Leaning into Learning: NETS Group Succeeds with Gamification and Social Learning

July 28, 2020

woman in library working on laptop

The NETS Group is a leading payments services group in the region and the operator of the largest payments network in Singapore where it is headquartered. It had previously introduced online learning for its employees but, with low take-up rates and high associated costs, the programme was quickly shelved. 

In the second half of 2019, the NETS Group began discussions with LinkedIn Learning to reboot its online learning programme. By the time it was ready for implementation, it was May 2020—at the height of a global pandemic. While this dampened the organisation’s initial plans for a big launch party, it enabled NETS to support its employees as they adapted to working remotely.

Within two months, NETS achieved an activation rate of 98% and users recorded an average of 10 learning hours in the month of June.

According to Tery Chua, Vice President of Group Human Capital Management and Principal of NETS Academy, scarcity marketing, gamification, and social learning made all the difference.

Starting with eager learners

The NETS Group made a deliberate decision to purchase a limited amount of  LinkedIn Learning licences. “By limiting the number of licences and offering them on a first-come, first-served basis, we were able to focus our resources on more eager learners—employees who are likely to make better use of this learning opportunity,” explained Tery.

And it worked. Within the first week, 70% of the licences were snapped up; within two months, this rose to 98%. While NETS Group did borrow concepts from scarcity marketing, it ensured that this wasn’t simply a case of ‘fastest fingers win’ by establishing an important house rule: inactive licences would be revoked and transferred to another colleague.

Again, it worked. Employees recorded a respectable average of two learning hours each in the month of May. Bolstered by its early success, the NETS Group was ready to kick things up a notch.

Putting the game in motion

In June, it introduced the Learning Challenge 2020 and watched as average learning hours jumped five-fold to an impressive 10 hours per learner that month.

Learning Challenge 2020 is a clever combination of gamification and social learning. In teams of three, employees vie for a monthly prize of S$100 limited edition NETS FlashPay card that is awarded to the team member with the most number of learning hours. At the end of six months, the team with the highest cumulative learning hours walks away with a coveted prize of an iPad Pro for each member. 

With many employees still working remotely from home, incorporating social learning helps combat the ‘lonely learner syndrome’ and offer much-needed peer motivation. LinkedIn Learning further supports this with its Q&A feature for learners to ask questions, tag others, and share these on LinkedIn Learning or in their LinkedIn network to tap on the expertise of a wider network.

“Our focus, for a start, is to inculcate the habit of learning among our people. Rather than mandating their learning, we’re encouraging them to explore, experiment, and enjoy the experience. After all, LinkedIn Learning has such an amazing variety of courses. Once they have learnt how to enjoy learning, we’ll start recommending courses to align their development with our Learning and Development (L&D) strategy,” revealed Tery.

For the full story on how NETS Group is nurturing a habit of learning in its employees, download the case study here.