, that we have succeeded.”
Both Gjensidige and Attensi were thrilled with the results.
Almost 1800 employees played the game, with each employee playing 6.5 times (2.1 times to achieve certification and another 4.4 times to improve their score or beat their colleagues).
Kavli said: “After all, the employees are absolutely central to a company’s success in implementing change related to sustainability. They must feel both a commitment and ownership of those changes, and have the knowledge of the goals that the company has set themselves.”
“Gjensigide is dedicated to doing the right thing, and eager to give their people every resource they need to serve as passionate champions for their sustainable way of doing business,” Kavli explained.
Thanks to trainings like this, customers can get a real sense that companies are on their side – not just in providing the products and service they want and need, but in a wider ethical sense too.