Looking for a Win at Enova’s Board Game Night

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By: Ismail Koubaytari, Technical Trainer

Have you ever found yourself in a heated board game battle? Well, two weeks ago I did, in a fun little game called Settlers of Catan. As the game was nearing its end, I was feeling pretty good about my odds, and what happens? We end up tying! Still, despite the occasional frustration, I had an amazing time getting to know new co-workers, playing board games, drinking beer and eating pizza at Enova’s Board Game Night. Did I mention I love pizza?

You’re probably wondering where the idea for Enova’s board game night came from. The short answer: HeartBeat. The longer answer? Well, about a year ago, Enova’s Software Engineering Team created the Culture Guild Committee. The Committee was formed to get a better sense of the Software Engineering Team, with the hope of increasing engagement, retention and collaboration. In order to achieve this goal, they created a survey tool called HeartBeat, which can be used to measure all kinds of things, including community, trust, happiness and even empathy.

Once HeartBeat was released, a smaller committee was formed to administer, track and analyze the results to create action items. During the analysis stage, the HeartBeat committee found many trends in the data, and came up with some exciting ways to implement new initiatives. These initiatives have had a long-lasting positive impact on the software engineering culture, and include events like Enova’s People Need Lunches Program, Open Source Lounge, and of course, Board Game Night.

Each of the programs was a big hit, but the Board Game Night knocked it out of the park. We had about 50+ people show up, and stay as late as 9 p.m.! I was walking around the next day, and the buzz about the event was very encouraging. As a result of the enthusiasm, we decided to host a Board Game Night on a regular basis once a month. I can’t wait to see how our next night — and the future Enova’s Board Game Nights — turn out.

All I can say to my future competitors is good night and good luck!