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16 November 2022

The onboarding process for new workers is their first interaction with the business, and as we all know, first impressions are crucial. And yet, a Gallup study found that over 88% of businesses struggle with onboarding. As a result, employees are twice as likely to look for a new job soon after being hired.

When you don’t do a good job of onboarding new employees to help them adjust to their new positions, learn the nuances and company culture, clearly understand their role and what is expected of them, feel welcome, and build relationships with their coworkers, you’re putting them in a lot of trouble. And they can only take so many challenges before giving up and deciding to quit.

As a result, ineffective onboarding processes account for more than 20% of employee turnover during the first 45 days. Companies lose a lot of money as a result of poor adaptation strategies. Hiring new employees costs around $4,000 on average. When employees leave, it costs about 16% to 20% of the worker’s salary to replace them. Meanwhile, companies with effective and positive onboarding strategies increased employee retention by 59% and new hire productivity by 70%. Employees who have gone through a quality onboarding process are 34 times more likely to achieve full competency in their roles. Furthermore, the likelihood that they will remain with the company increases by 82%.

However, the onboarding process is not simple. Companies are constantly looking for new ways to attract and, more importantly, retain talent. How do you keep employees motivated, introduce them to work quickly and easily, and encourage them to give their all? One possible solution is to gamify the integration process so that it is more motivating, fun, and effective.

What exactly does gamifying training, onboarding, and other processes imply? To ensure that we are on the same page, let us use the following definition.

“Gamification in the workplace setting is a business strategy aimed at keeping individuals motivated intrinsically. It is commonly defined as “the use of game design elements in a non-game context” (Deterding et al., 2011, p. 10). Since its introduction in the early 2000s, gamification has become a very popular practice in workplace settings (Werbach & Hunter, 2012).” (Gamification in Dutch Businesses: An Explorative Case Study, B. I. J. M. Van der Heijden and &)

More and more businesses are incorporating game design elements into their onboarding processes.

According to a TalentLMS Gamification of Work survey of over 900 employees conducted in 2019:

  • 89% of employees respond that game elements make them feel more productive;
  • 88% are happier at work;
  • 33% would like more game-like features in their employee training software.
  • 61% of the respondents receive training with gamification.
  • 83% of those who receive gamified training feel motivated
  • 61% of those who receive non-gamified training feel bored and unproductive
  • Gamification in the workplace has a significant impact on employee engagement, motivation, and psychology.
  • 89% believe they’d be more productive if their work was more gamified.
  • 78% of the respondents say that gamification in the recruiting process would make a company more desirable (but more on that later).


In short, when compared to traditional learning, gamification appears to increase learning motivation while decreasing boredom and unproductiveness.

However, how should it be done, and which professions are appropriate for gamified onboarding?

The answers to these questions have been addressed by Idein EOOD, the Bulgarian Association for People Management (BAUH), and Dutch serious games company IJsfontein.

With the help of the EC and the Erasmus+ program, for 18 months we will work together to develop and test a methodology for gamification of the onboarding process in Bulgarian and European companies.

Hello and welcome to the ONBOARD project: Organizational orientation and socialization of a new generation. It is funded with 60,000.00 euros from the Erasmus + Small Cooperation Partnerships program.

It is designed to be a co-creative effort between our team and the business. This project is for you if your company wants to improve its onboarding strategy. You will have numerous chances to participate! Follow the news stories on our websites and LinkedIn profiles.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.