Millennials catch a lot of flak for expecting the world to be their proverbial oyster. Nowhere is this truer than in the workplace. Executives and senior managers everywhere are looking at their business units’ flagging performance statistics and rising training costs, and thinking variations of the same thing: these new guys just aren’t cutting it. They aren’t motivated, want everything to be fun and quit too easily.
But what if the problem isn’t millennials? What if it is the counter-intuitive way businesses are designed and millennials are but the first to refuse in such large numbers to play along?
A lot of the tasks people are expected to perform at work are routine and repetitive. Day in and day out it’s the same thing. This is by design. The more time a person spends performing a task, the faster they can perform it the next time. This is great for the business. But the problem is that this kind of repetition doesn’t come naturally to many people.
This is particularly evident in the contact centre environment, where employee engagement is typically low and the type of work is task-driven and routine-based. The high staff turnovers in the industry don’t help either.
A more fundamental shift
This is why I am excited about the possibility of gamification in the workplace. The word is thrown around a lot but few people really understand what it means. Its definition – the application of game design principles to non-gaming contexts – doesn’t convey the more fundamental shift gamification entails.