Double award for BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s training strategy, based on “gamification”

“Héroes”, a game that the BBVA Microfinance Foundation developed to train its employees, has been recognized as an outstanding project in Latin America, at the Cegos Awards for Best Practices in HR, with Equipos&Talento. The initiative has been awarded “for its capacity to relay key messages to microfinance officers, regardless of their location, as well as its ability to improve services towards entrepreneurs.” It has also been given the Professional’s Choice Award, after having garnered the most number of votes online. Since its launch at the beginning of the year, more than 3,260 people out of the 8,100 employees of the BBVAMF Group have already played “Héroes”, giving it a satisfaction rate of 4.8 over 5.

“’Héroes’ was developed to build microfinance officers’ skills to better serve the entrepreneurs they accompany. These entrepreneurs live under vulnerable conditions and exert a lot of effort to provide for their families, facing many obstacles on a daily basis. The game also honors another type of hero: the microfinance officers themselves, who visit clients and support them, reaching places where nobody else goes. They are the most common users of the game”, shared Fabián Goldberg, head of the Microfinance Campus and Culture of BBVAMF, during the awarding ceremony.

The game allows the player to have a first-hand experience of the officers’ day to day life, and a glimpse of the entrepreneurs’ daily struggles. Users have described it as “innovative and user-friendly in transmitting knowledge”, as well as “fun”, “dynamic”, “realistic” and “simple”, and one that gives “useful tools for a good analysis, and better counselling to clients.”

This is the second program built up by the Foundation based on gamification, a learning technique that uses gaming to boost the talent of employees and achieve its mission: the sustainable development of low-income entrepreneurs. “Another one of our objectives as a foundation is to develop the microfinance sector, transform it, make it more modern, and contribute to it by sharing novel resources to reach more people. The idea is to make our content available sector-wide”, assures Fabián Goldberg.

In this 10th edition of Premios Cegos with E&T for Best Practices in HR, almost a hundred nominations vied for awards in 12 categories. Aside from BBVA Microfinance Foundation, among other winners are Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer, L’Oreal Spain, Mutua Madrileña, 3M and Heineken.

The Foundation’s training strategy, a four-time awardee

“Héroes” has also recently received an award from the Observatorio de Comunicación Interna (OCI) for being “The Best Strategy for Change Management and Transformation”; three additional awards to the first one received by BBVAMF’s first gamificiation project, ‘Simón: Amigotchi, a mobile application to give skills training in team management. It was awarded as one of the most innovative social initiatives in 2016 by the Development Bank of Latin America – CAF and the Compromiso Empresarial magazine. More than 800 supervisors and office managers that have used it, have graded it 4.7 over 5.

The current challenge is to develop similar games to keep strengthening human capital: “We are designing one to reinforce corporate values, and another one to fight unconscious bias. We’ve verified that gamification leaves no one indifferent, it’s more efficient and most of all, one’s enthusiasm to play never fades”, concludes the head of the Microfinance Campus and Culture of the BBVAMF.