Gaming and In-house training
Employers who fail to make their workplace interesting to employees are missing out on a huge fund of enthusiasm and talent.
Let's imagine a 19-year-old new recruit working in a call centre. He nods off during training sessions, gets incredibly bored with the different processes and procedures, and provides indifferent service to clients.
Why is this? Doesn't he know that his attitude and conduct affect the customers, which affects his department, which in turn affects his pay? No he doesn't. 19-year-olds tend not to have the life experience for such abstract concepts to be meaningful.
But... when this 19-year-old recruit gets home, he boots up the computer, or Playstation, or XBox. He then performs tasks to achieve objectives, using controls. It's altogether quite similar to his job. Yet he does this voluntarily, and even purchases his own software and hardware.
What's the difference?
The game makers have clearly defined their goals and objectives, as well as penalties and rewards. And "clearly defined" doesn't mean oversimplified; some games have a dazzling level of complex key performance indicators, all interacting with each other to affect the final outcome.
I didn't really take this seriously until I started researching game demos - and got out my old copy of Star Trek: Bridge Commander. They all provide great experiences, clear goals that you know when you've met them.
So why don't workplaces design their jobs the way the rising tide of game-makers do? I'd love to speak to anyone who's working in this field.