Diagnosis Engagement: an exercise in Employee Engagement that stimulated the body as well as the mind

  • Blog
  • 9th June 2017
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Early on a damp June morning, attendees at our Biz Week 2017 event were truly tested by our Employee Engagement session ‘Diagnosis Engagement’, a series of fun, interactive games designed to inform, engage and entertain. And we’re happy to say people left filled with more than just bacon sarnies.

The session was focused on the importance of communicating with employees and the four key areas that contribute to making an engaged employee:

· What I Believe
· What I Feel
· What I Experience
· What I Know

With the teams organised, and after a brief introduction by our PRINT Consultant Nicola, a quick Q&A and an outline of the challenge ahead, it was over to the lab assistants to join their tables and get things started.


Let the engagement games begin

In the centre of each table sat a mysterious padlocked box, and by now the intrigue surrounding them was reaching fever pitch. Just what could be inside? All was to be revealed! Once everyone had got to know each other by playing our fast-paced warm up game ‘The Body Builder’ – where with the roll of a dice we quite literally built an engaged employee – it was time to get to the bones of the subject.


Each team, aided by their facilitator, had to complete four unique games, each themed around one of the influencers of employee engagement. The first team to finish every game and unlock the box would win the challenge, as well as a special surprise! But it wasn’t that easy – contestants also had to compete against the clock. Despite the cold, early start, it didn’t take long for people to get involved and for their competitive streaks to come out.

The games tested the contestant’s knowledge of the Employee Engagement landscape, their ability to spot good leadership qualities, and identify words associated with positive employee experiences in the workplace.

The first of the games was under way. Entitled ‘Building Belief’, contestants had to identify six true statistics about employee engagement, from a set of 16. Discerning true from false proved to be a tricky task, but after making their choices, players turned the cards over to reveal either the word ‘false’ (in which case it was back to the drawing board) or a piece of a dissected image. When all six true statistics were identified and the puzzle completed correctly, a five-digit code was revealed and the next game unlocked.

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Game two, ‘The Leader Lab’, had the teams examining a ‘Where’s Wally’-style hide-and-seek picture showing a science lab inhabited by everything from a giant octopus to goofy space gorillas. Their task was to find five leaders demonstrating a positive action, such as ‘trust’ or ‘support’ within the image. Once located, the avatar’s grid reference took them to a specific page number and word within our employee engagement book ‘Tough at the Top’. Identify the word, count the letters within it, and you’ve got first number. When all five leaders were identified and the words revealed, another code was unearthed and it was on to game three…

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Things were hotting up and it was time to get people moving. This next game was called ‘The Perfect Equation’, but it wasn’t just a matter of solving a simple bit of maths. No, contestants were sent on a round-the-room relay involving pigs, broken laptops and an all-seeing eye!

Step one was to find the missing numbers in a series of employee engagement statistics. To do this, players had to visit five unique posters dotted around the room and, through a wee bit of mental calculating, come up with a number. This is where the pigs come in! One example of a poster instruction was ‘count the number of pigs not following their leader’. But there was a catch – players could only do this one by one. The race was most certainly on! Once all five numbers were added to the right statistics, it was up to the team to establish under which of the following five numbered statements each statistic belonged:

1.Managers set clear role and performance goals

2.Motivational and effective management

3.Line of sight between my efforts and organisational goals

4.An environment and tools to support me to do my best

5.Inspiring and ethical leadership

This uncovered all the numbers the teams needed to complete the equation and come up with the penultimate code. Get just one number wrong though, and it’s back to the drawing board!


And finally, players progressed to ‘The Brain Game’ – a cryptic crossword made up of words describing vital steps to achieving genuine employee engagement. Contestants’ knowledge was really put to the test, and with two teams leading the way and the end goal in sight, it was going to be a close call. The clock was counting down, and as some of the trickier clues caught people out, other groups began catching up. When all the boxes were filled in, the letters in four highlighted squares were jotted down and their respective positions in the alphabet gave our teams the final code.

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Hooray! We have a winner.

After a tense, nerve-wracking final few minutes, the winners emerged to claim the prize and laid their pencils down in triumph. So what was hiding in the boxes? Apart from the sweet taste of victory (literally enhanced by some gummy sweets shaped like brains and hearts – yummier than it sounds), players received a copy of our ‘Anatomy of an Engaged Employee’ IC Field Guide and set of employee engagement conversation cards. The IC Field Guide is full of the latest must-know statistics and data on employee engagement, and the conversation cards contain questions around this topic, perfect for use within internal teams to stimulate debate and give leaders the insight they need to genuinely engage employees. Both are available to download on our resources page.

Although everyone was a winner on the day, the table who finished first – expertly facilitated by our Office Manager Michelle – each received their very own copy of our ‘Tough at the Top’ book, to read at their leisure. Without having to count every word this time!

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The fun didn’t stop there and once people had had time to reflect, they were split into four groups and asked to move to a zone representing one of the four key elements of engagement mentioned earlier. Each participant was asked to mark how engaged they felt their employees/team members were on a scale of 1-5. Our lab team then facilitated an open conversation around the results, and individual thoughts and opinions were shared with the room.

And finally, it was time to say a big thank you from us to the teams for being our guinea pigs and the first to experience the games, and everyone headed back to work, full of fresh ideas and ready for an engaging day.

Don’t just take our word for it though – here’s what some of the attendees had to say!

“Excellent game! Really engaging and useful. Explored all areas of employee engagement while promoting discussion, teamwork and sharing best practice. Thank you!”

Ellie Newton-Syms, BP

“Fab event… gets you thinking (and counting pigs!). Really enjoyed it all and I can see it being used in the workplace.”

Alex Mortimer, Sewell Group

“Really enjoyable interactive session on engagement and its key areas. Such a good refocus to take back to work. Thanks.”

Stacey Sewell, ABP

If you’d like to find out more about the session and the games played, please get in touch via talktous@handhcomms.co.uk