The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

How gamification can help people embrace a purpose

Learn how an EY team found an innovative way to help EY people discover what purpose means to them.

Related topics Purpose Workforce
Team Climbing Human Pyramid Festival
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The better the question

When does competition bring us closer together?

Understanding a larger purpose can be difficult in a day-to-day routine.

More than ever, businesses around the world are discovering the power of purpose. At EY, when we look at the work we perform for our clients, and what motivates all of us each day, we see that everything we do contributes to building a better working world — and that is our organization’s purpose. We believe that every audit, every tax return, every advisory opportunity, every interaction with a client or colleague should make the working world better than it was before. But in the pressures and deadlines of your day-to-day job, you can be so focused on work that you need to take a step back to think about the bigger picture.

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The better the answer

The power of play

An innovative board game helps people connect.

In 2018, a team in the UK challenged themselves to find a new way to help EY people discover what purpose means to them and how it connects them to the wider organization and the working world. They created Better working world, a board game designed to help their people ask better questions, find better answers and rediscover their role in the EY purpose.

The game is simple, with two teams taking turns rolling dice, answering questions and scoring points. The board, cards and even game box are infused with augmented reality technology that provides users with interactive case studies and videos for a more immersive experience. Throughout the game, discussion cards are revealed that open up a purpose-based conversation to the table based on a case study or client situation. These questions make everyone at the table think about what purpose means to them and work with each other to find a purpose-driven solution to a real-life situation. While a winner is awarded at the end, these discussions satisfy the game’s real goal — reflection on how your day-to-day decisions are creating a better working world.

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Beyond the board

The game is helping EY people feel inspired, connected and engaged.

Despite designing an engaging game, the team knew its impact could only be measured by the response and reaction of its players. They trained a network of facilitators in the game’s rules and desired outcomes so it could be played by as many people as possible. Half of EY people in the UK played the game in the first six weeks. In feedback taken after each session, 71% of players felt inspired by people’s purpose stories and 87% felt they better understood what being purpose-led meant. One player even remarked, “It was the best example of a group activity I have taken part in for a long time. It engaged everyone equally and was relevant to our work as individuals and as a team.”

By applying purpose to real-life situations that EY players have experienced — without the pressures of everyday work — the game provides a real opportunity to take a step back and consider how their actions drive the organization to its larger goal. As this game is distributed throughout the organization, it will create a deeper understanding of purpose in EY people of every rank — from new recruits to seasoned partners.

However, to limit this game’s impact to EY member firm offices would sell its ubiquity short. It’s a fun and engaging tool for teams in any organization that want their words and actions to make the working world a better place. Through this game, EY is becoming a more purpose-driven organization, one player at a time.