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Induction: it can be great!

Darryn and Bronwyn Van Den Berg
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After recruitment, induction is the next vital step in any business strategy because when not done well, induction can greatly affect your bottom line. This means that you'll want to create a high-performance environment right from the start. One of our large clients recently commented: "When the company started, we used to run induction programmes. Every consultant had to attend BEFORE arriving at our customers. It was SO successful and increased our business... Now we have become too busy to conduct inductions." WHY has the induction programme been left to... rot?

After recruitment, induction is the next vital step in any business strategy because when not done well, induction can greatly affect your bottom line. This means that you'll want to create a high-performance environment right from the start. One of our large clients recently commented: "When the company started, we used to run induction programmes. Every consultant had to attend BEFORE arriving at our customers. It was SO successful and increased our business... Now we have become too busy to conduct inductions." WHY has the induction programme been left to... rot?

The challenge is that induction is the first REAL taste your new employees get of your organisation, your culture, expectations and vision. Very often, they walk straight into a stale, boring and disengaging experience. Crazy to think that we neglect this vital first step when we, as business owners, are strategising and searching for different ways to encourage and ENGAGE our workforce.

Very often, induction is sadly only about these three factors:

  1. A brief look at company structures,
  2. Handing out of the entire standard operating procedure as well as the study of perhaps five key policies, and

3. Connecting of other newbies through forced interaction or, perhaps, mostly boring and non-engaging games.

A great induction programme must engage new employees in the company

You want them to be immersed in all that you are, from day one, so their transition is fast, easy and smooth. The engagement shouldn't stop after the last training day but continue to at least the end of their probation period. People only engage when what they're doing is FUN and of value!

At the moment, we're applying a gamification overlay to an induction programme with the entire programme moving away from traditional model of 'two days in a training venue with a lecturer'. This particular client has a focused and 'old school' culture and the climate is extremely competitive and time pressured.

Some of the mechanics in the gamification strategy design, which we're applying to the induction process, are:

  • World: an area in which the activity takes place: The world we've created is the actual business unit of the company. The four hours on the new employees' first day will show them how the gamification induction process works and WHERE this 'world', as a whole, fits into the corporation. The new employees become 'citizens' of the world.
  • Opt-in (the choice to participate or not): The employees now have a choice, There are two 'quests': to attend the extra one-an-a-half days of training (which have different mechanics attached) or complete the induction as a level-up process (where the tasks begin at an easy level, and progressively get more difficult) as well as one where new employees become engaged in your organisation.
  • Ambassadors (gurus, experts or pro players): As the employees progress through the different sections of the induction programme, their status is altered and elevated against a particular set of criteria. They then have the opportunity to be voted in as an 'ambassador'. These ambassadors have different engaging responsibilities that get them time out of the real workday. COOL, except they can also be 'fired'!
  • Local leader boards (position of how the employees are doing in a FOCUSED area in the world): These rank EACH employee based on how they achieve in the induction quest. These are useful, especially as our strategy unfolds into the future once per quarter (in line with the performance management process); the top leader (which is the fun/engagement element of "status") of the induction programme gains a reward.

This gamification strategy covers the entire induction process:

  • From signing up to the programme, to
  • The end of the probation period.

The employee spends a small amount of time, every day for five days IN their workplace, using fluid Intelligence (known as Gn, which the ability to find, access, assimilate and apply information) to achieve the quests from the induction course. During their probation period, they continue to engage with the other newbies and business 'masters' (leaders of the top performances) and 'ambassadors' (those who sell the concept without enticement) until their probation is complete.

What do you think? Do you think that you could use an induction process like this in your business?


Darryn and Bronwyn (husband and wife team) are energised, passionate and excited to teach gamification in a practical and real way, using fun, to link business, education and life. Combined with 19 years of international and national organisational development, behaviour and change management expertise, they love to share and enable business growth into new and uncharted territories. Come and join their adventure! Visit their website at http://p4d.co.za.


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