Most would agree, if we were more stimulated and challenged by our work, our contentment and job satisfaction would be in a warm fuzzy place.
Aaron Dignan, author of Game Frame, suggests that the medium of “gaming” is designed to address these issues systemically alluding to the infamous line by Mary Poppins; “You see, in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap! The job’s a game.”
Dignan points out the two distinct symptoms of this boredom. A Lack of Volition or “the will to do something: the motivational and internal drive to see it through” and Lack of Faculty which is ‘the belief that we have the skills and tools to handle the challenges we’re facing.”
The typical approach managers take to dealing with these two issues is by providing an incentive or reward... and if that is not successful plan B is to threaten said employee. Neither approach has long term success.
The good news is that we are learning machines and thrive most when we experience that feeling of learning something new in fact our brain even rewards us with a hit of opioids “natures pleasure drug” which is what creates that ‘feeling’. Dignan’s insights into the power of play and gamification of work provide compelling insight into not just why we need to change our systems from the inside out... but how. This is a book for the frustrated manager and avid gamer.
Craig Lund is the President Elect of the American Marketing Associations Toronto Chapter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org