Reset Generation: What Videogames Teach UsAbout Motivating and Retaining    The Gen Y Workforce
About My Company                      What You’ll Be Getting•   Themis Media: 26 employees, average    age 26 years old•  ...
What We’ve Accomplished2007 Wall Street Journal Winning Workplace Award2008 People’s Voice Award for Best Game-Related Web...
My Wisdom   Your Wisdom             Pretty Good
Defining the Reset Generation•   Born Between 1980 and 1995•   Came of Age Starting in 2001 – “Millennials”•   79 million ...
“The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date”                     •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Busin...
“The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date”                  •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business...
“The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date”                 •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business:...
“The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date”                •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: ...
“The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date”                  •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business...
“The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date”                  •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business...
•Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008Are They The Entit...
No, they are the Deceived Generation.•   A college degree is now the minimum to find a place in the working world.•   But ...
Video Game Interests                          When                         the going                       gets tough,    ...
What Videogames Have Taught Gen Y                                You are the Hero                                Your Avat...
You Are the Hero!       “Because of videogames,       Generation Y expects to make a       direct affect on their world.” ...
Your avatar is customizable!Ask the Greatest Generationwhat makes it unique and theytalk about their struggles andtheir ho...
Difficulty Can be Adjusted! I failed to find a pithy quote to support my opinion on this slide, so you’re just going to ha...
Feedback is Constant                       Because Gen Yers are used to                       playing computer games with ...
Advancement is Ongoing!Computer games provide seeminglyendless goals, with immediate feedbackwhen a player successfully mo...
There is No Failure, Only Another Reset                                          “Is your son or daughter from            ...
ExpectationsManagement       +    Wish Fulfillment       =     Gen Y   Satisfaction                       Life,           ...
What Would You Like To Know? 23
24
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Reset generation what video games teach us by alexander macris

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Alexander Macris, Co-founder, President & CEO of The Themis Group

Abstract - Business leaders across the country are grappling with the challenge of motivating and retaining the Gen Y workforce. The "Reset Generation" has grown up with computer and video games, and they think, play, and work differently from those who developed under a traditional paradigm. Join us for a discussion on leadership lessons gathered from a decade building and managing a videogame media company for and by the next-gen worker.

Presented at NC State Fidelity Investments "Leadership in Technology" Executive Speakers Series (http://www.csc.ncsu.edu/corporate_relations/fi_lit/)

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Reset generation what video games teach us by alexander macris

  1. 1. Reset Generation: What Videogames Teach UsAbout Motivating and Retaining The Gen Y Workforce
  2. 2. About My Company What You’ll Be Getting• Themis Media: 26 employees, average age 26 years old• Our Website: The Escapist• Our Audience: 5 million / month• Our Demographic: 18-30 year olds• “The mouthpiece of the gamer generation” Pretty Good
  3. 3. What We’ve Accomplished2007 Wall Street Journal Winning Workplace Award2008 People’s Voice Award for Best Game-Related Website2008 Webby Award for Best Game-Related Website2008 Better Webby Award Speech than Will I Am or Stephen Colbert2009 Webby Award for Best Game-Related Website2009 Mashable Open Web Award for Best Online Magazine2010 CED NC Company to Watch2010 Business Leader Mover & Shaker2011 Webby Award for Best Games-Related Website2011 People’s Voice Award for Best Games-Related & Best Lifestyle Alexander Macris “Escapist Magazine. We have issues.” Stephen Colbert “Me, me, me, me, me!!!”Other Webby Award Winners (Different Categories): Will. I . Am “Now we know we can.”
  4. 4. My Wisdom Your Wisdom Pretty Good
  5. 5. Defining the Reset Generation• Born Between 1980 and 1995• Came of Age Starting in 2001 – “Millennials”• 79 million strong – 3 x larger than Gen X• They are America’s future workforce, for good or for ill…. But which is it?
  6. 6. “The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date” •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008 •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008They Have No Work Ethic! “Gen Y is the most difficult workforce I’ve“The most self-entitled, irresponsible, ever encountered… So self-indulgent as to beand immature workers to date.” genuinely offensive to know, let aloneRachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to ManageMillennials”, WSJ, March 15 2008 supervise. “ Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President of JWT “The most demanding and coddled “While Gen X valued money highly, they were willing generation.” to work hard for it. Gen Y has the high expectation of Ronald Alsop, The Trophy Kids Grow Up, 2008 getting paid well and having more leisure time. They want to have their cake and eat it too.” Stacy M. Campbell, Professor of Management, Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University
  7. 7. “The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date” •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008 •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008They Don’t Respect Traditional Hierarchies! “They value a casual working relationship with their superiors. They want to see their boss as a peer…” Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millennials”, WSJ, March 15 2008 “Young employees expect to move up the ladder quickly, which causes some friction when they are not shy about telling a boss they want his or her job.” Red Fusion Media, “Managing the New Workforce, Generation Y,” 2008
  8. 8. “The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date” •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008 •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008They Demand Immediate Feedback… “Millennials expect feedback and training to be ongoing, not just a one-time event.” Sharon Cunningham, “Managing the Millennials,” Best’s Review, “Because Gen Yers are used to playing computer games Oldwick vol .107, Issue 11, March 2007 with immediate feedback on their decisions, they will want immediate feedback on their work performance as well.” Kathryn Yeaton, “Recruiting and Managing the ‘Why?’ Generation,” CPA Journal, April 2008
  9. 9. “The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date” •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008 •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008But Then Can’t Cope With It! “One of the biggest complaints I hear from “They were coddled growing up and rarely managers about their Gen Y employees is had anyone yell at them.” Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage how defensive they get when given Millennials,” Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008 corrective feedback.” David Lee, founder, Human Nature at Work, July 2010 “Gen Y employees tend to have trouble accepting responsibility for shortcomings or “This is an entire generation who has been told ‘you failures in their work and look outward for a can not fail and you will win a prize just for showing potential cause. up... a generation of young professionals with over- Kathryn Yeaton, “Recruiting and Managing the “Why?” Generation,” inflated egos who are unprepared for the sometimes The CPA Journal, April 2008 harsh, often thankless environment that is the workplace.” Mary Crane, MBA Career Consulted, AllBusiness.com, “How Gen Y is Responding to the Recession”
  10. 10. “The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date” •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008 •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008They Bounce from Job to Job! “Incorrigible job hoppers that rarely“The majority of twentysomethings job hop exhibit loyalty to any particular place ofevery 18 months.” employment.”Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Ronald Alsop, The Trophy Kids Grow Up, 2008Millennials,” Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008 “They are an entire cohort secure in the knowledge that their well-to-do Boomer parents can bail them out of financial difficulty. If they don’t like their job they can,“These young people simply choose to ‘reset’ and do, chuck it in and head back to live with theirtheir “play” buttons by changing jobs, partners, parents.”or friends, instead of trying to cope with and learn from KPMG International Research Report, 2007their difficulties – .”“Reset Generation quick to wipe the slate clean,” Mainichi Daily News, 1996
  11. 11. “The most self-entitled, irresponsible and immature workers to date” •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008 •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008They are Narcissists with Low Empathy! “24% of college students in 2006 showed “81% of 18-25 year olds surveyed said getting elevated levels of narcissism, compared to rich is their most important or second most just 15% in the early 1990s.” important life goal; 51% said the same about Jack Halpern, “The New Me Generation,” Boston.com being famous.” USA Today, quoting a Pew Research Survey “40% of Generation Y thinks being self-promoting, narcissistic, overconfident, and attention-seeking is helpful for succeeding in the business world. 57% agree “Since 2000, college students have become less that their generation is narcissistic, self-promoting, and empathetic than ever before. College kids today are attention-seeking.” 40% lower in empathy than their counterparts of 20 or Mashable.com, quoting a study by Jean Twenge, co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic, 2009 30 years ago.” Psychology Today, quoting a study by Sara Konrath, University of Michigan Institute for Social Research
  12. 12. •Rachel Solomon, “Running a Business: Learning to Manage Millenials”, Wall Street Journal, March 15 2008Are They The Entitlement Generation? “They are the Entitlement Generation, the upstarts “ “A challenge to manage… They demand immediate at the office who put their feet on desks, voice their feedback on performance, expect to be consulted and opinions frequently and loudly at meetings, and included in management decisions, and demand constant always volunteer – nay, expect – to take charge of intellectual challenge. They insist on working flexibly, the most interesting projects. They are smart, choosing when and where to work. They are demanding, brash, even arrogant, and endowed with a as a right, a new reality from work.” M. Pyubaraud, “Generation Y commanding sense of entitlement.” Jack Halpern, “The New and the Workplace: Me Generation,” Annual Report 2010,” Johnson Controls, 2010 Boston.com “Gen Y employees tend to have trouble accepting responsibility for shortcomings or “This generation expects things handed to them on failures in their work and look outward for a a silver platter. They expect to be promoted in a potential cause. Kathryn Yeaton, “Recruiting and Managing the “Why?” Generation,” year. They expect to have state of the art The CPA Journal, April 2008 technology. Their attitude is ‘If you guys aren’t going to give it to me, I’ll work someplace else.” Rosemary Haefner, VP of Human Resources, Career Builder
  13. 13. No, they are the Deceived Generation.• A college degree is now the minimum to find a place in the working world.• But cost of higher education has increased 63% at public schools and 47% in private schools.• So most students will be paying tens of thousands of dollars in loans well until their 40s…• If they can pay at all! 37% of 18-29 year olds lack a job or are underemployed, and real earnings for workers between 25 and 34 have dropped 10% since 2000.• Is it any wonder 58% of Gen Y between 2000 and 2006 had to move home in order to pay the bills?• And they can only look forward to a tax burden that’s double what it was for their parents.• As an employer, you will be the site of the first collision between the world that Gen Y was told to expect and the real world that awaits them: The reality of being young in America in the Great Recession is quite bleak.
  14. 14. Video Game Interests When the going gets tough, the tough get gaming.
  15. 15. What Videogames Have Taught Gen Y You are the Hero Your Avatar is Customizable Difficulty Can be Adjusted Feedback is Constant Everything’s an Achievement There is No Failure – Only ResetNewton Grant, 919-265-9922ngrant@themis-media.com
  16. 16. You Are the Hero! “Because of videogames, Generation Y expects to make a direct affect on their world.” Oxygenz Report, 2010
  17. 17. Your avatar is customizable!Ask the Greatest Generationwhat makes it unique and theytalk about their struggles andtheir honesty; the Boomers, theirvalues and work ethic; Gen X,their smarts and technologysavvy. The Millennials say theirtaste in clothes and pop culture.Sourced from “Millennials: Confident, Connected,Open to Change,” Pew Research Center, 2010
  18. 18. Difficulty Can be Adjusted! I failed to find a pithy quote to support my opinion on this slide, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it this time. I did add an extra Zero Punctuation picture to make up for the lack of a juicy quote. I hope you appreciate my efforts here. Made up in order to fill blank space by Alexander Macris, publisher, The Escapist.
  19. 19. Feedback is Constant Because Gen Yers are used to playing computer games with immediate feedback on their decisions, they will want immediate feedback on their work performance as well. Kathryn Yeaton, “Recruiting and Managing the “Why” Generation”, The CPA Journal, April 2008 Also, I would like to say…. WOAH.
  20. 20. Advancement is Ongoing!Computer games provide seeminglyendless goals, with immediate feedbackwhen a player successfully moves on tothe next level. This generation hasgrown up playing computer games, sothey are familiar with consistentlyachieving goals in order to moveforward. Experiences such as these havemade this generation exceptionally goal-and achievement-oriented. They tend todesire these types of experiences in thework environment as well.Kathryn Yeaton, “Recruiting and Managing the“Why” Generation”, The CPA Journal, April2008
  21. 21. There is No Failure, Only Another Reset “Is your son or daughter from what I coined "the reset generation?" The reset button on video games makes quitting easy. Quitting is a habit — it doesnt matter where you pick it up. The reset button has become the "no regret button." The accountability to oneself, as well as the sense of responsibility is non-existent.” Gary Simmons, “"Set an example in sports for your child," Scripps Howard News Service, June 27, 2003
  22. 22. ExpectationsManagement + Wish Fulfillment = Gen Y Satisfaction Life, Play Games Live
  23. 23. What Would You Like To Know? 23
  24. 24. 24
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