Onboarding is both a necessary and an important part of the employee recruitment and development process. New hires need to not only fill in any potential gaps in their industry experience but also learn the specific expectations, policies, and practices of their new company.
Unfortunately, many onboarding programs are paint by numbers, meaning they are boring and less effective than they could be. So, what can recruiters do to spice things up?
In an article for Training Mag, Ubiq BI founder Sreeram Sreenivasan argues that companies should seriously consider incorporating gamification strategies into their onboarding efforts and suggests three specific ways gamification elements can be incorporated into an onboarding program.
Recognize Progress and Achievements
“The key is to recognize and reward every small achievement accomplished by your employees, right from the beginning,” says Sreenivasan. For example, he recommends using a digital checklist where employees record completing various tasks, i.e., uploading a photo to the company website or filling out benefits and tax forms. When they complete those tasks, send them a congratulatory note or some other form of recognition.
Encouraging Leveling Up
In video game parlance, “leveling up” refers to acquiring a certain number of points or achieving a certain number of tasks before moving up a level. The same concept can be used in the onboarding process.
“For example,” says Sreenivasan, “you can have your new employees make at least 10 cold calls to leads before they can sit in on sales meetings. Such goals will motivate them to keep learning and keep pushing forward.”
Set Up Quests
Quests involve giving an employee somewhat longer, more involved tasks rather than simple onboarding activities like filling out forms. New hires could interview at least one employee from each major department, for example, and then relay what they’ve learned about how the organization interacts internally.
Effective onboarding can make all the difference for new hires. Not only can they get engaged with meaningful and productive work more quickly, but their morale will also increase, meaning they are more likely to stick around instead of jumping ship after a few months.