Monday, January 27, 2014

How Do You Motivate People? Try Gamification.

Lately I've noticed a pattern in my work; whether it's a CEO, a small business owner, teacher or parent—the same question keeps popping up: HOW do I motivate today's young person?

Now they are NOT asking me how to motivate a 15 year old. They are talking about anyone who is 40 years of age and younger! This may be confusing to many a Baby Boomer...why is this generation so resistant to growing up? I explain it in detail in my award-winning book Liquid Leadership, but for now, let me give you a simple breakdown:

Remember Bruce Dern and Ann-Margret in the 1980 comedy Middle Age Crazy? Bruce Dern is a 39 year old man about to turn 40. This was considered Middle Age when I was a kid. I was 17 when I saw it and thought he was so old. 40 was light years away for me and I kept asking "why did I have to wind up like him?"

Although it has some pretty harsh language, Bruce Dern's Graduation Speech from the movie is worth watching. And it says it all about this next generation.

Anyone born after 1977 was not raised like Baby Boomers or Traditionalists. They were raised to follow their passion. Live life doing what they want. Question everything. And NEVER give yourself over 100% to a company that doesn't value your contribution. They've been encouraged to speak up and tell their personal truth. Working at one company for 25 years is a waste of time. Where Boomers worked hard and sacrificed to have the good life, Millennials believe that life and work should be in balance. And now we wonder WHY 71% of employees are disengaged.

If you want ENGAGEMENT...and I mean real engagement,
I recommend Gamification.

So, what is Gamification? Here's my definition:
"Gamification is the use of game-like strategies and tactics to give end-users the incentive to solve problems and preform tasks in order to obtain specific rewards and goals. Many of these action/reward tasks are done without the realization of the person preforming the tasks."

Your credit card company and bank have used Gamification in their rewards programs for YEARS. Airlines use it as well: "fly this many times, redeem your miles for stuff." It's Gamification in action. Simple. It gives people incentive to do more because they get rewarded for their actions. 

Now how does this apply to your business? Nicolette Beard says it best on her TopRank® Online Marketing Blog: Gamification as a Content Marketing Tactic — How Brands Are Engaging Consumers. Take a moment to read her work. She lays down the pros and cons of Gamification.

But for me, how can we apply Gamification as a management tool? In my own Cross-Generational work, I recommend micro-incentives to managers and executives. Let the team determine goals and rewards. Meet a deadline, the company pays for a weekend retreat.

What makes it different for us Boomers is we were expected to wait all year for an evaluation and a raise. If we didn't get it, we still stayed with the company. But today, research has found that most people want to be appreciated. If they do not feel so, they leave.

Time to GAMIFY Your Corporate Incentive Programs.

Gamification gives a shorter cycle of rewards and incentives. Unlike Boomers waiting all year for that raise, or Generation Y getting a trophy for showing up, the shorter Gamification life-cycle requires people to get the work done FIRST before getting a plaque to hang in their office.

Want to achieve what appears to be an impossible goal at your company? Lay out a map. Break it into simple achievable goals for each team. Let the team determine the strategies for getting there. And once achieved, determine the rewards. BEFORE you begin. And get a project manager to oversee it all.

Make it fun. Worth the effort. And EMOTIONALLY engaging!

Many Fortune 500 companies are using Gamification driven software over their intranets to keep project management transparent and on task.

In order to keep the Next Generation on task and engaged, try Gamification in your company. After all, they are used to it. They've played over 10,000 hours each on some form of video game: Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Mario Brothers, Final Fantasy, Halo, etc...

Gamification can be used for accelerated learning, ROI, tight deadlines or keeping people on task. 

Let me know how it goes...and don't forget, I can help you set up an incentive program for your company.

Thanks for stopping by...


Brad Szollose

Bridging Generational Chaos: Multigenerational management expert, award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker

Brad Szollose is a much sought-after generational expert, management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior… and how that impacts management interaction, expectations and sales in The Digital Age.

But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.

Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is also the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.

Liquid Leadership has been called "THE guidebook for the 21st Century" and has won the 2011 Axiom Business Book Award silver medal for leadership, The Indie Business Book runner up silver medal as well as becoming a #1 Best-Selling Business Book on Amazon for Organizational Learning. Published in the United States by Greenleaf Book Group, in India by Prolibris and in South Korea by UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 

* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.