Training & Development: Keeping your Millennials Engaged At Work

By Bryan Woo, Simulation Designer

As many organizations start to diversify themselves with more and more millennials, who will soon grow to dominate the workplace, it brings about an interesting challenge: how do you develop and keep your best millennials engaged at work?

Research by Gallup has revealed that only 39% of millennials strongly agree that they have learnt something new within the last 30 days, as well as only 29% of millennials being engaged at work.

Millennials that feel they have learnt something new

Millennials that feel they are engaged at work

The results are rather alarming, considering the fact that most organizations within the top quartile of employee engagement have been linked to 17% more productivity, 10% better customer ratings, as well as 21% more profitability as compared to their bottom tier counterparts.

Interestingly enough, a fun fact about the average millennial is that they spent a staggering 2,000 – 3,000 hours reading books, and 3x that amount playing games before turning 21. Based on those numbers, we can be certain that millennials are very familiar to gameplay & game mechanics. Which brings me to my next point: What if you can tap into a millennial’s familiarity with games and carry that over into his or her learning and development, while at the same time, keeping them engaged at work?

Enter, gamification.

Gamification, in its simplest definition, is the process of using the fun & engaging elements found in games and applying them to non-game, real world environments in order to influence behaviour. It has gained popularity in use especially in classroom and other learning based environments.

What makes gamification a unique learning approach. is that it is considered a form of “Human-Focused Design”, defined by Yu-kai Chou, an expert in gamification, as a design process specifically revolving around the learner in mind. This process places emphasis especially on the learner’s feelings, motivations, as well as engagement.

Recapture the joy of learning as a kid. - Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Recapture the joy of learning as a kid. - Photo by Ben White on Unsplash