THE BLOG
04/19/2016 10:39 am ET

The Millennials Dream: Gamify Your Business

You know that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Trudging to the office, day after day, punching the same time clock, and sitting through the same old meetings.

Unless you're working at Google Amsterdam.

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You don't need to design elaborate playland offices to motivate employees (although your employees may appreciate it!). But you can create better office morale and motivation through the Millennials favorite sport: gaming.

Gamification is applying elements of gaming (for example, competition, point scoring, and rules) to motivate and engage. It's something teachers have used for years. Higher education is even getting into the fun, using gamification techniques to increase student engagement.

Although each generation tends to be motivated differently, Millennials were born with a technological silver spoon in their hands. That makes them different than any generation before them. A whopping 78 percent believe that access to the technology they like makes them more work more effectively.

Creating an engaging environment may seem simple or even childish. However, applying game mechanics to mundane tasks can actually improve your bottom line. It can make the workplace more exciting and interesting, even for non-Millennials.

Workplace gamification comes in all shapes and sizes. Nextiva incorporated a gamification service into its analytics service to create competition among employees and teams to motivate performance. Here's an example of how a communication company uses gaming in their call center:

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Bluewolf, a global sales consulting agency, launched a gamified Going Social program for its internal staff. Bluewolf employees could earn points for sharing content on their social media platforms or by publishing blog posts on the company blog.

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Businesses are even using sites like Chore Wars to boost motivation, sometimes as a one-time contest or an ongoing program. It can create weekly leader boards and award prizes each week. Employees can "recruit a party of adventurers from your household or office" and create their own characters. It may seem a little childish, but creating a gamification system in your business doesn't have to be complicated. It can just be fun.

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When Work and Play Collide
In an era when U.S. workers work more than any other workforce in the industrial world, it's time to create a better work environment. It's not about coddling Millennials or even getting them to work harder. In fact, the gamification industry is expected to reach a staggering $11 billion by 2020! So adopting gamification practices is the future of business management.

Regardless of size or industry, there is a way to incorporate gaming into your business. Do some research, check out some cool applications, and create a plan. And just remember, there are much worse things than playing motivational games at work.

So have fun!

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