Learning gamification: using game design and fun to build digital transformation skills

"Digital transformation is less about technology and more about people. You can pretty much buy any technology, but your ability to adapt to an even more digital future depends on developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing your own and others’ potential." This perspective, from the Harvard Business Review resonates with us at UNV, where we recognize that in order to deliver on our highly ambitious Digital Transformation project, skilled digital professionals are indispensable.

Digital readiness is key to our success. i.e. building and refining of capabilities and culture to perform and transform. According to the Institute for Digital Transformation, "The more prepared or ready an organization, the more likely it will achieve its desired outcome. 'Digital readiness' is being prepared for the disruption of Digital Transformation." 

Therefore, it is imperative to provide opportunities for staff of all levels to be digitally fit. This year, we have made significant investments to develop a strategic digital education plan.

We want our staff to have the required digital capabilities to adapt to a new way of working; benefit from opportunities for professional and personal development; and use newly acquired digital literacy to add value within UNV, the UN System and beyond. --Stephen Brightwell, Human Resources Specialist

In order to best support our staff in their digital readiness journey, we have designed a programme that combines flexibility, in-house developed core modules and a huge range of diverse learning opportunities provided by market leaders. Through a single-entry point, the Digital Transformation learning portal, staff can view bite-size videos, tutorials and user guides. 

All staff have access to curated content through platforms including Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and the recently launched UN Digital Academy. In addition to training on new applications and productivity-enhancement tools like the Corporate Service Desk, Client Relationship Management and Unified Volunteering Platform, we also provide our staff with access to materials on digital preparedness from the wider UN system.

This includes platforms like the United Nations Development Programme's Digital Now and Digital Learning Paths and external certifications from world-class universities including Berkeley University, Boston University, DataCamp and Harvard University.

In order to encourage staff and reward their efforts to shift their mindsets and gain new digital skills, we developed a points-based recognition programme. Colleagues have the opportunity to become DT Certified, DT Masters and DT Champions. To date in 2020, 70 staff members have completed digital transformation certification, with gender balance among UNV's 12 DT Champions and 60 per cent women among our 20 DT Masters.

A culture of learning and change is being championed by our executive leadership, so we encourage our staff to join in and ensure that with our digital readiness we continue to provide first-class services to our partners and volunteers, and ultimately, our beneficiaries. --Avetis Avagyan, Project Manager, Digital Transformation

We are grateful to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for its support to UNV’s Digital Transformation project, which has enabled our innovative pathway.