As player you are the manager of a Mexican restaurant and you are assigned to increase the financial results. You have to manage six employees. These employees have tasks with job demands and they have resources, competences and ambitions. The balance between their job demands and their resources influences their work engagement and stress level. The work engagement and stress level of the employees in the restaurant influences the quality of their work and that influences the number of customers and thus the returns of the restaurant. Interventions of the manager (the player) changes the job demands or the resources and have an impact on the engagement and stress of the employees. To gather information you can talk to your employees (pull) and sometimes they come to you for a talk (push). Besides that they ‘send tweets’ to comment on your interventions (feedback). Customers also tweet, on their experiences in your restaurant. While you try to manage your restaurant all kind of events take place on which you have to react. And of course, measures taken to react on events also influence the work engagement and work related stress of your employees. The game is usually played in couples to stimulate discussion on the decisions, and as part of a training. After playing the game the results of all couples are discussed in the group.
The game is developed by TNO, Arboned and Ranj.
The Engagementgame is aimed at managers who want learn how to tackle work-related stress in their organizations and how to keep workers healthy engaged to their work.
The Engagementgame is a serious game learning managers how to prevent work-related stress and raise work-engagement among workers.
A serious game used as a learning tool provides a number of possibilities and advantages over traditional teaching and training methods. Serious gaming fits in well with the constructivistism, which assumes that active learning is more effective than passive (lean back) learning. Since serious games provide a virtual world where events can actually be experienced, they could be an appropriate tool to teach managers how to address work-related stress and work engagement issues and to make them aware of their role in the process. Serious games have the advantage that effects of interventions can be scaled, not only sort term but also medium and long term effects can be shown and experienced during the game and managers can try different management styles without fearing negative consequences. In this sense, a serious game could function as a proper mean to provide managers with a clear view of the complexity of work-related stress and engagement issues, the effects of solutions in the medium and long term, and the role they play in this process. For these reasons the use of serious gaming as an management intervention to prevent and reduce work-related stress and stimulate work engagement among employees seemed promising.
Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research – TNO
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