Play, Win, Adapt: Do Change Management Training Games Work?

Organisational change is known to be painful. And its many challenges mean that most change initiatives end up being dead-on-arrival. But change management games can help change that, making your change initiatives more impactful and effective. Not to mention more fun! Let’s explore
Change management | Employee engagement | Gamification | Learning games

Play, Win, Adapt: Do Change Management Training Games Work?

They say, “Change is the only constant.” But they don’t tell you what to do about it. Or how to get an entire organisation’s worth of people to embrace it. 

Which is why change management trainings continue to be a painful challenge for organisations everywhere. Nearly half of all change initiatives fail, and only 34% are considered successes at all. 

But the truth is, organizational change doesn’t always have to be so painful, either for the organisation or its employees. And it isn’t, when the change management process is kicked off on the right note—with a dash of fun and games. 

And we’re not talking about just any games here. We’re talking highly effective, fully customised, pedagogy-based change management training games. Games that engage employees, meet objectives, and drive company-wide transformation while promising everyone a good time.

Sounds quirky? Maybe. 

Effective? Absolutely.

Let’s show you what we mean!

Why Successful Change Management Is So Crucial

Change management of any kind is a high-stakes business. 

Be it a merger, a strategic shift, or adapting to ESG regulations, your organisation invests a lot of time and resources into making company-wide change happen. But without your employees fully on board, all this effort is in vain. 

Research shows that when change management trainings fail, 39% of the time it’s because of employee resistance. Another big factor? A lack of management support, which accounts for 33%.

It’s all a part of the same story: the workforce feels excluded, disconnected, and disengaged from their organisation’s change initiatives. And a big reason behind this issue is that traditional change management trainings focus on talking to employees rather than involving them in the process. 

So in the end, despite all the investing, planning, and sitting through never-ending training sessions, most organisations are left with not much to show for their change initiatives.

But imagine the difference it could make if both management and employees were actually excited about rallying behind change and encouraging it together. 

What if they weren’t just informed of change but actively played a part in making it happen?  

Speaking of “playing” a part…

What Even is a Change Management Training Game?

With change management being such serious business, the idea of introducing fun and games into the process takes some by surprise.

But upon launching these games, organisations often find that the real surprise lies in just how effective they can be!

And that is because change management games are a brilliant yet effective fusion of corporate learning and play.

By mixing in game mechanics, storytelling elements, and gamified challenges, change management games help your workforce grasp the ins and outs of change in a way that, unlike lectures and PDFs, actually gets them invested and makes a lasting impact.

The result? An empowered workforce and a smoother, more frictionless change initiative.

How does it work?

Change management games immerse your employees in a virtual world with scenarios that help them learn about your organisation’s change initiatives and their impact and benefits.

These games are also interactive, giving players a chance to flex and build their change management skills. 

Employees get to have fun and call the shots. 

They make decisions, solve challenges, collaborate, and compete in a wide variety of fun tasks based around your change initiative. In turn, they learn, feel empowered, and become better prepared for the changes ahead—all in a fun, risk-free digital environment. 

Plus, it’s not all just fun and games! Change management games also let you, as an organisation, measure the impact of your overall training and initiative. 

With Seppo games, for example, you can track progress, offer feedback, and gauge the effectiveness of your change management efforts in real-time. We’ll talk more about how Seppo’s clients succeeded with their games for change management later.

For now, let’s look at the benefits of change management games that stump our clients the most!

Check out: Discover DEI game – the best way to level up diversity trainings at your organisation!

3 Surprising Results from Change Management Games

You might be wondering: “How much impact can playing a game really have on my team’s approach to change?”. And you’re not the only one!

In our time creating games for change initiatives, we at Seppo have found that the results of these games often take companies (and even us) by surprise. So let’s look at three benefits of change management games that you might not be expecting:

Employees Better Understand the Need for Change

Imagine rooting for a team without knowing anything about them.

Employees often resist organisational change because they have no buy-in. Traditional trainings fail to properly educate them on key areas like:

  • What “the change” is 
  • Why it matters to the organisation 
  • How it will impact their work lives

Surveys on change management show that employee resistance often stems from a “lack of awareness” (39%) and “fear of the unknown” (38%).

That’s where change management training games make a difference. Not only do gamified trainings boost employee motivation and engagement, they also excel at making essential information “stick” in memory

Moreover, the emotional aspect of games—feeling excited, motivated, or even a sense of accomplishment—enhances the overall learning experience. When employees enjoy the process, they become more receptive to learning and retaining information.

Compared to passive change trainings, this means reduced resistance and deeper understanding and buy-in among your employees. 

Teams Feel More Empowered

When playing change games, employees get to experience an exciting form of teamwork that leads to a shared sense of responsibility in managing change. 

They recognise that their individual contributions matter, and that successful change isn’t the responsibility of a few individuals, but a team effort. 

Change management games also allow teams to navigate big challenges in a low-risk environment. This means that they can brainstorm, experiment with strategies, learn from failures, and refine their approaches together without real-world consequences. 

When teams are faced with actual organisational changes—and the challenges that follow—they feel better equipped and more confident in their ability to take them head-on. 

Research backs this up: gamification-based approaches are shown to have positive effects on team effectiveness and coping flexibility in corporate trainings.

Change Management Becomes Fun

Let’s face it: no one associates the word “fun” with change management training. 

But maybe that’s the point.

When organisational change gets tied up with skepticism and anxiety, it’s hard to see the opportunity it brings for growth, innovation, and learning.

That’s where change management games step in. They challenge this perception by starting off the entire change process with an enjoyable and interactive experience. 

Think about it: How would you rather be introduced to change?

By passively listening to boring PPTs? Or by diving headfirst into a game-like experience with perks, rewards, friendly competition, and a space to learn and solve problems?

The choice is simple.

That’s why a whopping 88% of employees report that gamification makes them feel happier at work!

Curious to know more? Learn how to make diversity trainings more fun at your organisation!

Seppo Success Stories: Two Companies, Two Game-Changers

Welcome to the world of change management success with Seppo!

Let’s take a sneak peek into how two companies, Advania Finland and Outokumpu, transformed their change management processes using gamification.

Advania Finland: Making Onboarding Awesome

When Advania and Vatti merged to become “Advania Finland” in 2022, blending their teams and fostering a unified company culture became a top priority. 

To ease this transition, we collaborated with Advania Finland to create two engaging Seppo change management games! The first team-based “kick off game” helped build team connections and familiarise everyone with their new colleagues–and Seppo. 

The second game, spanning 8 weeks, immersed employees in a captivating storytelling journey that saw the entire organisation abuzz with excitement. The best part? It helped them meet nearly all their change goals. 

Says Maria Simula, Communications Specialist Assistant at Advania:

“The interactive element of the game was great! It’s not just writing a text or shooting a video and telling people to ‘’read this’ or ‘watch this’. Seppo has helped people get involved and it’s been a more fun way to learn.”To know more about this story, check out: Gamified Orientation After Merger At Advania

Outokumpu: Transformation Training Triumph

Finnish steel manufacturer Outokumpu underwent a massive company-wide change involving 10,000 employees across 30 countries, transitioning HR from a supportive role to an engaged business partner.

To help explain the new roles and responsibilities that followed, Outokumpu teamed up with Seppo. Together, we created a transformation management game that was played and enjoyed by Outokumpu HR professionals all over the world, cutting across various age groups and nationalities.

Here’s what Senior HRD Manager Johanna Leppävirta had to say:

“The game helped people apply what they learned during training in a fun and playful way. Overall, it was a very positive experience!”

For more on this cool journey of supporting transformation with gaming, check out: Supporting Transformation Management Process With A Game

Conclusion: Keep the Game Going

For organisations and employees alike, change can often seem like a daunting challenge. But with gamification, the change management process at large has an exciting chance to become a little more bearable. Even enjoyable!

But change is, as they say, constant. So even when you have a great change management game in place, it’s important to keep adapting, tracking progress, and communicating change openly with your workforce.

Want to know more?

Get in touch with us to explore how Seppo can transform your change initiatives into engaging and impactful experiences for your team.