Onboarding is an important element in the employee journey. It is the introduction to the preliminary activities where one or more employees are introduced to a company’s values, visions, and procedures – the organisational culture as a whole. Read more about how you achieve effective onboarding – through learning games that can give a manageable overview of connections and perspectives in organisations.

What is effective employee onboarding?

It’s through onboarding that new employees get the tools and information that are important for them to efficiently become productive and satisfied employees. Recruitment is one thing; the other is getting your employees to fit the culture. An important part of the organisational culture lies in the unity across the company – and between the different teams.

Here learning games might be an obvious method to use for onboarding. It gives new employees a great opportunity to get to know the team and the expertise they bring, so you also know who you can approach for specific challenges.

Effective onboarding isn’t just about making recruits fit in, but also about creating the necessary conditions for the recruit to slowly make their own impression and slowly grow as a part of the company culture – without them being pressured or stressed – to keep the employee in the company for longer.

The onboarding program is of course very different from company to company – and between employees. Onboarding isn’t the same as an orientation, onboarding is a much longer and more intensive process that can take up to a year to complete.

Improving onboarding: Digital onboarding and learning games

Onboarding is about recruits finding their space socially as well as professionally. Because our world is becoming more digitalised, onboarding procedures and access to information must be available and user-friendly. There are ways where you can improve employee onboarding, and there are many ways that you can expand onboarding training with creative solutions and inputs.

The brain learns more when it’s challenged to think creatively, or when employees get the opportunity to interact with the information and culture. It requires that some of the procedures become more manageable, through exercises, play, or analogue and digital learning games.

Activities in connection with onboarding are important if you want to tell a great story about your company. It’ll quickly create a solid affiliation and sense of safety. An onboarding strategy that takes time and is flavoured by some different exercises and activities will help store the information the recruit needs to learn. Here you can go further and introduce interactive, gamified content and learning which is customised to your company’s onboarding process.

At Copenhagen Game Lab we’re specialised in developing targeted learning games for onboarding, among others, that can help recruits efficiently assimilate while increasing their engagement and motivation from the beginning. Some of our learning games are about onboarding in a specific subject – like the work culture or the individual work assignments. While other games focus on creating unity within the team, team building and team development. Some learning games for onboarding could be:

In this learning game the recruit is introduced to the work culture of the team they’re a part of. The game is about getting to know each other by being put in different situations and potential conflicts. The game can also be used for a re-boarding process – and it would benefit everyone in the team – new as well as long term employees.

This learning game is based on onboarding through a digital training course. Here you have to navigate a digital supermarket and learn the many rules and procedures that follow being an employee here.

The employee has a list of tasks and situations they need to solve. During the game, they’ll be evaluated by a digital manager who comments on their choices and teaches them why their actions were either right or wrong. The facilitator of the game can use the results of the game to evaluate which departments and areas need a little extra training.

Why is onboarding important?

You can say that the onboarding process has become one of the most important areas of an employee’s employment. Everything that happens and doesn’t happen will have consequences for the following period. That’s why employees must get the right information to begin with, so they can create as much value for the company later on.

The benefits of an efficient onboarding are many; it’ll increase the collaboration between employees and managers, it will create more efficient and engaged employees and lastly, it’ll reduce stress and dissatisfaction among employees.

Some of the most important things you can get out of an onboarding process are:

  • A solid onboarding will allow recruits to identify goals and expectations from the beginning.
  • Build valuable relations and bridges between employees.
  • Create loyalty and trust among workers.

Onboarding isn’t something you should take easily – and it’s important to continuously re-evaluate if your onboarding process is good enough and creates the results you want long term. A lot of workers leave work within the first year – and that can be an inconvenient but also costly process for the companies. With a successful onboarding, you will not only create satisfied employees but also ambassadors for your company if an employee decides to leave one day.