Onboarding new employees comes with a slew of challenges, expectations and opportunities. Creating an effective program is vital to both an employee’s success and the success of the company. Many companies, however, struggle with that process.

In a recent study, Nintex found that onboarding programs were a source of growing frustration for American employees that, if executed poorly, could prevent them from maximizing their potential. The study cited three significant processes within onboarding programs that employees felt were broken:

  • Becoming a part of the company culture
  • Process-based onboarding
  • Being properly introduced to colleagues

Implementing catalytic training games can address each of these broken processes and work to create a cohesive, impactful onboarding program that makes employees more comfortable on day one and retains them longer. The best training games are catalytic – they’re fun, purposeful group activities that are grounded in the best practices of effective teaming, based on a proven architecture to combine a diversity of tactile and cerebral collaborative challenges.

Company Culture

Fitting in with the culture of a company can play a huge role in an employee’s success. The onboarding program is where employees are introduced to this culture and learn how it operates within the organization as a whole. Using well-designed, purposeful gamification with the group early and often emphasizes the impact of teamwork and encourages employees to seek help when necessary, develop social currency and find value in versatility.

A catalytic training game is grounded in the principles of effective teaming with thoughtful game flow and challenge elements organized in a fashion that allows for information-gathering, plan formulation, allocation of resources, collaborative problem-solving, performance benchmarking and dynamic adaptation.

Process-Based Onboarding

Traditional onboarding activities can be overwhelming if they are limited to company procedure, policy and training. Implementing catalytic training games can serve multiple purposes here:

  • Break up information overload: Fun, purposeful games, when placed intermittently throughout your onboarding program, provide much-needed interactivity and mental exercise.
  • Create more engaged learners: By leading with purposeful games, employees become more engaged and are more likely to participate in activities and challenges.
  • Increase knowledge retention: Engaging learners with purposeful games makes them more receptive to subsequent training and ensures that they’ll retain information they’ve been given during the onboarding program.

For a training game to be effective in the onboarding process, all participants must be enthusiastically involved. Catalytic training games increase engagement through a variety of design methods, including a compelling, immersive storyline; a variety of challenges that provide an opportunity for all to be actively involved; and an overall design that results in a sense of accomplishment and social fulfillment.

Bonding With Colleagues

Onboarding programs are a great place for new employees to meet, learn about each other and bond over shared experiences. Because they place a heavy emphasis on effective teaming, catalytic training games break down awkward social barriers and encourage colleagues to work together to overcome challenges and complete tasks. Games with a variety of cerebral and tactile challenges also bring to the surface the strengths and weaknesses of individuals within the group, which is valuable information for each employee as he or she works with colleagues in the future.

The principles of effective teaming and the value of diversity are underscored throughout catalytic training games by virtue of affinity tied to small victories that prompt celebration and cross-communication. Further, post-game reflection guided by a customized debriefing outline teases out reflections on team strengths and areas for improvement.

Adding catalytic training games to your onboarding program will reinforce your company culture, create a more effective process-based program, and form immediate bonds between colleagues, leading to a highly energized corps of new hires.