How gamification helps Amadeus bridge cultural gaps and promote feedback

Juan Giron

Global Corporate Communications Manager, Amadeus

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Constructive criticism helps knowledge based companies like Amadeus grow. That’s why we encourage our employees to express their opinions in an atmosphere of trust and respect. But learning the secrets of effective feedback can be tough, so we challenged ourselves to find a fun way of learning.

Gamification at Amadeus

Today, 52% of our employees are part of Generation-Y and they are very receptive to innovation and creativity. They want to develop and learn while also having fun. These factors combined with that fact that we work in a quickly evolving environment, led to the realisation that a new approach was required.

Partnering with Ijsfontein, a company specialised in gamification, we developed a feedback learning game for all 15,000 Amadeus employees. The goal of this game was to help avoid misunderstandings due to cultural differences among the 132 nationalities that speak 62 languages in Amadeus.

Today’s VUCA world – one ruled by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – requires a new mindset as well as the setup of a very agile model. Sabine Hansen Peck, Chief Human Resources Officer at Amadeus IT Group, explains why this is so crucial for companies.

In the CREW game, Amadeus employees learn and practise the CALM & CLEAR feedback model which sets up clear and specific guidelines on how to manage conflicting conversations in a constructive way. The game – offered as a non-mandatory exercise to all employees worldwide – is an innovative role-playing game where employees act as different characters as they manage challenging conversations.

This promotes effective feedback, across hierarchies and cultures with the ultimate goal being to establish and promote the Amadeus way of managing conversations openly, clearly, and calmly. Sabine Hansen Peck comments about the role of an open feedback environment for different generations in the same working place.

In our latest release of the CREW game, we look into how to create a positive work environment. With a different set of gamification techniques, this new rendition of the game will combine quizzes and dialogues and a bit of healthy competition to foster the right environment within teams for effective feedback.