Gamification for all ages
There’s a common misconception that gamification is an actual game. Which is probably because of the name.
Gamification is not interoffice Candy Crush sessions. And it’s not a scenario where everyone grabs a control and has a go at racing a car through a virtual track.
At its core, it’s a business solution.
A business solution that appeals to intrinsic human needs. Like the need for autonomy, the need to achieve and find purpose, and the need to learn and grow. So, even though gamification is rooted in technological innovation, it actually allows employees to be human. Because it satisfies their most basic needs. Which in turn changes behaviours and leads to motivational experiences.
Better engagement across the board
Done right, adding a little gamification to the workday offers a chance for better engagement. Something you’ll see in most gamified organisations - routine and day-to-day tasks turned into rewarding experiences.
I think we can all agree that everyone from your grandad to millennial techies can be unified by an experience like that.
And we need to be unified because at the moment most businesses have 4 generations (Gen X, Y, Z, and Baby Boomers) under one roof. All with different ways of staying productive and motivated. That’s an incredibly broad range of attitudes, perspectives, and needs.
According to Scott Buchanan of Nice, ‘gamifying a workday increases commitment, motivates through competition and inspires collaboration’. That goes for the traditionalists who sit on the board, to creative youngsters who’re working from home. Don’t believe me? Here’s a little summary that explores how gamification is a great tool for all ages:
Generation Y and Generation Z
You could say that gamification was built for the digital natives we call Millenials and Gen Z. Managers have been struggling with this disengaged group for some time now. And gamified work experiences offer the constant stimulation and flexibility that they so greatly desire.
Known to be smart and creative, they, unfortunately, have short attention spans. So, turning their work into technologically driven moments, which are visually rich and interactive, is essential.
The key is to keep things innovative and challenging. Especially when it comes to the menial and repetitive. Gamification creates a sense of progression for even the most repetitive tasks. You could say it freshens things up.
We know this strategy works for employees in their 20s and 30s because they’ve grown up with tech and expect nothing less than engagement, and instant gratification at work. It also gives them tools for personal growth and a meaningful career. An important factor both Generation Y & Z.
Born between 1961 and 1981, these guys are all tied up in professional development. So, any tool that helps them progress is going to be seen as a plus.
Because they grew up amidst incredible technological advancements, they’re not averse to plugging into the typically interactive work experiences that gamification generates. Especially if it relates to career pathing towards management positions, achieving other professional goals and the recognition of their wins.
Give them a way to get what they need to succeed and something that satisfies their competitive appetite and you’ll not only see increased productivity. But you’ll find you have a happy cluster of 40-somethings in your office. All feeling productive and hyper-connected to younger generations (who in turn will be ready to be led by progressive managers).
The Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. This generation generally holds management positions (and struggle the most to engage Gen Y and Z). They’ve all worked incredibly hard to get to where they are. And so, in most cases, work defines their sense of self.
Known to embrace performance motivation tools that deliver on ROI and productivity, Baby Boomers respect the carefully-crafted, strategic aspect of gamification. Which is seen as a cost-effective way to ‘rally the millennial troops’.
And because gamification taps into psychological cues that push our day-to-day decisions, it also speaks to their naturally motivated and competitive sensibilities.
Yes, you have multiple generations under your organisation’s roof. All with vastly different (and sometimes opposing) needs and values.
You could have a workaholic Baby Boomer who calls the office home. A team of millennials that feel most productive working remotely. A Generation X guy who is having a hard time progressing within the ever-changing professional landscape. And an incredibly innovative Gen Z who battles to stay focused on administrative tasks, but who laps up anything in the tech realm.
But don’t worry.
Whether born in 1974 or 1998, the desire for success, learning opportunities, recognition, remuneration, and reward is ever-present.
And at its heart, gamification speaks to those human needs. Which is why everyone from the CEO to your latest intern enjoys the competitive achievement and progress that a gamified work environment brings.
What’s more, by choosing to recognise and understand generational differences, your gamification strategy becomes even more successful.
How are you motivating the different generation in your workforce?