In 2020 Raben Group carried out a simultaneous development project for all key managers in the organization. The thrilling gamification was attended by 1,000 managers who completed more than 40 diversified tasks over the course of 4 months. Not only did the managers develop their skills, but thanks to the fantastic results, they also funded 3,000 foreign language lessons for children from orphanages! The Manager of Choice program concluded with an online gala where the best 21 managers were recognized.
The last few months were filled with positive excitement, rivalry and bonding between supervisors and their teams in the whole organization. Key managers from 13 European countries faced different tasks centred around best managerial practices. The Manager of Choice gamification was divided into 5 stages: recruitment, onboarding, development, daily work and leaving the organization. The project enjoyed such great interest that the engagement of managers exceeded the expectations of the organizers. Over 75% of the gamification participants went through each of the 5 modules by completing all the tasks available on the platform.
The quality of the performed tasks also exceeded the organizers’ goal - the average level of correctness reached 79%, and some questions were really surprising and required great creativity.
For the past few months, the Manager of Choice was the most discussed topic in the company. When new tasks appeared on the platform, all the project participants were ready for action. The cooperation between managers was a very positive phenomenon. Sometimes the project participants discussed the tasks which appeared on the platform by phone, organized review meetings or created online groups to quickly exchange information. As many as 40% of the managers answered the questions within two hours of their publication.
So much interest from managers needed to be appreciated. Therefore, the closing of the project had a special setting. The award ceremony was recorded and broadcast live from a Warsaw studio so that every manager and HR team member involved in the project could participate in the event in real time. The best managers received congratulations and thanks from the CEO of the Group, Ewald Raben, who personally hosted the ceremony together with Anita Koralewska-Ratajczak, Head of Group HR. Although due to the current restrictions each winner was in a different location, they connected live with the studio during the gala, received congratulations and shared their impressions of the project with others.
The top managers summed up the project during the awards ceremony. Each of the winners emphasized that participation in the gamification was an interesting and developing experience for them.
“I had a great time learning and competing with other Raben Group managers.” - said Beata Wozniak, who was sixth in the ranking.
“Funnily enough, even during my holidays, I would sit down at the computer at 9:00 a.m. and wait for the new tasks.” - mentioned Dorota Kondrot, who took fourth place in the gamification.
Piotr Mędlewski, who was on seventh position, compared the work of a manager in Raben to the role of a film director:
“When I was thinking about the Group project and my role as a manager at Raben, I came to the conclusion that being a manager is a bit like being a film director. The point is that great films are made not just by the director, but by all the people who work together and create the atmosphere.”
Each of the winners emphasized that the success achieved in the gamification would not have been possible without the support of their teams. “I definitely want to dedicate this award to my IT team in Germany. Thank you for your support and for our team spirit. It is a pleasure for me to work with you.” - said Rene Lüthen, who was ranked 14th.
There was a very positive atmosphere during the ceremony and the winners congratulated each other.
“Congratulations to all the participants because it wasn't easy. It was a difficult time for all of us. For me personally, the Manager of Choice was a nice element of the last few months when we worked remotely, sometimes together with the kids, sometimes without. That was a real positive.” - summarized Maciej Jarosz, the winner of the program.
Has the knowledge gained through gamification translated into actual behavioural change? Absolutely! The key to victory was cooperation with the teams at every stage of the game and the application of the knowledge acquired during trainings in practice.
“As an HR department, every day we see that managers have taken deeply to heart everything they learned during the program. Among the specific changes that have taken place in our organization, for instance, we see that participating managers pay special attention to ensuring that each applicant receives comprehensive, fact-based feedback. In addition, it is becoming more common to stay in touch with prospective employees after the recruitment process is completed.” - explains Anita Koralewska-Ratajczak, Head of Group HR.
The key to success of the project was that the tasks completed by the managers not only reinforced or transferred knowledge to the participants, but also encouraged them to interact with their teams (e.g. record a video together for a new employee). The program made managers realise that in order to increase the engagement of the team, many simple changes can be applied which do not require special funding, such as greater care in adjusting tasks to the predispositions of employees, introduction of praise or knowledge sharing. During the gamification, concrete and easy-to-implement ideas were also developed, like ways to motivate the team. Now these ideas are being implemented step by step and they are changing the company culture. Managers, on the other hand, organize special briefings for employees to ensure proper flow of information. They provide an opportunity to discuss current tasks, as well as to appreciate the team's commitment and ensure a positive atmosphere.
The Manager of Choice project has been a success. The aim of the activities was primarily to change attitudes and to develop sensitivity in managers towards aspects related with team management. The changes observed by HR employees show that the goal has been achieved.
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Klaudyna Polanowska - Skrzypek
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