gamification for onboarding staff

Onboarding gamification: 3 Ways to Use Gamification for Onboarding Staff

You may hear about it a lot but still be unsure what it is, which is why we are here to tell you all about gamification! Gamification is a technique used not only as a façade of fun employee training, but also to seamlessly onboard new employees.

In the onboarding process for new employees, it is essential to keep them engaged and motivated to learn details about the company, big or small. Gamification is a powerful tool for onboarding staff, boosting employee performance in a multitude of different roles and departments.

Elements of gamification in EdApp’s microlearning LMS include points, badges, leaderboards and ‘real’ rewards, such as Uber vouchers. Imagine how many Uber pool trips you can snatch with that. Just take me around town, thanks.

Tailoring onboarding programs for each different person is frankly impossible which is why gamification through microlearning modules is so important. It keeps giving learners positive feedback for their learning, playing on the serotonin produced by positive reinforcement.

We’ve spent a lot of time working with companies improving their course completion rates with gamification and we have summed up 3 golden rules that we’ve learned to use gamification for onboarding staff in the most effective way possible:

1. Have a focus on employee behaviours and benefits

By this, we mean know what exactly you would like to achieve from all of this. Business objectives are, for instance, increasing employee productivity and confidence. Employee performance is automatically boosted when they feel confident in the company and in their role. Meeting the goals of the employee, often aligns with the business’ own goals – a win-win situation really.

2. Make sure gamification is packed with intrinsic motivation

Gartner is a global research company which provides insights into corporate functions across the world, such as HR, Customer Service and Support and Supply Chain functions. They reported that an estimated 80% of workplace gamification fails due to a lack of creativity and meaning. Intrinsic forms of motivation are one of the sole reasons gamification is effective for staff onboarding. Intrinsic, referring to emotional needs, opposed to extrinsic, referring to rewards incentives, are powerful when associated with learning. Gamification works though a combination of providing learners with a sense of achievement, coupled with extrinsic rewards.

Whether or not gamification is entertaining, it will not motivate employees to do something they do not want to. This is why you must first understand the goals of employees, to create microlearning modules that they are interested in, enhanced by gamification to motivate them.

3. It is also important to consider how gamification can be used after the onboarding of staff

Once the benefits of gamification has been seen in the onboarding of employees, it is then useful to consider how the benefits can be extended into their employment long-term, as ongoing training. This is where microlearning LMS systems come in. Modules can be continually updated, keeping up with trends and technological advancements in the industry.


When incorporating a leaderboard or other tracking method (that pits the new hires against one another) or provides them with their progress towards completing the process of being ready to start work, they are more inclined to put in the extra effort to get it done. Imagine having a few new hires instantly seeing the progress of other employees that are set to start on the same day. Each one will work hard to complete the training first, so they make the best impression.

Personalized Gaming

Design specific games that act as a simulator for what the new hire will be doing. These virtual games will allow them to practice their job, understand what is expected of them and get them ready to be productive from day one. Cashiers can pretend to cash out customers and learn how to deal with guests, without having to work directly with the customers until they are ready.

Goals and Paths to follow

Your gaming should include goals that the users can achieve and a clearly-defined path to follow, so that the employees will understand what is expected of them. The users should know exactly what is expected for them, so that they can follow the process. This will help introduce them to what they will be doing and to the way your organization does the things they do.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to try Ed Microlearning and its gamification features, get in touch at You can also try EdApp’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here.