I wonder what our parents would make of today’s workplace. They find it hard to believe the hours we now work, which is partly driven by the accessibility of phones and being online. Gone is the nine to five day you left behind when you left the office, five days a week.

But when you look at the younger generation entering the workplace, we see even further upheaval. Brought up on sophisticated video games and social media, they are used to a vivid online world, with lots of expectations around instant information at the tip of their fingers, continuous interactions, and immediate rewards and gratification. This is the first generation of digital natives.

Inevitably this is transforming the workplace to accommodate these expectations. Talk about a digital transformation between two generations.

So how do we adapt to this seismic shift?

In my opinion, enterprise gamification is a critical aspect of digital transformation – the changes you need to internalize in your organization to adapt to your digital native employees. For the Millennials entering the workforce, we need to take a radical approach just to make our enterprise applications “acceptable”.

See the recent blog we posted on the gamification of smart cities for more on this shift.

First, organizations must recognize the shortened attention spans and levels of engagement of a generation more attuned to video games and social media interactions than any traditional enterprise application.

Once you recognize that, it’s a whole new world of possibilities for improving engagement with employees as well as customers. One of the first deployments of our eMee gamification platform was right here at Persistent, for our global workforce of over 9000 employees, completely transforming this much maligned but critical aspect of employee engagement. We crowd sourced performance management process through an online virtual avatar “game”, converting the tedious appraisal process into a continuous, social data-driven assessment.

Next up at Persistent – Vishwamitra, your own personalized virtual assistant that will not just answer your queries, but will “know” you through deep machine learning techniques, fuelled by the vast amounts of data collected through the performance management “game”, and be your sounding board, your advisor and hopefully, your 4 am friend.

It’s an important shift to a more collaborative environment with a very familiar and user-friendly interface. While Millennials might have a desire for instant gratification, it does push us all to make vast amounts of data easy to search, view and share, which isn’t a bad thing. And that’s also a very important point I have been making about enterprise gamification. It’s not about the UX only. Unless the intent is to gather and process the vast amount of contextual and social data that escapes traditional enterprise applications, your gamification project is at best, bells and whistles.

For more on the topic of motivating millennials in general, we found this interesting piece from Kweler’s Glen Sollors:

Leading the New Generation: Millennials Are Not Back Seat Drivers – Kwela Leadership and Talent Management