Take the Boring out of Onboarding | Paradigm Learning

Take the Boring out of Onboarding

Posted by Lauren Keen on April 19, 2018

You may have noticed an uptick in articles and posts about orientation and onboarding in the last couple of years. It seems organizations have come to the realization that dry, boring, paperwork-heavy orientation programs need to go the way of the dodo. One of our clients said it best, “New employees need to be able to answer the question, ‘Did I choose to work at the right place?’ with a resounding ‘Yes!’ at the end of orientation.” 

Although many of our existing solutions have been used in new hire orientations, we never created a solution for that specific purpose. Last year, we set about to create a new, custom game that would take existing content and make it more fun and engaging. In essence, we took two decades of experience with business simulations and Discovery Maps® and combined them to create Embark.

Put simply, Embark is a framework in which our designers work with client SMEs to create engaging discussions, trivia, activities, exercises, and scenarios, resulting in a 3-or 4-round game. This framework allows for client-created breakout sessions in between rounds. The topics of each round vary, although we envision the first will always be about culture, mission, vision, values, and/or history.

Last May, we debuted our prototype at ATD in Atlanta. An instructional design team from a nearby university saw it and spoke with a member of the Paradigm team. Months later, we entered a partnership to customize Embark for them. This higher education client will be deploying the game in an orientation program for leaders, those promoted from within as well as external hires in May 2018, so each participant will have at least one direct report. The game will be part of their two-day program and every year around 200 leaders will experience it.

Since leaders are our focus, the topics of the rounds are geared towards them:

1. Culture and history

2. Performance management

3. Employee development

4. Employee relations

Upon reading this list, it's easy to see how gamifying this subject matter would be a game-changer.

We’re just getting started when it comes to Embark and we’re excited to work with client teams and leverage our joint creativity. Almost any focus area can fit into this flexible framework.

Think now about your organization’s orientation and onboarding programs. How would your participants answer, “Did I choose to work at the right place?”

Find out if your onboarding is missing the mark. Read our Secrets to Successful Onboarding, HERE!

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