The majority of offices are dull and haven’t kept up with the advances of technology, so how do you motivate staff who have not just kept up, but grew up, with technology? Try gamification
Why would you use gamification in your workplace?
A lot of you probably don’t know what Gamification is, which is ok, because neither did I despite using it as an effective motivational and performance improving tool for years. Gamification is the process of adding games or game-like elements to a task so as to encourage participation and increase productivity. And it works!!
Please click here to read more about engaging your team with gamification
Firstly, you can buy loads of IT packages that promise a gamification solution, but in my experience all you need is imagination and drive. And if you, as a manager, don’t have those qualities, I’m certain that one of your staff will.
At writing, I am 48 years of age and have spent the past 20 years managing people younger than me. I am old school and I believe that people should work as hard as they can, as often as they can.
But!! And there’s always a ‘but’, so here it is. Not everyone is like me, thankfully. And I don’t mean that not everyone wants to work as hard as me, I just mean that everyone is not like me….period. We are all different. None more so that the younger generations who have enriched our workforce over the years.
How I categorise the generations
I know there are all of these fancy groupings we have now for each generation depending on the year they were born, but I just like to categorise them as so;
- Grew up with the internet
- Grew up without the internet (me)
I love the energy that ‘Group 1’ brings to the workforce. Yes, being younger helps, but it’s their energy for learning new things and all of it is usually technology driven. For example, Snap Chat, Instagram, and many, many, more that I haven’t even heard of that and are currently being learnt and used as I write.
What’s the problem?
And here’s the problem. Our offices generally aren’t technology driven. Some are, and some are extremely advanced, but generally, they’re not. Yes, we have PCs and everyone has an email address, we use Skype and do conference calls all over the world, we instant message and distant market, but we don’t use technology in the manner in which our staff do.
Don’t agree? Try this. Walk into your staff area during lunchtime and see how many of your people have their heads in their phones. Imagine being so submerged in a technological world for 16 hours a day, and then transporting yourself into the past for 8 hours of each working day. If you always dreamed of being an astronaut and your job was flying a Cessna, how motivated would you be? Imagine going back to the fax? I know so many offices that still use the fax – yes, I’m looking at you, Health Service Executive, but not only you.
I’m not saying that you need to spend a fortune upgrading your office environment, because that’s absurd, but think about rejuvenating it, and the manner in which your people do their jobs.
“Work Harder next month”
To conclude part 1, let me finish with a true story from a business I worked in where we lived and breathed gamification. We ran a month long competition and the prize was a 32” TV (a good 32” TV, not a bigger but cheaper option). The activity and game doesn’t matter for this story. One of the female staff members won at the end of the month and brought the TV home to the delight of her husband. I asked her on Monday how her weekend was, and she said the following;
‘My husband (not his real name) was delighted when I got home with the TV. It took him 2 hours to take MY TV out of the box, connect up everything, tune it in and turn on the football. When he was comfortable and mid-way through the game, I asked him what he thought, and he said, “I think you need to work harder next month”.’
Until part 2, please think about the power of that one story, and how that story can spread around an office, because it’s a funny story. Now, think about the rest of your staff who would like to bring something home and despite the husband’s cheeky comment, she knew he was proud of her. And think about how many of her friends she told that story to. And finally, think about whether that husband will jokingly comment next month about what he can expect.