Gamified Onboarding to Win the Battle Over New Hire Retention

Starting a new position in a contact center can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. New employees want to get up to speed quickly on the company’s products, processes, and people. Employers want new hires to feel welcomed, and educate and train them efficiently and effectively to reduce the amount of time it takes for them to become fully productive. Employers also want to engage new employees in the corporate culture and keep the onboarding process from becoming tedious to ensure they stay with the company.

Beating the odds with Gamification Onboarding
According to a study by BambooHR, one-third of all new hires quit their job within the first six months. But a great onboarding experience can help companies beat these odds. O. C. Tanner cites that employees who have a great onboarding experience are 69% more likely to stay with a company for at least three years.

Onboarding programs that help new employees learn their job and how to do it well, understand how they can contribute to bigger picture corporate goals, and quickly establish a sense of community, start to engage new workers from day one. They also help to raise overall job satisfaction which directly correlates to the ongoing success of your company.

To achieve a winning onboarding strategy, many companies are leveraging gamification to remove the tedium of traditional programs and accelerate learning. New employees absorb more information faster and have a lot of fun in the process – regardless of their different roles in the organization or level of prior experience. Gamification, which uses game mechanics to encourage desired behaviors, offers a consistent and automated way to reward new employees for early achievement as well as on-going progress.

Sekure Merchant Solutions, a provider of merchant processing solutions, services over 20,000 businesses monthly and completes nearly 120,00 outbound calls a day. They recently deployed Noble Systems gamification and saw a dramatic improvement in new hires’ understanding of their goals. According to Matt Coffey, GM at Sekure Merchants, “Based on first-day surveys done prior to deploying gamification, only 40-50% of them knew their goals. After deploying gamification this figure rose to over 90%.”

In addition to using gamification for onboarding and ongoing development, companies are beginning to utilize gamification as part of the pre-join experience as well.

Raise the bar on your pre-join experience
There is usually a period of time that elapses between acceptance of the job offer and the new employee’s first day. It is just as important to make a good impression before they arrive in the contact center as it is during their first week on the job. The pre-join experience is a great time to engage new hires by introducing them to the company’s value proposition and culture. You can provide links to company newsletters and inspiring videos from customers, partners and long-term employees. By tracking viewership of these assets and awarding points or badges with gamification demonstrates your willingness to invest in their success, even before their official start date. It also gives them a sense of community. Allowing pre-join employees to access other materials to broaden their knowledge and then tracking and rewarding them for taking the initiative to learn before their first day in the office also helps managers gauge the new hire’s enthusiasm and technology aptitude.

Gamify your onboarding process to benefit your business
Gamification can help companies avoid losing new employees after just a few months from their hire date. It does so by educating them on the history of the company, processes, and tools during onboarding in a dynamic way. It also welcomes new employees and integrates them into the team as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

From the start, gamification can track and reward even the smallest of achievements. For example, you can reward new employees for simple tasks such as filling out paperwork, completing tax forms and getting ID badges. You can also reward them for attending security training, ethics training, interviewing a number of employees for best practice tips or making a certain number of cold calls the first week on the job. The accomplishment of short-term goals like these raises the level of confidence in new employees and motivates them to push toward full productivity.

Many companies also use gamified onboarding to reward new hires for demonstrating aptitude and the correct usage of sales tools such as customer relationship management (CRM), workforce management (WFM), and any other systems they will be required to use each week.

According to ERG, companies that have gamified the onboarding process have enjoyed a 48% boost in engagement as well as a 36% improvement in employee turnover. The interactive nature of gamification goes a long way in raising the excitement of employees regarding their new role. Gamifying these early and crucial tasks reduces the pressure on new hires and offers a great way to provide opportunities for quick wins. From there, gamification rewards skill development and fosters knowledge retention connecting the company goals with those of each individual employee.

Sekure Merchant Solutions leveraged Noble Gamification to reduce contact center agent turnover, increase operational efficiency and improve agent and supervisor productivity.  The system was comprised of one TV Leaderboard application that broadcasts results, competitions and achievements across 16 televisions throughout the call center. In addition, Noble Gamification created 4 distinct user interfaces that aligned features to each level of Sekure Merchant’s organizational hierarchy. At its core, the gamification solution clearly displayed goals for each agent, team, and supervisor through unique KPI scorecards. As a result of this effort, Sekure lowered agent turnover by a staggering net effect of 62%. Gamification also helped the company achieve a 15% increase in leads generated and a 12.5% increase in transfer conversions.

Beyond Onboarding
Integrating gamification elements into your pre-join and onboarding process engages new employees from the get-go. Now, how do you keep them engaged and motivate them on an ongoing basis? For many companies, gamification is the answer. Gamifying perpetual learning for new hires and all employees, and then displaying leaderboards throughout the facility encourages friendly competition and provides continual feedback on individual and team performance. Providing new challenges helps employees to achieve new levels of success for themselves, their team and the company. As employees demonstrate new proficiencies, gamification can grant access to new levels, points and rewards.

In today’s business environment, a renewed focus on onboarding is a great place to start. But it’s not enough. Creating and maintaining a culture of learning every day is key to ongoing success. Continuous improvement in all areas of the contact center – from operational efficiency and agent quality to increased productivity, compliance and revenue is required for year-over-year business growth. Gamification is the ideal solution to help you achieve it.

What successes have you had incorporating gamification in the pre-join, onboarding and ongoing employee development process?