Gamifying a company induction

May 28, 2013

Hi, I am after a little advise and pointing in the right direction.

I currently look after a 3 week induction for my company that on-boards new hires into a Technical Support role.  Currently the 3 week induction content is boring, dis-jointed, etc, basically it just doesn't hit the mark and knowledge retention is low.

I have put together a new plan that will reduce the amount of information we are giving the new hires and only giving them what they need.  This in turn has reduced the amount of time the course runs for to just over 2 weeks.

The problem I have is tying it all together and making it flow as one course made up of several modules.  I have decided to implement some gamification techniques and want to put a travel theme into it where the new hire travels to different places in the world and learns different things, which keeping a virtual log of what they do, etc.

So the question is how do I implement all this.  I have been been researching gamification and on-boarding processes for some time now but all of the resources I find (especially with gamification) are all targeted at marketing techniques, bringing in new customers, etc, I can find very little resources on enterprise gamification (if that's the correct thing to call it), that demonstrates how gamification is implemented in a work environment.  Can anyone suggest any resources that would be useful to pull on?



15 Replies
David Price

Hi Eric

Thank you for your suggestion.  I did come across this example a couple of weeks ago and thought it was really good.

My struggle is linking all of my different modules together.  So for example on the first day the new hires get a welcome module that welcomes them to the company and their role.  The 2nd day we start going into the company products, etc, etc.  Most of the content is trainer led or will be blended learning and I want to link them all together but I seem to have some sort of mental block allowing me to realise how it all fits together.  I can deliver something like the example above but when I have 8 - 10 different modules/subjects I don't see how it will work together.

As most of our training is delivered overseas (India and the Philippines) we struggle with engagement so I'm trying to find that common ground.  Hope that makes sense.


Sara Reller

Are you having trouble with the tech side or with envisioning it in more of a soft way?

If it is more of the soft way I'd suggest something like a card sort. Write out something about each of the modules on note cards and spread them out on a large physical map or just on a table. See what kinds of ways you can link and group them which lead into the next.

Jerson  Campos
Here is a gamification design framework written by Prof Werbach from the university of Indiana. Answering these questions can help you get on the right path before you really think about the tools.  The tools should be the last things to consider. This was taken from a gamification course at (another one will be offered in Fall) that I recently took.
  • Define business objectives. Why are you gamifying? How do you hope to benefit your business, or achieve some other goal such as motivating people to change their behavior? The first written assignment focused on this step of the process, so you may wish to look back on your earlier submission and the peer assessments for guidance. As you state your objectives, emphasize the end goal or goals of your gamified design rather than detailing the means through which you'll achieve this goal. Basically, if your gamified system does what you intend, what specific positive results will it generate for your organization?

  • Delineate target behaviors. What do you want your players to do? And what are the metrics that will allow you to measure them? These behaviors should promote your business objectives, although the relationship may be indirect. For example, your business goal might be to increase sales, but your target behavior could be for visitors to spend more time on your website. As you describe the behaviors, be sure to explain how they will help your system achieve its objectives. The metrics should in some fashion provide feedback to the players, letting them know when they are successfully engaging in the intended behaviors.

  • Describe your players. Who are the people who will be participating in your gamified activity? What is their relationship to you? For example, are they prospective customers, employees at your organization, or some other community? And what are they like? You can describe your players using demographics (such as age and gender), psychographics (such as their values and personalities), Bartle’s player types, or some other framework. You should show that you understand what sorts of game elements and other structures are likely to be effective for this population. For example, you might discuss whether a more competitive or cooperative system would be better for this player community.

  • Devise your activity loops. Explore in greater detail how you will motivate your players using engagement and progression loops. First, describe the kinds of feedback your system will offer the players to encourage further action, and explain how this feedback will work to motivate the players. (Remember: rewards are only one kind of feedback.) Second, how if at all will players progress in your system? This includes how the system will get new players engaged, and how it will remain interesting for more experienced players.

  • Don't forget the fun. Although more abstract than some of the other elements, ensuring that your gamified system is fun remains as important as the other aspects. In order to fully explore this aspect of the design process, consider how your game would function without any extrinsic rewards. Would you say it was fun? Identify which aspects of the game could continue to motivate players to participate even without rewards.

  • Deploy the appropriate tools. By this point, you've probably identified several of the game elements and other specifics of your gamified system. If you haven’t already, you should explain in detail what your system would look like. What are some of the game elements involved and what will the experience be like for the players? What specific choices would you make in deploying your system? For example, you might discuss whether the gamified system is to be experienced primarily on personal computers, mobile devices, or some other platform. You might also describe what feedback, rewards, and other reinforcements the players could receive. Finally, think about whether you’ve tied your decisions back to the other five steps in the process, especially the business objectives.

  • Anne Pead

    HI David

    It's great that you are getting to the heart of this and looking to improve the induction training! What are the different modules that you are trying to meld together, you mentioned the welcome and then product information, what else comes along?  It's often difficult to cover a broad range of modules in an onboarding program (especially in large, complex organisations). I had to do that a few years ago and it was definitely challenging, but in the end rewarding!  At the core of it, all the induction training should relate back to one thing, and that's the company you're about to start working for and I find that is often the common thread that you can weave through. Everything you learn in the onboarding should directly reflect the company's goals and objectives.  Another question is, does everyone get the same onboarding? (I don't know what kind of company this is so I'm just guessing) but are there Sales people and operations people all doing the same induction? Maybe you could have some differentiation (if you haven't already) in terms of the onboarding for specific roles - for example, sales people and finance people don't really need the same level of product training.  Hope that is helpful!  I'll be really interested to see how you come out, and especially if you end up using gamification (I did the same Coursera course as Jerson...and agree, it is well worth doing!). Good luck!

    David Price

    Thanks for the suggestion of Coursera, I have registered but there are no upcoming courses.

    I have already run a focus group but we focused more on the contents of the induction rather than how it is delivered so maybe it is another workshop I need to run.

    In reply to your post Anne the induction is focused on inducting a new 1st line technical support agent.  The induction starts off talking about the company and its products and then moves into how an agent will support a customer over the phone. This includes company systems, customer service soft skills, etc.  There is a whole range of content throughout the 3 weeks.  We are a telecommunications company so I thought the travel theme may fit well as we are talking about using the internet, phone, mobile, etc. 

    I just look after out technical support departments based in the Philippines and India but other members of my team look after departments such as customer loyalty and customer services.  So we have different inductions depending on the department.

    I'm still working on my overall plan but have devised ways to make my courses more blended with eLearning as at the moment I would say more than 85% is PowerPoint led and is not at all engaging.

    Veeru Singh

    Thanks to all! Even I was facing he same problem as David...I too find it helpful.

    By the way, I need some links wherein I can see variety of online games and their concepts. Do antone of you know such links? I have not played online games except snake games and early be very frank. So I always want to have a look on some repository kind of links where variety of online games are described with at least one pic for each.


    Veeru Singh

    SOrry for typos


    By the way, I need some links wherein I can see variety of online games and their concepts. Do anyone of you know such links? I have not played online games except snake games and angry be very frank. So I always want to have a look on some repository kind of links where variety of online games are described with at least one pic for each.

    Denise Connelly

    Hi David ... could your content be organised into groups of:

    • Who we are - how you fit in
    • What we do - how your role contributes
    • How we do it - how you contribute 
    • Why we do it - how you help us achieve this
    • Where we do it - where you do it

    You could establish a colour code for each group and introduce this concept in the first welcome module.

    Then within each module you could have some sort of "breadcrumb" implied in the screen layout ... this way the learner can see how each module sits in the bigger picture.

    This isn't a gamification solution ... but you could make a final module/mission where there's a problem or misunderstanding in each of the "Who/What/How/Why/Where" areas ... the solution to each combines to a final organizational solution that equates to "success" (a bit of an escape room mentality).

    Actually, just re-reading your initial question I'm not sure I've understood plea for help ... but here's my two pen'th LOL

    Denise Connelly

    Actually, I've just remembered something I've used in the past ...

    ... scattered "easter eggs" throughout a module ... learner clicks to learn a random "fun" fact about the organisation.

    At the end ...

    • "Well done you spotted X out of Y fun facts. Do you want to go back and see if you can find more?"
    • "Well done you spotted ALL Y fun facts. Do you want to do a fun Quiz?"