At many companies, employee orientation is a yawn-filled day in the conference room with the HR Manager going through the company policies and employee handbook. It’s boring for the new hire and gives the impression that you’re all about the rules and regulations.
So, we suggest incorporating a bit more fun into your new hire’s day one! Here are a few ways you can turn your employee orientation into a game and boost employee engagement from the get-go.
1. Interactive Presentation
Make your necessary policies and procedures presentation a little more exciting by making it interactive! Incorporate questions for your audience to answer, including ones about their previous work experience and personal life.
For example: Ask how they typically spend their PTO as you talk about your employee benefits. Ask them their favorite snack as you talk about how they can enjoy it only in the breakroom. Ask when they saw someone putting your core values into action and why it meant so much to them.
These questions make your presentation that much more lively and engaging, which gives new employees a better first impression of you and your organization. Bonus tip: have a quiz at the end with prizes!
2. Icebreaker Games
Ice breakers are great for dissipating nervousness on a new hire’s first day. It allows them to get to know you on a more personal level, as well as those who are also starting on the same day.
Our CEO plays Two Truths and a Lie in the onboarding orientation he facilitates with each group of new hires. In taking turns trying to fool the other employees, you get to build camaraderie, laugh together, and learn about who they are as a person rather than just an employee.
Check out more icebreaker ideas in this post!
3. Scavenger Hunt
This game can be executed in a couple different ways. If you want to be especially ambitious, give your new hires a map of your building and have them find a series of clues (and prizes!) before they return to the conference room. With this option, be sure to keep in mind that each new hire will be different. Some may love it and others might find it taxing for their first day. A best practice is to keep it short and sweet, and to make sure they aren’t running around like a maniac in front of the other employees.
Another way to implement a scavenger hunt is with your employee handbook. Give each new hire a sheet of paper with questions about your policies: How many days do we add to your PTO after five years of employment? What is the first core value listed in the handbook? Etc.
4. Game Show
Game shows are all the rage, and one of our favorites is classic Jeopardy, which can be easily integrated into a first-day orientation. Whether you give employees the handbook ahead of time and quiz them on their research or you play after the initial presentation, Jeopardy is a great team-building activity that’s sure to engage your new hires.
5. Level Up
This idea gets us past day one and into the weeks and months that follow. A great way to slowly yet surely integrate employees into their position is to create incremental challenges by setting smaller obtainable goals for their first few weeks. These goals could be set up so the only way they can move on to the next task is to complete the one before—i.e. completing a level before advancing to the next one.
For example: If you’re onboarding a new customer service representative, have them role-play with a fellow employee a certain number of times before they’re allowed to answer the phones.
Eyes on the Prize
No matter what games and activities you integrate into your employee orientation, one thing that’s essential to have is prizes. Winning prizes, medals, treats, or even a certificate will make your new hire feel accomplished and motivated. It’ll give them a good first impression of your organization, which will make them more likely to stick around for the long haul.
And speaking of employee retention, have you read our eBook about Winning Ways to Retain Your Customer Service Staff? Hint: onboarding is one of them.