I am currently enrolled in a MOOC through the International Training Centre on Gamification for Development. Very interesting, as all learning opportunities are. As part of the introduction, there was a TED talk from game designer Jane McGonigal who was explaining how games have had an impact on the learning of young people, and how they could be used in real-life applications. I was thinking about that relative to the introduction of Millennials into the workforce. There are no lack of articles extolling or complaining about how different the youngest members of your team are, and bringing it back to their online game experience explains some things. Think about it: They like to see early and frequent promotions = leveling up. They like getting constant feedback = finding treasures. They want work with meaning and impact = going on epic adventures and saving the (online) world.
Having been the "leaders" (be it generals, kings, or Gods), building empires and rescuing damsels in distress for so many of their formative years, how hard must it be to go to work and shuffle paper and fetch coffee. What a let down! No wonder they are looking for the next big thing - they've spent the last 10 years in a parallel school system that has taught them to do just that. So understanding this, how do you keep Millennials engaged, and tap that seeking energy?