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:
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.
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...
Global Management Consultant
Cross Generational Leadership Development & Workforce Performance Strategies
Brad Szollose (pronounced zolis), is a globally recognized Management Consultant and the foremost authority on Millennials and Cross-Generational Leadership Development
TEDX Speaker, Web pioneer and the author of the award-winning, bestseller Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia, Brad is a former C-level executive of a publicly traded company that he cofounded that went from entrepreneurial start-up to IPO in three years; the first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company K2 Design, experienced 425% hyper-growth, due in part to a unique management style that won his company the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.
Today the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on Millennials, and he has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Inc., Advertising Age, The International Business Times, and The Hindu BusinessLine to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CBS and other media outlets.