Gamification as a Cultural Change Agent
In 2017, the Operations unit undertook a major effort to promote the importance of standard ways of working and culture of continuous improvement. These themes are based on Lean leadership and are a part of Operations strategy.
The other focus area for Operations was its vision of becoming an Awesome Place to Work. Gamification as a teaching method was used to enhance the continuous improvement culture and to build understanding of what makes OPS an Awesome Place to Work for our employees.
In the first phase, everyone took part in the Awesome Place to Work game. With the help of this game, everyone had the chance to reflect their own work: how they can contribute to systematic improvement, why it is essential to use standard ways of working in Operations, and how everyone can do their bit to improve the workplace atmosphere.
The game was played in cross-functional teams, based on open discussion, sharing opinions, and learning from each other. The game was facilitated by internal Vaisala trainers.
The second phase took the gamification to the team level to boost what had been learned in the first phase and continue reinforcing the cultural change. The game was called Together to the Summit!, and it was played in teams, with team leaders responsible for steering the game.
The game had five levels with different tasks and criteria for the team to meet. Prizing was an important part of the game: all teams reaching the highest level were rewarded in the end game session.
One of the targets for this effort was to activate people to participate in development work. That target has been achieved very well. As an example, the target for plan-do-check-act (PDCA) ideas was reached as early as mid-year.
All in all, this program and the selected methods were successful in supporting the desired cultural change of continuous improvement and learning.