Improving The Employee Experience for New Hires with Gamified Onboarding: A Complete Guide to Onboarding Gamification Strategies

At the heart of every successful organization lies a comprehensive onboarding process, pivotal not only for new hire acclimation but also for fostering long-term employee engagement and retention. Enter gamified onboarding, a transformative approach that integrates the elements of gamification into the employee onboarding journey.

This method has emerged as a key strategy for companies aiming to revolutionize their onboarding experience, making it more engaging, informative, and enjoyable for new employees. Authored by Tryitowl, a leader in digital experiences and onboarding gamification, this article dives deep into how gamification can redefine traditional onboarding, making it a memorable first step into the corporate world.

The Basics of Onboarding Gamification

Gamification in the context of onboarding training – often referred to as onboarding gamification – involves the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. It’s designed to enhance the onboarding process, transforming mundane tasks into exciting challenges and making the learning curve more approachable and enjoyable.

By incorporating elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards into the new user & employee onboarding process, organizations can motivate new hires to engage more deeply with the content and complete induction tasks with increased enthusiasm.

Gamified onboarding in india

Benefits of A Gamified Onboarding Process

Here’s an onboarding checklist of benefits:

  • Increases Engagement: Gamified onboarding turns routine training into an interactive experience, boosting engagement.
  • Consistency: If you opt for a virtual or online or tech enabled onboarding strategy, then the biggest advantage is the consistency of your onboarding sessions across all locations and levels.
  • Improves Knowledge Retention: Incorporating game elements enhances memory retention through active learning.
  • Reduces Onboarding Time: Engaging games streamline the learning process, reducing the time to productivity.
  • Boosts Morale: Completing game-based tasks during onboarding can increase new hires’ confidence and morale.
  • Facilitates Feedback: Instant feedback in games helps new employees understand areas for improvement quickly.
  • Encourages Social Interaction: Multiplayer aspects promote team building and foster connections among coworkers.
  • Customizable Learning Paths: Allows for personalized onboarding experiences that cater to different learning styles.
  • Makes Onboarding Scalable: Digital gamification solutions can be easily scaled to accommodate growing teams.
  • Increases Completion Rates: The compelling nature of games can improve completion rates for onboarding programs.
  • Tracks Progress: Gamification provides measurable data on employees’ progress and engagement levels during onboarding.

Key Components of Successful Gamification in Onboarding

To use gamification in onboarding programs, you would need to rely on several key components. First and foremost, onboarding challenges and gamification mechanics need to be thoughtfully designed to align with the company’s culture and the specific needs of new hires.

A well-structured onboarding will use badges, points, and leaderboards to add an element of fun and also to foster a sense of achievement and competition among new employees. Gamification in onboarding helps to drive behaviour and get the new hires to complete in a structured manner – at their pace.

Real-world examples of gamification in onboarding show that when these elements are effectively integrated, they can transform the onboarding experience into an engaging journey of discovery and learning.

 

Employee Onboarding Gamification Strategies

To effectively use gamification in your onboarding process, it’s crucial to design strategies that are not only engaging but also tailored to the learning objectives and company culture. Start by defining clear goals for what the gamified onboarding aims to achieve, such as faster acclimation to company policies, better understanding of role-specific tasks, or improved social integration within the team. Implement gamification by introducing levels that employees can advance through as they complete different stages of the onboarding process, each level designed to progressively introduce more complex information in an interactive way. This approach ensures that new hires are not overwhelmed and can track their progress, enhancing the experience for new employees.

The Role of Technology in Gamified Onboarding

Technology plays a pivotal role in enabling gamified onboarding. Platforms and tools specifically designed for gamification can integrate seamlessly into existing HR software, offering a range of features from creating interactive onboarding tasks to tracking progress and providing feedback. These gamification platforms are essential for delivering a consistent and immersive onboarding experience. They allow HR departments to customize onboarding programs according to the unique dynamics of their workforce, making technology an indispensable ally in gamifying your onboarding process.

Designing Your Gamified Onboarding Experience

Designing a gamified onboarding experience requires a blend of creativity and strategic planning. Begin by mapping out the onboarding journey from the new hire’s perspective, identifying key information and skills they need to acquire. Break down this journey into manageable, game-like tasks that can be completed in sequence.

Each task should be associated with specific rewards, such as badges or points, to motivate and acknowledge the progress of new employees. Remember, the goal is to make learning fun and engaging, turning the necessary onboarding tasks into a series of challenges that new hires are eager to tackle.

Challenges in Implementing Gamification for Onboarding

While gamification can significantly enhance the onboarding process, implementing it comes with its set of challenges. One of the primary hurdles is ensuring that the gamified elements are aligned with the learning objectives and not just added as an afterthought.

It’s also crucial to maintain a balance between fun and professionalism to ensure that the core onboarding content is not overshadowed by the gamification elements.

Overcoming these challenges requires a thoughtful approach to designing the gamification strategy, keeping the focus on the learning outcomes and the overall experience for new hires. Unless qualified, it’s best to bring in the experts before you gamify your onboarding.

Measuring the Success of Your Gamified Onboarding Program

The success of a gamified onboarding program can be measured through a variety of metrics, such as completion rates, time to proficiency, and new hire satisfaction scores. Feedback loops should be established to gather insights from new employees about their onboarding experience, allowing for continuous improvement of the gamification elements. Analyzing data on engagement and learning outcomes can also provide valuable information on how well the gamified onboarding is achieving its objectives, guiding future enhancements to the program.

By carefully designing and implementing a gamified onboarding program, organizations can create a more engaging and effective onboarding experience for their new hires. Gamification not only makes the onboarding process more enjoyable but also supports the learning objectives, helping new employees become productive and integrated into the company culture more quickly.

As we move forward, gamification is set to play an increasingly important role in the evolution of onboarding practices, offering a dynamic way to welcome and train new talent in the digital age.

Gamified Onboarding: A Case Study

One of the most compelling ways to understand the impact is through real-world onboarding gamification examples.

In 2022, a multinational corporation having 18,000+ employees in India, across 7 locations, and a hiring rate of almost 150-300 new employees per month had seen a lot of issues. The infant attrition was at an all time high, new hire retention was dropping, knowledge retention was low. There were too many tickets being raised to HR on literally every topic covered in the induction process. Another key issue was that the employee experience in Ahmedabad was considerably different from the ones in Bangalore and Hyderabad. It was a no brainer – they decided to use onboarding gamification. 

In 7 weeks, the new tech enabled onboarding program was showcased to include gamification elements for completing learning modules, leaderboards to encourage friendly competition among new hires, and interactive challenges that tested their induction knowledge and retention.

Within nine months of implementing the gamification onboarding modules, the company noted a 70% increase in new employee engagement and a 30% reduction in time-to-productivity.

The infant attrition dropped drastically and most notably, they saw a 240% increase in job referrals by new hires.

This brought down the cost of recruitment, improved their social standing and very soon the company’s interesting onboarding and gamification experience became the subject of discussion. The company’s choice to gamify the employee experience has since resulted in multiple awards for best onboarding, virtual onboarding and also for gamification features.

This case study underscores the potential of gamification to not only make onboarding more engaging but also to streamline the acclimation process for new employees.

The Future of Onboarding: Trends and Predictions

As we look towards the future, gamified onboarding is poised to become a staple in employee integration strategies. Emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are expected to play a significant role, offering even more immersive and interactive onboarding experiences.

Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in gamification will allow for more personalized onboarding journeys, adapting in real-time to the pace and preferences of each new hire.

These trends point towards a future where onboarding is not just a preliminary step but a memorable, engaging experience that sets the tone for an employee’s journey within the company.

How to Add Gamification in Your Onboarding Process

For organizations looking to implement gamification in their onboarding process, you have two key questions to answer.

  1. Should you just start small and iterate with existing elements in your onboarding?
  2. Should you just revamp and bring in an expert to build a tech enabled, gamified onboarding solution

If you are planning to go the DIY route, then begin by identifying one or two elements of the onboarding process that could benefit from gamification, such as compliance training or company culture education. Use simple gamification tools and platforms to introduce basic elements like quizzes with rewards or interactive scenarios. Collect feedback from new hires and HR professionals to refine and expand the gamified elements over time.

If you choose to go with an expert, then consider Tryitowl LLP – who’ve been doing this for over 7 years (even before it was a buzzword) and have some of the best known MNCs as well as small companies in their client list.

Gamification Beyond Onboarding: A Holistic View

While this article focuses on gamified onboarding, the principles of gamification can extend much further within an organization. From ongoing training and development to performance management, gamification can play a vital role in engaging employees throughout their careers.

By fostering a culture that values learning and achievement through gamification, companies can improve employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity on a larger scale.

Conclusion

Gamified onboarding represents a significant shift in how companies approach the integration of new hires. By making the process more engaging, informative, and fun, organizations can achieve better outcomes in terms of employee engagement, retention, and productivity. As technology continues to evolve, the opportunities for enhancing the onboarding experience through gamification will only grow. For those looking to stay ahead in the talent management game, now is the time to explore and invest in gamified onboarding solutions.

As we conclude this exploration into gamified onboarding, remember that the journey to a fully gamified onboarding experience is a step-by-step process. It requires careful planning, implementation, and continuous improvement. By embracing the principles of gamification, you can transform the onboarding process into an engaging adventure that welcomes new hires into the fold with excitement and readiness for the challenges ahead.

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