Onboarding is a boring and mundane process. In most companies, new hires feel isolated and disengaged during onboarding. A typical onboarding process involves lengthy orientation sessions, piles of paperwork, and unengaging lectures. However, with the rise in hybrid works and technology, companies are looking for ways to enhance their onboarding experience. Onboarding gamification is one of the solutions for this problem. In this article we are going to explore why onboarding gamification is the future of candidate engagement, and how it benefits both employers and employees.

Gamification = Connection + Interaction + Challenge

CTA 1 onboarding gamification

What is Onboarding Gamification 🎮?

Onboarding gamification integrates game mechanics and elements to make it more interactive and engaging. This consists of elements such as leaderboards, badges, and rewards to motivate and engage new employees. The goal of onboarding gamification is to make the onboarding process more enjoyable and effective, and to ultimately improve employee retention.

4 Benefits of Onboarding Gamification

There are numerous benefits to using gamification in the onboarding process. Here are just a few:

  1. Increased Engagement: Onboarding processes are tedious and mundane, but gamification makes it more engaging and enjoyable. Employees are more likely to pay attention and retain information when they are having fun. Moreover, getting rewarded for timely completion of set tasks makes it more appealing to the new hires.
  2. Improved Retention: Gamification also improves retention rates. By making the onboarding process more memorable and engaging, employees are more likely to remember the information they learned during training.
  3. Better Performance: When rewards and feedbacks are tied to the tasks in onboarding, it is more likely to motivate new hires to be productive. 
  4. Cost-Effective: Onboarding gamification is also a cost-effective solution for employers. By using technology and online platforms, companies can save on the costs associated with traditional onboarding methods.

Also Read: 6 Ways to Enhance the Candidate Onboarding Process using Automation

3 Examples of Gamified Onboarding

Many companies have already started to incorporate gamification into their onboarding process. Here are a few examples:

  1. Deloitte: Deloitte created a game called “Road to Green Dot” to teach new employees about the company’s values and culture. The game includes quizzes, videos, and interactive activities to engage new hires.
  2. McDonald’s: McDonald’s created a game called “McDonald’s Quest” to train new employees on food safety and restaurant procedures. The game includes different levels and challenges, and employees are rewarded with badges and prizes for completing each level.
  3. IBM: IBM created an onboarding game called “Think Academy” to teach new employees about the company’s history, culture, and values. The game includes virtual tours, quizzes, and challenges, and employees are rewarded with badges and points for completing each task.

CTA 2 onboarding gamification

How to Implement Gamification in Your Onboarding Process

Implementing onboarding gamification doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Identify Goals: Determine what you want new employees to learn and which tasks you want them to complete during the onboarding process, and how gamification can help achieve those goals.
  2. Choose a Platform: Choose a platform or tool that allows you to incorporate game mechanics and elements into the onboarding process, like our latest HireLoop platform.
  3. Gamify the Onboarding: Gamify your onboarding process to make it engaging and interactive, and that aligns with your company culture and values.
  4. Test and Evaluate: Test the gamified onboarding process with a small group of employees to identify any areas for improvement, and evaluate the effectiveness in achieving your onboarding goals.

Also read: 13 New Employee Onboarding Challenges & Tips to Overcome Them [2023]

The Psychology Behind Onboarding Gamification

Non-gamified onboarding vs gamified onboarding

Companies can tap into the same psychological triggers a game would trigger in a person by incorporating those elements into the onboarding process. Usually when people compete, they try to beat the others to the finish line. This is exactly what it does to the people onboarded with gamification. Emotions and behaviours like motivation, completion, and achievements are triggered in most cases, making it more compelling to complete. Making it engaging and motivating to the new hires.

Positive reinforcements are another benefit of gamification. Onboarding gamification leverages the power of positive reinforcements to encourage certain desired behaviours. This is achieved by giving out rewards for completing tasks or achieving milestones. New hires are more likey to repeat those behaviors in the future, leading to better performance, engagement and retention.

Additionally, gamification can tap into employees’ natural desire for autonomy and mastery. By providing employees with clear goals and immediate feedback, gamification empowers employees to take control of their own onboarding process. This can lead to increased motivation and job satisfaction.


4 Potential Challenges of Onboarding Gamification

While onboarding gamification can offer numerous benefits, there are also potential challenges to consider. These include:

  1. Overcomplicating the Process: Complex formats of gamification can be difficult to navigate for new hires which makes it frustrating. This can have an opposite effect on the onboarding experience and engagement. 
  2. Losing the Human Touch: There are possibilities that by gamifying the onboarding process, the level of human interactions may be lessened. It is important to balance the use of technology with personal interactions to ensure new employees feel welcome and supported.
  3. Limited Accessibility: Not all employees may have access to the necessary technology or equipment to participate in gamified onboarding. This may limit the applicability of this procedure.
  4. Misaligned Goals: If the gamified onboarding process does not align with the company’s goals or culture, it may not be effective in achieving desired outcomes. It is crucial to align company goals with the gamification of the onboarding process.



Onboarding gamification is an innovative method to improve the onboarding experience and engagement for new hires. By incorporating game elements, you can increase the engagement, improve retention, and boost performance. Even though there are upsides to implementing a gamified onboarding process, there are downsides too. It is important to consider these potential challenges and ensure that the gamified onboarding process aligns with your company goals and objectives. This is a revolutionary method to train and develop new employees into a new organisation.


Follow us on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages to stay updated with the latest articles, videos, announcements, and more.


Onboarding Playbook for Hiring Managers