Learning Trends

Learning Trends

Learning Trends

Given the recent rise in attention to gamification in education we might think of it as a shiny new toy; however, the fact is it’s actually a long-overdue return to the natural way we learn. As children, we have the unfettered freedom to play and create and envision anything we want for ourselves, whether it is pretending we have an imaginary friend or deciding we’ll be an astronaut someday. This behavior is not only expected, but considered part of our learning process, and in its absence our parents and doctors would be concerned that we were not developing normally.

Natural Learning

Everything begins to change as we enter the educational system. Most people’s memories of school are characterized by sitting quietly at their desks while the teacher spoon-fed them information from a textbook. They later regurgitated this material during tests and quizzes for feedback in the form of a grade. Everyone was supposed to fit into this mold and those who didn’t were considered disruptive and even labeled troublemakers. More recently, however, the model has begun to shift, with educators recognizing that even the students who appear to have the shortest attention spans are engaged when they can access information via a digital platform (i.e. on their devices) and interact with other users in a competitive or collaborative way. Seen through an old-school lens, this may appear to be an unhealthy screen addiction, but beneath the surface a complex neuroscientific dance is occurring, one in which they are absorbing material they might otherwise consider difficult or boring.


  1. Integrating Gaming
  2. Flow State
  3. Philosophy of Gamification

Integrating Gaming

Employers have caught onto this with a vengeance, incorporating gaming aspects such as immersive experiences, along with leaderboards and points for immediate feedback and bragging rights, into their hiring ad onboarding processes, as well as ongoing trainings. These efforts have met with significant, measurable success – an uptick of 50% in productivity and 60% in employee engagement. Moreover, 79% of workers have reported that the gaming experience has contributed to increased purpose and motivation at their jobs.

This begs the question, why is play still excluded from most curricula for older children and adults? This antiquated attitude about learning seems to dovetail with traditional notions about life itself. As we grow up we are socialized to become more “responsible,” “mature,” and the – big one – “realistic,” which often translates to a narrowing of professional aspirations … and giving up on activities classified as play.  This is despite the body of research documenting the role of play at any age in creating happier, more fulfilling lives.

Flow State

One of these researchers is Dr. Stuart Brown, who founded The National Institute for Play more than three decades ago. Brown defines play as a “state of mind that one has when absorbed in an activity that provides enjoyment and a suspension of sense of time. And play is self-motivated so you want to do it again and again.”  He is describing a flow state, prominent in the work of psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura, experienced by athletes and artists when they are completely immersed in their chosen activity. This is supported by the distinction, made by psychologist and learning expert Dr. Peter Brown, between the activity and the attitude accompanying it: “Two people might be throwing a ball … or typing words on a computer, and one might be playing while the other is not.” To tell whether one is in a “state of play” or not, Brown says, one must look at indicators such as body language.  When one is in the flow they are freed from the “monkey mind,” or intrusive thoughts that normally plague us so they can focus on the task at hand. The flow state also has several emotional and physical benefits, including an increase in the brain’s pleasure center activity, creativity, and motivation, and the lessening of anxiety and symptoms of stress such as pain (i.e., tight muscles) and fatigue. Essentially, flow is the state of being one aims to achieve in meditation, however, while beginning meditators often struggle to clear or bypass intrusive thoughts, it happens effortlessly while engaged in activity one enjoys – be it gardening, playing basketball, or gaming.

Philosophy of Gamification

Moreover, the philosophy of gamification encompasses the belief that learning is a lifelong pursuit, not just in terms of experience but formal schooling – and the data bears this out. According to the National Center for Education Studies, 17% of part-time undergraduate students at four-year colleges are older than thirty-five; the number is far higher (61%) for two-year programs. Research also shows that the numerous benefits for people ages fifty and older returning to college are roughly the same as younger people, namely, a better financial outlook, mental acuity, and even increased health and longevity.

Clearly, there is an untapped market for gamification platforms in our educational system, particularly when it comes to adults. The good news is that popular culture is finally catching up to the work of Dr. Brown, resulting in a growing awareness of our need to embrace play at every stage – and every arena – of life, and making doing so in adult learning only a matter of time.

Remote Work: How to Create an Interactive Workplace

Remote Work: How to Create an Interactive Workplace

interactive workplace

The workplace is evolving. The “9-5” is being replaced with a new, open atmosphere that promotes productivity, efficiency, and collaboration. Over the last couple of decades, workplaces have shifted from hierarchical to horizontal. And, unlike employees of older generations, today’s workforce is motivated by more than just a paycheck.

Younger generations are motivated by respect, diverse experiences, and innovation. Interactive workplaces embrace a new style of learning, and implementing them increases creativity, motivation, and engagement in the workplace. However, these modern, remote workplaces are only successful when employees can interact.

What Is an Interactive Workplace?

Upon hearing the term, some might imagine a huge open space office with vibrant colors and loud patterns, funky furniture, employees mingling by a pool table or crowded around a large screen wearing VR headsets—and maybe a free-to-use snack bar to the left? While these imaginative types of offices do actually exist outside of movies, an interactive workplace doesn’t necessarily need to have colorful decor or odd furniture at all.

An interactive workplace at its core is a “space” that caters to the different ways that people learn and work. They allow people to interact with more content, share feedback, and ask questions. Innovation and employee collaboration are at the heart of an interactive workplace, and businesses don’t need to spend a fortune on renovations to achieve it.

How to create an interactive remote workplace:

Recreate Your Environment

Facilitate a Positive Setting

Utilize Interactive Tools

Additional Tips

Invest in Happiness

Create a Better Workplace for All

Recreate Your Environment

Whether your company is large or small, designing a remote work environment that promotes interaction is possible–and beneficial for the whole team. Executing “open spaces” provides employees a community environment; they can trade ideas, share opinions, and work together. This type of environment produces happier employees and a more positive environment overall.

Open and spacious, these interactive business environments attract motivated staff, encourage employee collaboration, and maximize space efficiency. Creating workspaces that are functional and allow for increased social collaboration has been shown to boost overall morale–and productivity. Employers can integrate various functional work environments into their offices, such as areas for personal space, concentration spaces where staff can get away from noise and distractions, collaboration areas, and social spaces.

Having designated spaces encourage people to move around, and take necessary breaks between heavy workloads to allow their minds and bodies a chance to recharge before diving back in. Allowing employees to choose how and where they work creates an environment that caters to many diverse needs, resulting in healthier and happier staff. However, all of this can be done remotely by implementing a virtual, interactive work environment.

Believe it or not, you don’t actually need to redecorate the office or hire an architect to create a better environment for your employees. With many people working from home these days, employers have access to many awesome new technologies. These technologies have been created with chief goals in mind: increasing remote interaction and collaboration, and assisting employees in learning in the way that’s most optimal for them.

Large and small businesses can implement features like smart meeting rooms; video chats; and workplace groups where members can post, comment, and discuss all together (or in teams). eLearning and Gamification platforms are remarkable tools for boosting engagement and making employees feel empowered, entertained, motivated, and rewarded for reaching their goals.

In an open environment, business leaders are more easily able to identify problems within their workforce, and can then respond by implementing systems to increase daily positive interactions. A “system” can be something as simple as offering feedback to employees–letting them know that their hard work is noticed, and giving necessary positive reinforcement. Or, employ more involved methods, such as hosting events or team-building activities to offer employees some extra motivation and incentive.

Facilitate a Positive Setting

Creating a positive company culture and work environment leads to positive feelings, which are infectious. Employees who enjoy their work are not only more loyal to their company, but on a daily basis, a positive mood will be infectious to everyone they interact with. As a bonus, your consumers or clients will identify this positive feeling, enhancing everyone’s experience.

Try simple actions like taking a moment to ask how someone’s weekend was, holding meetings in a team setting, or consulting one-on-one. You’ll offer employees a chance to share their experiences, challenges, and interests. Leaders can then take this information to see what’s working (or what isn’t), and decide how to further facilitate positive interactions among their team.

Utilize Interactive Tools

Many new technologies have popped up that can enhance company morale, facilitate learning, and improve organization. Collaboration tools help employees to stay connected from anywhere. Interactive learning tools foster creativity and improved decision-making, helping everyone stay engaged. Some of the best collaboration and interactive learning software host various benefits and implement multiple tools.

Gamification platforms turn work into fun by redefining mundane tasks into reachable goals, turning projects into friendly competitions. Gamification allows employees to see their progress and what awaits them if they continue to perform well. These platforms encourage employees to strive for greater heights, incentivizing their responsibilities and keep them feeling challenged and motivated.

Also a great aid in team building, gamification platforms disguise work by turning them into fun activities or challenges. Employers can offer real rewards for work done well. Encouraging a happier spirit and healthy work drive for employees makes them more loyal to the business and can increase employee retention overall.

Virtual team building activities provide communication and reinforce a shared team identity. Especially helpful for remote teams who are separated and may feel isolated, these activities help employees feel supported, re-supply engagement, and assist in building trust. Icebreaker activities, games, trivia, and personalized WFH care packages can bring people together and reinstate that team feeling in employees–no matter where they log in to work.

Interactive training is a beneficial style of learning many employers are picking up due to its many benefits. Interactive training and onboarding technologies are more appealing to employees because they offer interesting ways of learning new information, allowing learners to become more engaged, motivated, and rewarded through learning experiences. Because everyone learns differently, this type of training is invaluable to businesses.

An interactive approach to training recreates the workplace in a fun way that encourages learners to be more creative, have fun while they’re absorbing information, and feel stimulated as they connect with tasks emotionally. Employees who are trained via interactive learning tools will retain information more efficiently, end up working more productively, and tend to enjoy the process much more.

Additional Tips for Creating an Interactive Workplace

Any employer should aim to boost employee engagement. This makes teams more productive, less likely to make mistakes, and more efficient overall. You know the look: the glazed-over expressions you see during long monotonous presentations. Employers and employees both lose out when engagement is lacking. Employees want to feel motivated and positive while working, and when we’re engaged, we’re learning more and working at a higher quality.

The following tips are a small but surefire way to create a more interactive, collaborative workplace (without having to buy a pool table):

  • Instead of banning the use of phones, make tech work for you by turning smartphones and tablets into learning tools. Utilize personal device-compatible streaming and learning technology.

  • If it’s essential that employees grasp key takeaways from a presentation, turn it into a contest or trivia game. Encourage employees to team up together and work against other teams; this helps to build bonds and encourages information sharing at the same time.

  • Get to know your employees. Each person has a different personality, behaviors, and communication preferences. One fun, interactive way to get to know your staff is to have them take personality quizzes. The Myers-Brigs test is a popular tool for understanding your staff or peers more deeply. The Four Tendencies test looks at how an individual responds to expectations, and understanding tendencies can assist in better decision making. Many tests are available online and can be used to learn more about one another, and add some spice to a dull workday. Participating in fun, original activities can reinvigorate staff and bring the mood up in a snap.

  • Not everyone learns in the same way, so offering multiple methods of sharing information can help ensure the data being presented is understood. Offer video tutorials, as well as written packets, and if possible offer hands-on teaching too.

  • Use mobile technology to send out surveys and polls to your staff to gain a better understanding of the workplace from their perspective. Some people aren’t comfortable speaking up in front of an audience and may be anxious talking to supervisors. It can be useful to allow employees to tell you privately or even anonymously how much they already know, what they hope to achieve, where more attention is needed, etc. Allowing employees to speak with their higher-ups through written (online) communication allows employers to address issues that others may be thinking about.

Invest in Happiness

Society tends to focus on the clients or customers, but a business’s most essential asset is the people who keep the business going day after day. Providing a space that keeps its people inspired, engaged, healthy and happy should be of utmost importance to every business because the benefits aren’t only for the employees, but the clients–and the business itself.

Fun, unconventional workspaces employing modern technology and ideas are becoming more popular around the globe. If you look up the top places to work, you will find a list of businesses that have adapted this forward way of thinking. The reason being: an interactive workplace facilitates self-motivated, more creatively inspired employees who look forward to coming to work. While most companies will not spring for a spa room or in-house cafe, adapting even small changes to encourage workplace interaction can make a big difference in an employee’s experience.

It seems that the previously unrealistic idea of ‘doing what you love’ is now an attainable reality. Younger generations are more likely to strive for the best work environment possible, unlike previous generations who were more comfortable with sacrifice and traditional methods–whether or not they were propitious.

The benefits of interactive workplaces are proven. Business owners know that staying up to date is key to maintaining success. Modern workspaces reflect modern culture, and interactive workspaces are now viewed as a long-term investment. When employees love being at work, they’ll work more productively and more often. Business owners retain loyal employees, while clients and customers are exposed to genuinely happy staff who work better for them because they love what they do. Everyone wins.

A Better Workspace for All

People are beginning to reimagine their lives, incorporating their goals, and desires into their work life as much as their personal life. Work is where we spend the majority of our waking life, and considering just how valuable time is, it’s not too crazy that people wish to enjoy the work they do and make the most out of each day. When happier workers create more productively, make fewer errors, and company culture is all-around positive and constantly improving, one can argue that it is vital.

By choosing to implement one of the many interactive technologies, or environments as a long-term investment to better your workplace, you’re creating a space for employees to trade ideas, collaborate, and work as a team. What you get is a positive experience for all.

How to Be an Objective Manager

How to Be an Objective Manager

How to Be an Objective Manager

Defining Objectivity

What does it mean to be an objective manager? Objectivity means lacking bias, not showing favoritism towards one side or the other. So, in a nutshell, an objective manager must manage his team without bias or favoritism. His (or her) view must be crystal clear in order to see beyond skewed perceptions and to be able to avoid favoritism in the workplace for the greater good of his team and the business as a whole.

Objectivity: the quality or character of being objective lack of favoritism toward one side or another: freedom from bias.

“Freedom from bias”, or a “lack of favoritism toward one side or another” is a very positive quality to have in our interactions with others, but even more so in our interactions with those who are subordinate to us in our careers. When someone is a leader of any kind, it is vitally important that they have a broad understanding of the goals of the organization. That they will then also be able to translate that into the work that they are responsible for is the goal. Everyone within an organization needs to have a clear understanding of the big picture, and a view that is free from bias. Team managers, as leaders, must ensure that their management style is objective so that that their views are not clouded when decisions are made about how to meet the company’s goals. Good decisions cannot be made on bad information, and good managers recognize bias so that it can be dealt with accordingly. Any leader who struggles with bias or favoritism in the workplace will be using information that is inaccurate to lead with, which in turn skews the thought processes and most notably, the accomplishments of their employees. And that is not what good leaders – and objective managers – need to be doing.

Let’s discuss Principles of Management.  What are the qualities of a good leader and an objective manager? Besides the obvious ones already discussed, the all-important lack of favoritism and/or bias, there are several qualities that managers will want to develop to be good leaders, and several principles they will want to follow.

Principles of Management

Let’s discuss Principles of Management.  What are the qualities of a good leader and an objective manager? Besides the obvious ones already discussed, the all-important lack of favoritism and/or bias, there are several qualities that managers will want to develop to be good leaders, and several principles they will want to follow.

“Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion, for the real and for the truth”.

– Abraham Maslow

No matter the industry, great leaders are essential. The responsibility of a leader to be fair and remain objective is one of the benchmarks of any business. Leaders who can minimize personal biases are then able to keep a realistic perspective, aiding in objectivity and the overall success of the project. Whether considering a performance review, work on a major project, or hiring new employees; the manager may want to take precautions and make sure that they are basing their decisions on good information. If the manager knows his information is solid, not skewed, and that his approach is objective, then he or she can be confident that the right decision is going to be made. With solid leadership, a solid effort from the team should result. Growing the confidence and communication skills of your team will have only positive effects the team and on the company. There are many ways to build your team’s strength and skills with gamification being a top choice. ZIZO can tell you more about their unique team building Performance Management Systems and Gamification Platform and offers an easy, free demo.

ZiZo’s innovative workforce gamification management software will positively impact your 
culture, productivity and ultimately– your success.

Managers need to be able to manage their workforces objectively and effectively for the company as a whole to be successful. A good manager must also be willing to consistently educate themselves and grow in leadership skills. Good leaders also make the workplace a safe space where the employees know they will be heard and not be judged unfairly. Employees know when their boss is not seeing things clearly and that lack of authenticity breeds distrust, which in turn, stresses the employees and disrupts the flow of work. This is not what any business owner wants. Let’s talk about a few pillars of good leadership.

Are You Doing All You Can to Stay Objective?

In assessing your objectivity, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I consider all the available information before making a decision?
  • Is there a way I could make use of observable data in my daily managerial duties?
  • Do I let my decisions be influenced by my personal opinions or experiences?
  • Do I hold biases that influence my behavior at work?
  • Have I overreacted in ambiguous situations?
  • Do I rely on my judgment when making decisions?

What Makes a Good Leader?

Be aware of your biases. As an objective manager, you will want to make sure you take the time necessary to make unbiased decisions when they are called for. If you as a manager are not aware of your own predisposition towards favoritism, you could easily rush decisions resulting in errors in judgement. It is vitally important to not only be aware of your biases but to also actively take steps to mitigate them. If biases exist, the manager must recognize them to be able to make crucial decisions fairly. Preconceived notions cloud your view. The manager who can recognize this and do what is necessary to prevent them from unfairly influencing decisions is taking a powerful step towards good leadership.

Consider your reactions. Part of being aware that you may have biases towards different situations is also recognizing those in your own reactions. Again, effective managers take the time needed to ensure they are making fair decisions without bias and need to do the same when reacting to work situations. In taking that time and considering the bigger picture, you are safeguarding your ability to see things from a different perspective, remain impartial, and be certain that the decisions you make for your team are reasonable and non-discriminatory.

Get to know your team. They will each have unique experiences and abilities and it’s the job of a manager to get to know them so that each employee will be able to do their best work for the benefit of the company, as well as themselves individually. Knowing what motivates your employees and making a determined effort to create more opportunities to motivate them is key to encouraging growth. Objective management creates a positive environment of growth and appreciation, which spurs company growth and advancement.  The ZIZO platform is a great way to do this because it fosters good communication, adds a bit of friendly competition into the day, and encourages team members to reach their goals.

Welcome collaborative thinking. Know what the company’s vision is and be able to effectively share that with your team. When team members share the vision, they are invested in the success of the company, and are working towards the common goal. But without the vision, the motivation is not the same. A great way to encourage your team to share the company vision is for the leader to be invested in their ideas. Your team members likely have some thoughts of their own that would benefit the whole and a great manager will build an environment that encourages them to share their thoughts. If a team member feels that their ideas are appreciated, they will be more willing to share their concepts with the team which builds a sense of community, a feeling of being included and being invested in the success of the group, which strengthens the company overall.

John Maxwell, in his 21 INDISPENSABLE QUALITIES OF A LEADER, lists many merits of a good leader.  Among them are many traits that you will not only want to see in yourself, but also will want to build in your team. Number one on the list is being a person of good character because character is more than just what you say, it’s who you are and how you live. Be the person ready to recognize things in yourself that can be improved, then work on that. Desirable character traits include honesty and reliability, being a good communicator (which also includes being a good listener), working hard, and being diligent to fulfill your responsibilities in a respectful manner. Also on the list, commitment and competence are very important qualities for a leader. Show your commitment to continuing leadership education for yourself and it will translate into your team wanting to do the same. A good leader will do all the above and help others do the same. There are some great team-building tools available that leaders can use to promote growth within their teams, with ZIZO topping the list.

Good, solid communication skills are high on the list because it is one of the most important qualities for a leader of any kind. When you show that you can effectively lead by being clear in your communication while also allowing your team to let their voices be heard, it follows that both sides are being heard clearly. Good communication in this scenario is both sides being fully heard and understood. Then the leader can take all ideas into consideration and make a decision based on the thoughts of the team as well as his own. The team will be then be able to respect it since they know their voices have also been heard. Gamification provides an effective way for team members and leaders to communicate with each other – plus it’s fun so people will want to participate.

How Can a Good Manager Lead Objectively?

Courage, discernment, focus, and passion are more qualities that Maxwell calls indispensable, and for good reason. He defines courage as making things right, not just smoothing them over, which is an essential quality for leaders because it is the leader’s responsibility to be able to fix things that are wrong by identifying the root of it and correcting it. And at times, it may take courage to do so. Courage goes hand-in-hand with discernment, which is defined as “the ability to find the root of the matter.” An objective leader needs both discernment and courage.

“Smart leaders believe only half of what they hear. Discerning leaders know which half

to believe.”

~John. C. Maxwell

Generosity is a hallmark of the discerning, courageous leader that is focused and passionate about what he is doing.  Putting people first and being grateful for what you have are qualities you will see when generosity is being put into practice. It’s been said that your candle will not dim by lighting another. This is how good leadership should work. American President Calvin Coolidge stated that, “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” Any company that prioritizes these leadership qualities including generosity is setting their own stage for success, and they can easily outshine their competition.

An objective leader is also a problem solver. As good leaders, they understand that small issues can turn into large ones, so they will prioritize fixing these issues. They work hard to build good relationships because that is the basis for making the company work. With good rapport and communication, and a situation where the team member feels valued, they will in turn, value the company and work hard to correct problems as soon as they are identified. When team members see leaders that take responsibility to go that extra mile to get the job done because of their own drive for excellence even in small things, they will do the same. The teams are treated to the sight of their leaders having self-discipline and acting as servant-leaders. Their vision for the future is accomplished by rightly discerning the truth, encouraging proper communication, and solving whatever problems come their way through humble service to others.

Objectivity as a leader involves creating a culture of collaboration, trust, discernment, honesty, and courage to rightly identify and correct issues as they arise while building relationships. By maintaining a high standard of excellence and open communication, building trust among team members and helping each one reach defined goals, leaders truly lead their teams to success.

ZIZO offers a fun and engaging gamification platform on which to motivate your teams, easily manage data and communications, help team members reach their goals, and promotes the overall success of the business; all done in an engaging, competitive, and fun way.


How Gamification Motivates

How Gamification Motivates

how gamification motivates

According to a recent survey, only 36% of employees said they were engaged at work. This stat is worrying because employee engagement plays a critical in efficiency and productivity. A Gallup report indicates that companies with highly engaged employees are 17% more productive. They are also 21% more profitable. Motivation and engagement are directly correlated. Increasing employees’ motivation can boost their engagement in the workplace. But how do you motivate employees on multiple levels? This is where gamification comes in handy. Gamification software can help companies motivate their employees and increase engagement and productivity. Learn how gamification motivates:

What are the top five motivational factors?

How does gamification leverage motivational factors to motivate users?

How can you use gamification to motivate employees?

Examples of companies using gamification to motivate employees.

Benefits of using gamification to motivate employees.

Bottom Line.

What are the Top Five Motivational Factors?

Motivational factors are incentives and initiatives used by companies to increase employees’ motivation to perform their duties. As a CEO or director, you can combine several strategies to increase employee engagement and productivity. Here are the top five factors in how gamification motivates:


The desire for appreciation is human nature. According to a recent study, personal recognition is the top motivator for . Another report found that 84% of highly engaged employees were recognized for going over and beyond their duties. Appreciating employees for their efforts and contribution can motivate them to do more.


How you convey mission-critical information and ideas as an Executive can influence employees’ motivation on so many levels. Some employees won’t stay committed to their tasks if they don’t know the end goal. Being in the dark is disorienting and demoralizing. To boost employees’ motivation, set clear short-term and long-term goals and communicate them accurately and vividly. Positive and transparent leadership can help employees stay motivated.

Working Environment:

Did you know that happiness can increase business productivity by 31%? And all you have to do is create some room for fun in the workplace. Boring and workplace should not be in the same sentence, period! “All work but no play makes Jack a dull boy (unproductive)” comes to mind. The perception of bias or unfairness can also undermine employees’ motivation and engagement. To motivate your employees, nurture a fun and inclusive work environment.

Compensation and Rewarding:

Nothing is more demoralizing than not knowing whether you’ll be compensated for your efforts. If top-performers are overlooked for promotions, their motivation and productivity will plummet. Being fair and transparent in pay increases and rewards is an effective way to eliminate perceptions of favoritism and distrust in your workforce. If everyone knows why “X” got a pay hike, there is no opportunity for rumor mongers to exploit. As a C Suite, never undermine the impact of perceptions on team spirit and motivation.


Without competition in the workplace, top performers will become comfortable. There is no motivation to work hard in the comfort zone. Cut-throat competition can discourage low performers and average employees. Why put in extra effort if they cannot outperform top players? Competition is a sword-edged sword. To motivate employees, nurture healthy competition. This motivational factor can keep Millennials and Gen Z on their toes in the workplace.

While motivational strategies are straightforward, the implementation is easier said than done. In today’s digital age, companies leverage flexible employment models like work-from-home and remote workforces. If your employees are scattered worldwide, in-person talks may not be the best strategy to motivate your workforce.

The 21st-century workplace is bombarded by tons of data from different sources. From interns to top-level management, no one is immune to data drown and the mind-numbing mental overload. It is difficult to motivate employees exposed to endless cycles of breaking news. First culprit, social media. Sticking to traditional motivational strategies in today’s digital age is counterproductive.

As a C Suite or Director, you understand the benefits of automation. Can you automate employee motivation? Yes, you can! Gamification solutions like ZIZO offer a more targeted approach to motivate your employees and boost their engagement and productivity.

How Gamification Motivates Users by Leveraging Motivational Factors?

Gamification allows companies to incorporate game-oriented elements and thinking in nongame applications. The best gamification software leverage gaming mechanics to automate and simplify how companies motivate employees. These systems are more psychology-oriented than technology-oriented, with 75% psychology and 25% technology.

The psychology behind gamification anchors on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to Maslow, individuals have physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization needs. Each need must be addressed and fulfilled for an employee to feel complete (self-actualized). In the 21st century, employees’ self-actualization needs consist of three motivational factors – Purpose, Autonomy, and Mastery.

This model argues that individuals are motivated to act if the action will fulfill their needs. So, gamification in the workplace exploits this psychology of motivation to encourage employees to engage more in work-related activities. Game developers link gaming mechanics to these needs and integrate nongame applications. So, how does gamification leverage motivational factors to motivate users on multiple levels?

Guarantees Recognition:

A HubSpot study found that 69% of employees are more motivated if they feel appreciated in the workplace. Automating appreciation with gamification is a no-brainer. The best employee gamification tools eliminate human bias and discrimination from the equation. Whenever a user completes a task or level, they receive instant recognition. It fulfills employees’ security and self-actualization needs by guaranteeing recognition and appreciation for their efforts. So, more employees are motivated to engage in work-related activities. Many will do more than the bare minimum to be recognized and appreciated.

Improves Communication:

With gamification, you incorporate vital information and ideas into the game. It guarantees accurate and consistent communication organization-wide. For example, you can use a gamification tool to educate younger and older employees on the company’s values and culture. It enhances transparency and eliminates miscommunication, which can boost employees’ motivation and commitment to their tasks.

Fun and Inclusive Workplace:

You can incorporate social elements like collaborations in your game design to address employees’ belongingness needs. A gamification tool with social feed functions mechanics offers a safe venue for socializing. It can motivate anti-social or shy employees to engage with colleagues more in the workplace. Employee gamification adds an element of fun to each job. Goodbye boredom! As a company, gamification can also help you nurture an inclusive work environment and leverage this motivational factor to boost employee engagement.


Gamification software fulfills employees’ esteem needs by rewarding top-performers. You can design a gamification tool that rewards users on multiple levels for completing specific milestones. This motivational factor can also encourage users on different skill levels to engage, improve, and win more rewards. Rewarding through gamification is instant, fair, and transparent. So, it eliminates perceptions of favoritism and distrust in the workplace.

Enhances Competition:

Gamification provides a level playing field for employees at all levels to engage and compete for recognition and rewards. For example, a sale include short milestones with goodies for the first salesperson to reach it. It will enhance competition and motivate your sales reps to work harder.

Gamification offers an effective solution to motivate employees at all levels and departments. It can help you increase employee engagement and productivity throughout your organization.

Should You Use Gamification? How Gamification Motivates Employees?

Gamification is a growing trend in different fields, from HR to sales, customer care, marketing, and product development. As a C Suite or Director, you can use robust gamification software like ZIZO to simplify employee motivation and engagement improvement. Here are some examples of gamification applications in different departments:


At its core, gamification is the convergence of productivity and technology. It leverages recognition and reward and enhances communication and competition. These motivational factors can improve employee engagement and collaboration, which are ingredients for success in sales. Think of a salesperson of the year! Do you appreciate them enough? If you’re not sure, consider using sales gamification. It is a must-have for organizations with a large sales team. With employee gamification, you’ll be 100% sure that all top performers are valued and rewarded for their efforts. It can motivate your sales reps to compete and collaborate, leading to higher sales!

Customer Support:

Customer support is the last line of defense. How they handle a disgruntled customer determines whether your company will retain or lose that client. It requires empathy, experience, and communication skills. Call center gamification offers a controlled environment to train call center agents and customer support teams before deploying them to the frontline. You can offer rewards through gamification to motivate experienced members to share their insights and strategies with newbies and other members.

Learning and Development:

Learning new skills is not as fun as it sounds. But it is essential for employee development and growth. Gamification can solve this dilemma for you. Applying game-oriented thinking to learning processes can benefit manufacturers and tech companies with several technical skill levels. It offers an interactive solution that makes learning more engaging and fun for employees. Gamifying technical course is an effective strategy to motivate your employees to learn new skills.

Human Resources:

Efficient communication is crucial for success in HR. As HR, you have to instill corporate culture into employees on multiple levels. Gamification can help communicate the company’s mission, values, and culture to all users. It is an effective way to motivate adherence to corporate culture organization-wide. As a company, use gamification to motivate HR professionals to implement best practices.


Like sales, marketing is more practical than theoretical. Mastering the art of prospect persuasion takes time. No one is born the top marketer. It is earned through years of experience in the field. With gamification, you can train your marketing team without setting a foot outdoors. You can design a gamification solution that simulates conversations between your marketers and stubborn potential customers. It will motivate your team to learn new marketing strategies, such as using social media for marketing. They’ll also get some experience of what to expect out there in the field. In a sense, gamification brings the market into your premises.

Gamification can also motivate product development teams to collaborate and help them become more creative. As a C Suite or Director, you can leverage gamification benefits across different departments in your organization.

Gamification and Motivation — Examples of Companies Using Gamification to Motivate Employees

More organizations are leveraging game-design elements in nongame applications. Here are three companies that have successfully implemented gamification in their employee motivation strategies:


Cisco unveiled a global social media training program for its employees. It had 46 courses, which discouraged employees from enrolling. To address this challenge, Cisco gamified the program with three levels of certification and several teamwork and collaboration challenges. Gamification simplified the program, encouraged competition, and motivated more employees to join and get certified.


Microsoft offers its products globally with specific language localization requirements. To ensure accurate translations in all languages, the company developed the ‘Language Quality’ game. The game simplified language accuracy checks and introduced the leaderboard to enhance competition. As a result, more Microsoft employees were motivated to engage in this game and improve translations of their native languages.


SAP offers complex ERP solutions. The company developed a gamification app known as RoadWarrior to ensure its sales reps have sufficient knowledge of the products. The game simulates conversing with a customer and offers rewards like badges. It also displays the top-performing sales rep on the leaderboard. SAP’s gamification motivated more employees to engage in the process and learn, leading to higher sales.

Benefits of Using Gamification to Motivate Employees

Employee gamification offers several benefits for your company. Here are some business values of using gamification. 


According to research, some organizations spend around $720 million annually on engagement improvement. Gamification offers a more cost-effective option to motivate workers and improve engagement. It rewards employees at a lower cost compared to other rewarding alternatives.


It can take several months to meet and encourage thousands of employees. Gamification reaches all users on multiple levels. As a C Suite or Director, gamification allows you to motivate your entire team with the click of a button.

Long-lasting effect:

Gamification has a long-lasting psychological impact. You can use a system with a leaderboard to display the top salesman and their rewards throughout the company. They will keep this prestigious position on the board and brag about it until they are dethroned by another sales rep. So, recognition through gamification is more visible and longer-lasting than a ‘thank-you.’

Enhance tech adoption:

You can embed gamification tools in your existing systems like CRM and online sales platforms. It will encourage your employees to adopt and use these technologies more often.

Future-proof solution:

Gamification is enticing for younger generations. You can use gamified solutions to motivate Millennials and Gen Z, the future workforce.  

Boost competition and collaboration:

Incorporating social mechanics like chat rooms, groups, and teams in your gamification tool can facilitate and nurture collaboration in projects. You can use a solution with a leaderboard to cultivate healthy competition between employees.   

Instant feedback:

The best gamification solution offers instant rewards as soon as the user fulfills the requirement. Rewarded employees also respond in real-time, providing C Suites and Directors instant feedback. 

Enhance creativity:

Rewarding innovative employees using gamification can enhance creativity organization-wide. It will motivate other employees to become more creative to win rewards.

Gamification is a gift that keeps giving, with limitless potential. To exploit all these benefits, use an innovative gamification solution like ZIZO.

Bottom Line

Since time immemorial, companies have relied on physical rewards and traditional strategies to motivate employees and improve engagement and productivity. But the challenges in the 21st century require more targeted solutions. As C Suite or Director, you can use gamification to leverage the top motivational factors and motivate employees on multiple levels. Employee gamification offers tons of benefits, including improved engagement, higher productivity, lower cost, and many more.


ZIZO is a leading gamification solution that allows companies to apply gaming mechanics to nongame environments. As a C Suite, Director, or other management professionals, you can rely on ZIZO to exploit the benefits of gamification in the workplace. To get the most out of gamification, contact us today!

5 Motivators That Impact Employee Engagement Among Millennials and Gen Z

5 Motivators That Impact Employee Engagement Among Millennials and Gen Z

employee engagement among millennials

As mentioned in our previous blog entry, by the year 2025 75% of the workforce will be made up of members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations. Acknowledging, understanding, and motivating these generations can prove to be more difficult than generations of the past. Because of this, workplaces in our country are experiencing elevated levels of attrition, decreased motivation, and limited-to-no engagement from employees. Employee engagement can repair these problems while also playing a significant role in increased customer satisfaction which leads to a positive reputation for your business. 

In the words of David Zimmer, of The Employee Engagement Network: “Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and happiness to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results.”  Here we have outlined five ways we feel are important to keeping this new generation engaged and motivated every day when they come to work.  

Provide Security 

Enhance Competition

Digitize the Workplace

Promote Purpose & Responsibility

Provide Strong, Honest, and Transparent Leadership


Provide Security  

Younger Millennials and Gen Z were still only children during major events in our country such as 9/11 and the Great Recession. Many of them may have even seen their parents living in fear and struggling financially through these times. Furthermore, a sizable portion of their lives may have been defined by said struggles. It is because of this their motivations tend to lean more towards security rather than just money to ensure a secure and comfortable life outside of their employment. ZIZO is the perfect tool to provide an in-depth look into their future career path and expectations with incredibly specific and obtainable goals for years to come.  

If your company is not offering this kind of job security, these generations will always be looking for a backup plan or greener pastures elsewhere. Be sure to keep open lines of communication between management and employees to ensure they know how valuable their role is for the company. By feeling and knowing their value they will feel compelled to stay engaged and with that will come a natural increase in performance.  

Enhance Competition   

Millennials and Gen Z may have different motivations while at work but there is (at least) one common theme – Competition. While Millennials tend to lean more toward collaborative and teamwork environments, Gen Z tends to have a better understanding of the need for constant individual improvement and development at work to remain relevant. ZIZO’s contest and tournament platform is designed to nurture both Millennials’ and Gen Z’s desire to be recognized and rewarded both as an individual and even as a team.  

Whether as a team for Millennials or individually for Gen Z, ZIZO caters to the natural strong work ethic by both groups. However, they do expect to be rewarded for their hard work. To foster strong camaraderie amongst employees, raise the motivation of your staff, and improve the overall work environment, friendly competition is an absolute must when it comes to keeping your Millennial and Gen Z workers engaged.  

Digitize The Workplace 

Millennials and Gen Z have unique relationships with our digital world. Millennials, while still growing up in a world of landlines and dial-up internet, can sometimes find themselves relating more to Baby Boomers than Gen Z when it comes to new and modern technology. Gen Z, on the other hand, has been living in a world of smartphones and free Wi-Fi for as long as they can remember. Gen Z employees tend to better embrace the modernization of the workplace to help grow in their careers. Thankfully, ZIZO’s easy-to-use gamification platform caters to the needs of both generations to keep them engaged and motivated. Understanding and recognizing the differences between these generations is the only way to maximize employee performance and show that your company is providing every opportunity necessary for each person to excel and grow in 2021 and beyond.  

Promote Purpose and Responsibility 

It is human nature to need to feel that there is a clearly defined purpose to their jobs. A clearly defined mission from a business is the first step to creating an environment that allows employees to do their job to the best of their abilities. Michael Fontana, director of OptionBox Limited explains “By giving employees plenty of opportunities to progress within your company, you can increase employee retention because your teams will realize they could have a career at your business rather than just another job.” ZIZO allows businesses to easily share goals, achievements, and information that helps each employee find their spoke on the big wheel. Once an employee feels that they have an established purpose within the company they will be more likely to remain engaged and motivated, even during times of struggle.  

Provide Strong, Honest, and Transparent Leadership 

Finally, employees experience their organization through their leadership. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is necessary for keeping today’s workforce motivated. Gen Z and Millennials both demand individualized respect. They want to see leadership that embraces diversity within the workplace and, while it may sound cliche, provides equal opportunities across the board. Disrespect or dishonesty shown toward any employee breeds distrust and therefore destroys collaboration and honest communication. Respect and recognition matter from all directions -peers, managers, policies, systems, and leaders.  

A major struggle plaguing the modern workforce is the feeling like they are not a part of a business’ larger picture. Millennials and Gen Z will become more invested in the future of the business when they are able to see what is happening around and above them at work. It is important that Millennials and Gen Z feel involved with a company’s growth and success. ZIZO helps management keep their employees informed with a 360-degree view of important data that helps make workers feel part of the big picture. Remember, transparency goes beyond just day-to-day statistics. Transparency can mean management sharing and discussing long-term goals for a company, or even creating an environment in which employees are allowed to discuss and share feedback to their superiors about ways they can be more effective at their jobs. Nobody wants to feel like they are left on the outside looking in. Transparency increases engagement which in-turn makes each employee invested in the overall success of their company. 

Just as it is important for Generation X and Baby Boomers to adapt to our modern world, it is equally as important for businesses to adapt to the strengths of the current up-and-coming generations. Millennial and Gen Z workers must know what is expected of them from work, have the proper materials and tools to properly do their job the right way, and receive the recognition they deserve for their work. Engagement is imperative of their success that they believe in their company’s mission and that they are committed to doing quality work.  


Hopefully, one lesson learned is that our younger generation does not need to be treated like children to stay engaged at work. As Millennials and Gen Z grow and move into management, their influence expands. Their individual needs matter and they have never needed Ping-Pong or beer at work. They need engagement. And when they get it, their employee experience can change extraordinarily fast, allowing them to achieve extraordinary business results.