How gamification can improve employee onboarding

16.9.2020, 5 minutes read

The average new hire onboarding experience consists of 54 activities before he or she is fully adopted, statistics suggest. So many activities are burdensome, even for the most enthusiastic new employees.

Therefore, many companies started to explore ways to make the first days at a new job and adaptation easier and more convenient. Gamification is one of the solutions.

What is gamification?

Gamification applies game-design elements in non-game contexts, such as collecting points, receiving rewards, or levelling up. Gamification aims at making a process, such as training or work, more interesting, fun, and attractive.

As digital technologies are developing, the gamification process is growing in popularity in the HR segment as well. Up to 87% of respondents to the 2019 survey said that gamification makes them feel more socially connected and provides a sense of belonging.

What do you think the employees will rather remember: a Powerpoint presentation or a fun, educational app focused on active engagement?

How to gamify the employee onboarding

Gamification can increase your employees’ productivity in a number of ways. One of the most effective ones is to gamify your onboarding which is one of the key factors to achieve long-lasting employee satisfaction.

Here are some practical ways to make your onboarding more interesting and fun.

Levelling up

One of the first things the new hire has to do is complete a lot of small tasks in order to get to know the company, its products, and processes.

Experience showed that companies should pay enough attention to this stage. The following research showed that up to 86% of employees with poorly-defined goals quit their job within 6 months.

Companies can facilitate the initial acquaintance with the corporate environment by allowing the employees to gain experience, perform tasks, and level up. A progress bar showing level (beginner, intermediate, expert) can do the job.

Collecting points and rewarding

Levelling up can be easily combined with collecting points and receiving rewards. These do not necessarily have to be monetary or material rewards. A study suggests that people appreciate the virtual incentives just like the cash rewards. The feeling of appreciation and approval is much more important than the reward itself.

In the world of digital technologies the rewarding principle can be put in practice by introducing various badges rewarded for completing specific tasks. This motivates the employees to make more progress and extend their collection.

Source: ManageApps


A study proved that public leaderboards can motivate employees to try harder. Especially, if they are only a few points behind someone. However, these can also have the opposite effect when a user gets stuck at the bottom of the board and sees that others are much ahead of him or her.
It's advised to create several leaderboards (e.g. in smaller teams or on weekly basis) and start from the beginning every week.

Source: pulseM

Learning through play

One of the options how to gamify the onboarding process is small games or simulated reality.

Deloitte, for instance, prepared a virtual game-like tour of the offices for their candidates. The tour starts with choosing the destination, such as Peking or Hong Kong. Then, you “fly” to your new workplace where you can talk to your new colleagues and learn about the corporate culture.

Another example of a training simulator is Roadwarrior, a game used by SAP to simulate a client meeting for their sales reps. The purpose of the simulation is to rehearse how to respond to the customer’s requirements and objections.

Try our onboarding platform for free

If you are interested in a specific solution to make your onboarding more interesting, fun, and effective, get in touch with our team to get a free, personalized trial version of our onboarding platform.

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