In the spring of 2020 a part of Rantalainen’s organization got Cuckoo and started taking breaks during their day feeling energized and lighting a spark of competitiveness in the gamelike atmosphere of the app. Rantalainen, as many other companies, were at this time mostly working from home and adapting to a new way of working. In May 2021 Cuckoo was launched to the whole organization of about 1000 employees. Chief Human Resources Officer Noora Jalkanen takes us through the experience so far.
“One part of our organization had already piloted the use of Cuckoo and the jungle drums had created expectation and demand in other teams. Cuckoo was therefore received with much enthusiasm!”
From Rantalainen’s experience two important things stood out from motivating the employees to be more active at having breaks. The first thing was the importance of the launch, which Noora says to be the secret of their great activity levels. Rantalainen launched Cuckoo for their employees at their Spring Seminar where they reached most of their employees virtually. In the seminar Cuckoo was presented and Anni Havas lectured on the meaning of breaks and their wellbeing effects, which made skeptics understand the true value of “fooling around” for the wellbeing of employees and thus for business.
“The deployment process itself was very easy. Our HR team received ready-made guidance materials from Cuckoo to help employees register as users, and we did not encounter any technical issues.”
Another important part of the launch was the example of the management. Trying new things, and most importantly, making them part of your daily habits, can be challenging. Showing examples from the management level and encouraging people to try Cuckoo had a significant impact in making the breaks a permanent part of the company’s everyday life. The spring seminar included a joint Cuckoo break, where Noora, their CEO, Acquisition Director and General Counsel were exercising on stage.
Keeping employees active at taking breaks is easier when the start is done well. In Rantalainen they started a short competition period right after the start of using Cuckoo. Noora thinks as well that the employees require reminders and follow-up competitions from time to time to keep up the activity levels. Noora believes that there are competitive and goal-oriented people in every work community who enjoy competitive goals. “Cuckoo competitions can be built in such a way that everyone strives to exceed their own starting level, which is a great way to give everyone a meaningful goal and an equal chance of winning”, Noora says.
“I think one of the good things about Cuckoo is the simplicity of the movements; you don’t have to be a group exercise guru to take part.”
Noora also discusses the difference between workplace wellbeing services. “For example, offering gym membership to staff sounds like a great way to promote well-being, but I would argue that such a service would be used by a clear minority of an average work community, and probably only by those who would have acquired a membership anyway. In our work community of about 1,000 people, more than 10,000 breaks were taken during the Cuckoo launch competition. Certainly not all of those would have been taken without the introduction of Cuckoo. The start of using Cuckoo had a concrete positive effect on people’s daily lives.”