Gamification for new employees probably sounds like a silly and unwise thing to consider attempting. After all, gamification is a new concept, and one that may or may not be proven to be workable. And new employees are generally expected to be on their best, most serious behavior as they are brought into a new job, new corporate culture and new way of thinking. Therefore, you may find yourself thinking this is just a bit of wishful thinking, that it’s impossible and probably brings little benefit if attempted.
To view a previous post Training Station post on gamification, click here.
I would like to argue on the contrary actually, and for good reason. The serious, walking on eggshells experience of being a new employees, and being arduously trained for the first year of one’s life with a company is dreadful. It’s nerve wracking and stressful, which leads to risk of failing on the fly evaluations by superiors, as well as inferior work and inferior learning.
It’s also important for an employee to feel positive about the corporate culture they are entering, and as most have the ice broken by being shoved head long into the deep bitter cold, first impressions are often poor.
I believe gamification for new employees would relieve these problems, and make the training period much more efficient and speedy. How can this be, you might ask? Well, for one, gamification makes a task more pleasurable to the brain, as well as less intimidating. Playing to the natural human instinct to fulfill leisurely challenges in sets of rules, gamification makes the process less painful, less stressful and more fun.
As a result of this, especially in a company that practices gamification elsewhere, first impressions are positive and enjoyable, and work remains a pleasure in the employee’s life, rather than a terrifying drudgery which must be endured. Add to this the fact that, with a system in place for gamification, the employees will be driven to learn and do so creatively, and you have a much less painful orientation process than ever existed before.
So, we see the benefits, but how do we implement it? It’s not difficult really. How much of a game, depth-wise, it becomes is entirely up to you, but it wouldn’t hurt to go all out with it. It’s fun to be creative.
Itemize all of the employee perks that come from being a fully trained employee of any position. Which of these are amenities? Rate them by value, and deny the new employee all but one. Now, itemize the training and levels of effectiveness in a work related task. Assign success at meeting standards a level of points. As an employee reaches a certain level, they unlock a new perk. Free coffee, donuts, or even more extravagant things if the company has particularly nice amenities.
Work out also group rewards such as pizzas at lunch one afternoon or other affordable incentives that encourage groups of new employees to work together to learn and improve, if groups of size exist.
The employees will be so hung up in getting good at their job to impress those who already have the luxuries, to worry about the normal anxieties present. And it will be much faster.
So, now that we can clearly show on paper that gamification for new employees is beneficial, and that it is entirely possible in most situations, why is there any debate on this?