Mini-Games to Drive Your Company Forward

From The Great Game of Business

2020 continues to bring about new and complex challenges to the workplace.  While companies continue to struggle with productivity in a pandemic-haze of uncertainty, the concept of MiniGames was brought up in August meetings by Patrick Mahoney as a way to drive the team towards a shorter-term goal in an engaging way.  A MiniGame™ is an activity designed to pursue an opportunity or correct a weakness within a company.  They have a goal, defined time frame, scoreboard and prize.  MiniGames™ are themed and should engage employees through incentives and friendly competition.

Key Elements of a MiniGame

– General goal: A general goal outlines the outcome you would like to achieve.
– Specific target: A specific target needs to be high enough to make an impact but achievable within the given timeframe.
– Time frame: The time frame indicates when the game ends and when results will be measured.  Two to six months is a good timeframe for most MiniGames.
– Players: Who will be involved in the game?  For larger companies, it could be just one department.  With smaller companies, it is easier to involve everyone.
– Scoreboard: The scoreboard used in a MiniGame should be something fun, creative, and visual that enables everyone to see the progress being made.
– Reward: Recommend something non-monetary that is fun and reinforces the idea of shared success.  For example, a catered barbeque or a “movie day” at work.

Use MiniGames to initiate change by focusing on one operational or financial number to drive success by improving a key company metric.  They are also a great way to reinforce business education with goal setting, accountability and performance management, giving employees a better understanding of how their individual efforts contribute to organizational success.  They build teamwork by rallying members behind a common goal and creates a culture of wining through the tracking and celebration of success.

Tips for a Great MiniGame

– Keep it simple to help employees understand how their actions can drive results.
– Keep everyone’s eyes focused on the end goal.
– Make it fun. They should feel like a change of pace from regular work.
– Don’t be afraid to make changes. Continually enhance and improve upon gameplay.
– Keep employees informed. Have a communication strategy – share performance updates and progress through emails, team huddles, and company/department meetings.

MiniGame Example: Save Auggie!

A company was facing an inventory-damage issue with every 4 out of 100 books getting damaged during the gluing stage. They set up a MiniGame with the goal of 99 out of 100 books meeting standards in the gluing. They focused on the players at the gluing station and established the benefit as an increase in efficiency and dollars-per-man hour.  The MiniGame would run for 6 weeks and be tracked daily.  The theme was “Save the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale (Auggie…from the glue factory)!” The scoreboard is a Clydesdale pulling a cart on a trail to get farther from the glue factory and closer to the Anheuser-Busch production plant. The weeks are marked incrementally on the path. For every week goals are achieved, the horse moves up the path.  With incremental improvement they received rewards such as lunch from Arby’s (with horsey sauce), celebration and presentation of the ‘Golden Horse Shoe Award’, and the final reward was a tour at the Anheuser-Busch production plant.