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5 Gamification Tips for a Multigenerational Workforce

Gamification can be a powerful elearning design tool. And, when it comes to a cross-generational audience, you really want to consider the design of your gamification.  Anyone can have an idea, but just because something sounds good, doesn’t mean it will be highly effective when implemented. The same goes for gamification. A specific gamification technique (leaderboards, badges, scenarios, etc.) won’t solve the training issue alone. It’s really about the design of the particular gamification tool that matters, especially when it comes to a multigenerational workforce. Gabe Zichermann sums it up well when he states that, “gamification is 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology.” And we’re going to do just that – provide you with five excellent gamification tips that will have a positive impact on your multigenerational workforce.

Gamification Tips

Keep It Simple

You don’t want to bog down your gamification with rules that are convoluted or lead to a confused, frustrated user. And, when considering a cross-generational audience, simple is the best method. That includes the mechanics, instructions, and intuitiveness of functionality. Baes with Benefits, a customer-loyalty program for shoe lovers, is a great example of keeping it simple.

It opens with a quick introduction and message that explains the program. Then, it gives some branded images and explanations as to how it works. It takes very little time to figure out the functions of this particular gamified strategy. Any user looking at this will make sense of it within a few moments. Spend money to get to 100 points, and you have a dollar to spend. Easy.

Clarify a Desired Outcome

The reason any kind of training is implemented is to achieve some sort of desire outcome. Reasons vary from learning something new or meeting mandatory and state compliance measures. Questions often asked in instructional-design implementation include, what do you want your users to be able to do at the end of the training, module, section, etc.? Why is the training needed? How can you achieve the specified results you set out for in the beginning? Defining answers to these questions are important for any trainee or learner. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to a desired outcome.

The desired outcome for the Baes with Benefits loyalty program is to get users more engaged, and to provide a win-win situation between the user and Baes with Benefits loyalty program. When considering whether to use something like a leaderboard or badges, first think about what your desired outcome is, then figure out which type of gamified strategy (e.g., rewards, polls, an interactive video or scenario) will achieve that.

Create a Connected Community

Another way to engage and motivate your intergenerational workforce is through the use of an employee recognition tool like WooBoard.

This is a great way for your employees or trainees to get involved and engage with one another. Let’s run through a quick example. Say you have a younger employee who is a real whiz on WooBoard. That employee helps out another, perhaps older, employee on how to use it. That older employee can now use their knowledge on WooBoard to give that younger employee points to show his/her appreciation. You could even introduce it during onboarding or training, and show how to use it by giving each user some starting points that they could spend. In addition, you also could provide them with points of their own and have them run through giving someone else points.

Construct an Engaging User Experience

While making your gamification design simple, it is also important to make the user experience feel smooth, intuitive, and have an ease-of-use. This is a great design technique because an easy-to-use experience will appeal to any user. No one wants to be confused or frustrated because the navigation is hard to find, or doesn’t exactly know what to type or where to click when they are finished doing a task and need to move onto the next.

That’s where something like Proof can be implemented. Proof is an intriguing engagement app that lets the user prove to themselves (or others) that they can meet, and overcome, challenges. It’s not only a way to get your multigenerational employees to get involved with one another, it makes the competition fun and engaging, which is one of the main points of implementing gamification – to increase engagement.

Focus on Great Design

Not only do you want your gamification to be clean, you want it to look professional. If it’s shoddily made or it looks like half an effort was put into the design work how can you expect your users, whether young or old, to take it seriously? When considering the design of your gamification strategy, make sure you have top-notch designers working on it, whether that’s your own design team, or work for hire.

While Progress Wars is a crude example it exemplifies not only good design, but something that is simple, engaging, and has a desired outcome (you press the button, it increases the bar, you eventually achieve the whole progress, and your percentage bar on the side increases). It is design-friendly, and it lets the user know where they are, what they need to do, and how far they are along – a simple, but powerful example of gamification in use.

In the end it’s not so much what you use to design your gamification mechanics, but how you design them. While there’s plenty of advice out there on gamification techniques such as leaderboards, badges, polls, etc., anyone can take one of those and implement them. But when it comes down to how you design a specific tool for implementation, that is when it becomes interesting. And something that is interesting is much more engaging to your multigenerational workforce.