Video tutorial: Play’s Marcus Thornley on the value of gaming principles for employee engagement

Real engagement can be driven through technology but it needs companies to better reflect the advantages of consumer technology, according to Marcus Thornley, founder of Play.

Speaking to delegates in a disruptor session at the REBA Innovation Day he said that there was a massive difference between consumer technology and that which is available in the workplace and that although this was changing there was still more than needed to be done.

“Between the hours of 6 o’clock at night and nine o’clock in the morning we’ve got our smartphones and are playing around with the most amazing technology that’s ever been built and in the most part we only use it because it’s joyful. It makes us feel as though we are  the centre of the universe and this thing has been designed for us. As a result it drives incredible engagement,” he said.

“Then we go to work and the stuff we are given at work is archaic and doesn’t feel like it’s built for us as the user. As a result we have really low engagement.”

He said treating consumers differently from employees made no sense and had to change. Employers could learn much from the world of gaming he explained, citing the success of Fortnite and three key attributes it encompasses -  autonomy, mastery and purpose. He said the same three factors had to encompassed in offerings at work to help improve engagement, whether through technology or just better empowering staff and that reversing the power pyramid could help hugely. 

“If we were to view employees like players how would that look?” he asked.

This video was recorded at the REBA Innovation Day 2018, held in London on 22 November.


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