We’re all in this together.
This was to be the second official iteration for the Code of Conduct (“the Code”) e-learning program. Unlike the previous version where you read a story in the scenarios and made a choice, in this one, a cartoon character will tell you their stories and ask you for advice. If you give the characters good advice, we move on. Give them a less than ideal advice and we’ll visit the content of the Code, to remind us of the organisation’s expectations and preferred behaviour. In a way, similar to the classic “choose your own adventure” stories.
Even though there aren’t winners or losers in this training package, for every choice you make, the game logic will still grant you points for both good and not so good decisions. The big reward would be the time you will save when collecting more good points. The ‘Code Ninja’ mode, added in the current version, is still present. The program lets you choose whether you want to see the entire content, or just face the scenario-based quiz questions. This option, in particular, triggered many positive feedbacks. There are thousands of employees that have been working in the organisation for years, some decades, and will know the Code by heart. I find it is only fair to respect their existing knowledge and build from there.
The teammates you encounter along the course. Each one will play a role in a story they tell you. You then decide what to make of it, whether it is okay or not, even if further action could or should be taken.
Issues that are seldom black and white.
With the characters telling you their story, you don’t have to go through large chunks of text to understand the scenario before making a decision. Plenty of research out there will indicate videos can increase engagement and characters can increase relatability. The scenarios deal mostly with grey areas, some where there isn’t 100% right or wrong answers. In this gamified experience, we go for better choices rather than absolutely correct ones.
The rationale behind it? I like to think that workplaces are, in general, complex. It is made of people, and people are complex (Cynefin anyone?). I understand it is more than just that, with governance and its policies, a management strategy that will not always match the environment needs, but that is beyond both my reach and the scope for this project. So, what then? After some reasoning, I managed to persuade the subject matter experts (SMEs) to blur the line between right and wrong answers on some of the scenarios, and I would score them accordingly. Each time you choose an option that is not the preferred one by the organisation, but it is not wrong either, an extra screen will let you know that, while we respect your choice, there are other ways to handle the issue; and perhaps further thoughts could be considered.
The end of a saga
In the past few years, I’ve been lucky to be involved with some important learning programs, such as this Code of Conduct. That’s the rules of the house, what is acceptable and what’s not, it sets the expected behaviour for every single employee, internal, permanent, part-time and what have you. This version with the character animation would be my third and latest iteration.
Over the past two-ish years, there has been many conversations over the content and how it should be presented, adjustments, updates, fine-tuning etc. From concept to completion, every stakeholder involved was consulted, most even got to play the gamified version during production. Every single one of them provided a very positive view of the program, in a constant loop of feedbacks. All milestones approved with flying colours; all but the last, the final sign-off to publish the content. This one got stuck for a few months before a bomb lands on my desk; the project has been canceled. Once an executive decision is made, a descriptive process follows and the adoption is enforced top-down, with little to no latitude for interpretation – typical of a rational system, with complicated strategies. Efforts are appreciated, support is offered at team level; we vent a little – thanks for listening – shake it off and move on. Next?
I just completed the game and loved it! So nice to see something different. some comments from my perspective: I think the goal is clear as there are hidden messages throughout which links back to the Leadership Blueprint behaviours. It’s very easy to navigate (…), and the dashboard is a great idea, as it’s a constant reminder of where you’re at. So clever, well done you.