What is Game-Based Employee Onboarding? Tips and tricks to implement the right gamification strategy

Sandeep Rambhatla
Gamification Advisor
Sandeep Rambhatla
Gamification Advisor

Learning begins with joining. Effective Onboarding contributes to a newbie commencing with confidence, feeling supported, and acclimatizing much sooner. Conversely, employees who spend weeks and months finding their feet in an organization are likely to be returning to online job portals earlier than anticipated. New employees should be given the opportunity to ‘buy in’ rather than expected to ‘swear an allegiance’ on their very first day.

There is so much uncertainty in the journey of a new bee. They are anxious to take the plunge, while you are anxious to get them settled faster. Organizations have a daunting task in helping employees understand the company’s value, culture, policies, products & processes.

There is too much to learn, and merely passing on the information in the form of PPT’s, PDF’s and lectures don’t seem to help. With a shift in the psychological contract between an employee and an employer, current methods of onboarding fall short.

Onboarding should be a journey of mutual discovery and bonding. Organizations need an onboarding solution that helps capture the imagination of your future workforce, provides an experiential overview of the organization’s ways of working and gives them a sense of belongingness.


What is Game-Based Employee Onboarding?


All of us are quite familiar with the term “Gamification”. Designers apply game principles and mechanics such as leaderboards, points, and badges to a non-gaming context.

A gamified environment borrows from the world of psychology and popular game mechanics to provide a “game-like” environment. The user of gamified applications are motivated to complete tasks to secure points and badges to be on top of the leaderboard.

The natural progression in this space is to transport employees to a virtual world of reality and give them experience kin to real life and make them play an actual game.

In Game-Based Onboarding setups, the game simulates a virtual office environment in a 3D space and mimics the various activities that transpire in an office environment. The new employee takes a virtual walkthrough of the office, meets leaders, understands policies, ways of working, and processes through interesting game mechanics.

The pandemic has forced organizations to recruit employees virtually, and most candidates who join have not visited their offices or even met their colleagues in person. Game-Based Onboarding environments solve these problems creatively and provide an experience that is immersive and impactful.


What features should a good onboarding game have?


The digital natives are born gamers; they prefer a learning environment that engages them, provides them adequate challenge, and one they can relate to. A good Game-based Onboarding Environment needs to have the following to create a lasting onboarding experience.

Minimize Anxiety: Onboarding is not only about letting the employee understand details of the company, its policies, and processes. Equally crucial for the organization is to understand more about the employee and create a sense of belongingness. The gaming platform should have the capability to capture employee preferences and create an ecosystem and community within the organization.

Scalable Gaming Framework: Onboarding is a journey and not a single-day affair; hence the game-based onboarding solutions need to look beyond day 1 of onboarding and facilitate the overall integration of the new employee to the organization by having 30/60/90 day interactions.

Content Authoring: Onboarding content undergoes frequent changes; hence any solution needs to have the capability to author and modify content in the game.

Strong Assessment Frameworks: Games are assessment in nature. A game-based onboarding solution needs to have its foundation grounded in strong assessment frameworks, to capture and measure learning outcomes.

Reward & Recognition: Games provide instant gratification and satisfaction. A successful game onboarding platform should have a robust ecosystem where player’s can redeem points earned in the game for company merchandise and the capability to share rewards earned with peers.


Space has expanded, and time has shrunk. In such a fast-paced setting, organizations are hiring new employees who belong to a generation that values experience more than information. Onboarding an employee can no longer be left to an individual who runs a video or shares a PowerPoint presentation.

The pandemic has forced organizations to think differently and adapt to technologies that focus on engagement and experience. Game-Based Onboarding offers a unique value proposition of transporting employees to a virtual world of reality, giving them an option to explore and experiment and learn while having fun.

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