Bunchball Says Games Turn Twentysomethings Into Better Workers

Bunchball has been touting the benefits of its gamification tools for years, and many of its recent efforts are focused on enterprise customers. Now the company has published a white paper arguing that gamification is a key way to motivate “Generation Y.”

As evidence, the paper points to a recent study by MTV saying that millennials (the Bunchball report uses both terms interchangeably) understand their lives through a “game-like metaphor” — in fact, half of the survey respondents said “people my age see real life as a video game.” How does that apply in the workplace? Bunchball writes:

The emergence of Generation Y, people born from the early eighties to mid-nineties, as a demographic force is driving dramatic change in education, technology, media, and most critically, at work. Gen Y makes up 25% of the workforce today, and their numbers are growing rapidly.

These new entrants into the workforce expect even more from their work experience than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts, making it imperative that businesses understand the unique characteristics of this group, and how to best engage and motivate them.

Of course, there are good and bad ways to “gamify” someone’s job. (At TechCrunch, I’d say that the “good job, you’ve published X posts, your next goal is Y!” messages that I get every time I hit publish fall squarely into “bad.”) Specifically, Bunchball identifies several mechanisms that large enterprises should focus on when using game mechanics to motivate their workers:

  • Real-time feedback
  • Transparency
  • Goal-setting
  • Badges
  • Leveling up
  • On-boarding and mastery
  • Competition
  • Teams

You can read the white paper, which also includes several case studies, here.