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Gamified Onboarding: The Secret Sauce to Effectively Onboard Millennials and Gen Z

9 minutes read

Millennials and Gen Z: A generation of gamers

Workplaces around the world are getting filled with a new generation of employees as Gen Z college graduates are joining millennials in the workforce. The baby boomers are retiring in droves. The new generation is expected to take over and rule the workplaces across the globe.

Each generation of workers comes with certain traits. Here are some unspoken traits of millennials and Gen Z:

  • Millennials and Gen Z have been brought up in the “digital era” and are tech-savvy

  • Most of them grew up playing video games and they find fun and excitement in the digital games

  • They tend to love workplace fun more than the previous generation

  • They have a short attention span and this means that they are looking for shorter instructions, more action, and instant gratification.

  • They love to stay in control of their learning

  • They constantly seek out new career opportunities at every turn

  • They have a hunger for self-validation and self-fulfillment. Rewards and benefits are a must-have, and the work they do has to mean something.

Research from PWC states that this generation is set to form an estimated 75% of the workforce by 2025. So, organizations are thinking about creative ways in which they can onboard, train, and engage these new-gen employees.

One such creative solution is to introduce gamification into the onboarding process.


What is Gamified onboarding?

Gamified onboarding is an approach where you engage workers in corporate onboarding and training activities using game elements like points, levels, rewards, gratification, and feedback. Gamification uses refined tools of video games and apps to drive engagement with the onboarding content.

There’s a good reason that gamification works for millennial and Gen Z workers. Someone who was born in or after 1996, would have never seen a world without high-speed internet. They are used to having instant access to almost any information they’ve ever wanted to know. Chances are, they’ve been using apps and playing video games for most of their life.

Gamified training feels exactly like using a fun app or playing an exciting online game. So, for this generation, gamified onboarding is more natural, more fun, and more effective than any passive alternative.


Gamified Onboarding - Benefits

Here are some perks of gamifying your onboarding process

1. Creates a positive image of the company

The first impression is always the best impression. And youngsters today are known to form impressions quickly. The onboarding process is the first opportunity for a company to make an impression on the new hires. If your onboarding program is old-fashioned and boring, that’s the perception they will have about your company as well.

A gamified onboarding program offers a cool way to:
  • Present your training content
  • Create brand awareness
  • Make your reps practice their selling skills
  • And engages them with work using games

2. Fosters Motivation

The new-gen employees need to be motivated frequently to keep up their learning and job performance. They are not content with simply knowing what they need to do. They need to find interest and motivation to do it.

Gamification taps into intrinsic forms of motivation such as competency, autonomy, and emotional needs, and encourages participation. It uses assets such as badges, leaderboards, and performance graphs to motivate the youngsters to complete their learning and work.

3. Improves productivity and engagement levels

Your new hires will be most productive and engaged when they have fun while training. By incorporating gamification into your onboarding you will be able to make the training process extremely enjoyable for them.

For example:

  • You can present the training content in various creative formats like infographics, videos, images, storyboards, etc. Your employees will surely enjoy learning when their training content is crisp and visually appealing.
  • You can conduct quiz contests regularly for your new hires and reward the top 3 reps who score the highest in the quiz with exciting prizes. This allows you to measure knowledge retention amongst your new hires. And motivates them to actively engage themselves in learning in order to perform well in the quiz.
  • You can conduct individual or team-oriented games around achieving targets and reward the reps who meet or exceed the targets. This helps in motivating your new hires to work productively.

These kind of contests, games, and digital content help in significantly improving the engagement and productivity levels of your employees.


4. Increases retention rates

An effective onboarding program can get your new employees past those critical first 6 months when an estimated 86% of new hires make the decision to stay or leave a company.

Gamification makes your onboarding program effective and helps to reduce employee attrition by making each individual empowered and productive as quickly as possible.

According to various studies, the top reason why an employee quits his job is due to the lack of fun, motivation and interest. By gamifying onboarding, you will be able to make learning and completing tasks fun and interesting for your new employees. As a result of this, you will see a 50% improvement in employee engagement and retention rates.


5. Aligns business goals with onboarding

Gamification helps you to create a structured onboarding program where you can build training content and activities for new hires with key business goals in mind. This alignment is crucial as it lays the foundation for how your new hires perceive:

  • Your company,

  • Their day-to-day-work

  • And overall business goals

By aligning onboarding games and activities with key company goals– businesses can reinforce core values and instill the right habits from day one.


6. Better understanding of progress and areas of improvement

A structured and goal-oriented onboarding program facilitates a better understanding of the new hires’ progress and areas of improvement.

Gamified onboarding allows you to gather feedback and data, and use that information for evaluation cycles that are key to continuous improvement.

Sales competitions, for example, generate data that can be used to track the progress of each individual new hire and also the progress of the program itself.

7.Gives control to the learners

The new-age learners look forward to taking ownership of their learning tasks and outcomes. So, what better way than gamification to fulfill their desire.

When training is gamified, participation is voluntary. You can just tell them what’s expected from them and let them get started on a journey of exploration and discovery.

Learners feel in control of the learning process as they complete levels and unlock further levels in the onboarding process.


How SmartWinnr helps in conducting Gamified Onboarding?

Let us now see how SmartWinnr helps you to drive a 3 months gamified new hire onboarding process

1-30: Learn

The first month of the training is all about getting your new hires started on the right foot. They should emerge from this month with thorough knowledge on:

  • Products and Services

  • Pricing

  • Existing collaterals

  • Market landscape

  • Industry’s compliances and policies

  • Customers

  • Sales process

  • Sales methodologies

  • Objection handling techniques

You must be conducting this training in a classroom or a virtual classroom (via Zoom, Teams, WebEx).

Supplement this training with SmartWinnr’s mobile-first virtual training platform in order to ensure that your learners remember and retain the crucial information that they gained from the training for a long time.
  • Send regular knowledge reinforcements to your new hires. Break down your lengthy training content into bite-sized information nuggets. Convert those nuggets into various rich media formats like infographics, animated videos, images, etc. Then, deliver the microlearning feeds to the new hire at regular intervals (twice a week) through the SmartWinnr app.

    Microlearning Feeds in SmartWinnr - SmartFeeds
  • Follow up the knowledge reinforcements with short quiz tests. This helps you access the knowledge retention amongst your new hires. And, helps your new hires to recall crucial information. Reward the top 3 reps with the highest score in each quiz with exciting prizes

  • Twice a month, assign structures learning paths with various modules to the new hires to complete. Each module will contain a mix of training content like videos, PDF’s, Just-in-time learning content, assessments, etc. Now the new hires need to finish these modules in a sequence in order to finish the whole learning path.

    You can unlock learning paths in order to take the learners through the path in a sequence. For example:

    • You can set a condition that a learner can access the next module only after completing the module before that.

    • You can set a condition that the learner has to achieve 80% score in a module in order to proceed to the next module

    • You can set a condition that a module will be available for the learners to access only on a specific date.

Set a deadline and assign points to the learners who finish the entire course or some important modules before the deadline. You can reward their active participation and completion with virtual or tangible rewards.

Structured Learning Paths in SmartWinnr - SmartPaths


30-60: Practice

Month #2 is all about putting month #1’s learning into practice. Focus on building practical knowledge around your new hires’ theoretical knowledge.

Use SmartWinnr’s Video Coaching to accomplish this. Here is how the video coaching works: Assign video coaching assignments to your new hires around various sales scenarios or conversations. Ask them to record a video in response to the sales scenario and submit it. This makes your reps to practice their response several times until it comes out perfect

Once they submit their video– the trainer reviews them and provides a score and feedback based on the performance. The trainer can also mark a particularly good video from a new hire as the “Top Video” and share it with everyone.

Reward all the reps who have done a good job and scored the highest in video coaching. Also, present special prizes to those whose videos are marked as “Top Video”.

Example video coaching assignment: Customer says that your pricing is too high when compared to the competitor XYZ who is offering the same services. Record a video showing how you would handle this objection.


60-90: Do

The third month of training is about giving the new reps some real sales world exposure. You want to assign smaller and simpler sales tasks and see how your new reps are going to perform.

Use SmartWinnr’s Sales Contests for this. Create and conduct sales contests around various tasks for your new hires. Set targets for each task which the sales reps need to achieve.

For example, you could ask the new hire to reach out to a certain number of prospects and convert 50% of them to the next phase of the buying journey. Or you could conduct a contest and encourage your new hires to close their first deal.

Measure the performance of each rep in these competitions on a live leaderboard. The reps who successfully meet or exceed the targets will win the competitions and get rewarded with exciting prizes.

Sales Competition Leaderboard in SmartWinnr
Want to know how to gamify your onboarding program using SmartWinnr? Get in touch with us today!

Published on Sun Sep 27 2020

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