Create a gamification design framework for onboarding training

How to set up a gamification design system for your new hire training

Onboarding training is mandatory, which usually draws inspiration from your new recruits. They are aware of the benefits and this is part of their new job description. However, this does not make the experience any less painful. The good news is that you can use game mechanics and serious games to spark their internal drive as well as set the tone for their entire duration. Gamification shows that your organization is constantly thinking about growth and valuing its human resources. You’re going that extra mile to keep them motivated and focused on filling those gaps. Follow these steps to develop a winning gamification design framework for your onboarding training program.

E-Book Release: Practice It: Tips for Using Training Games for Experimental Learning

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Put it into practice: Tips for using training games for experiential learning

This guide can help you put everything in context and harness the full power of game-based training in your L&D program!

7 steps to build a gamification design framework for better onboarding training

1. Learn about your new assignment

The most important question to ask about gamification design is: What ticks them? How can I motivate new recruits to improve their behavior and create favorable work habits? What motivates them to do better and achieve their true potential? The first step is to find out about your new recruits and their expectations, needs and goals. Conduct surveys and assessments to reveal gaps and how you can bridge them through game-based learning and / or gamefiction e-learning courses. You can also rely on experienced staff for feedback. What do they think is missing from your current strategy? Do they lack any skills, jobs or abilities in the beginning?

2. Storyboard and budget

Draw a storyboard to highlight the course layout and training activities. Include all relevant multimedia, support tools and modules. In the case of game-based learning designs, map out levels, characters, and interactions. It is time to create an accurate budget based on your objectives and results. How much can you allocate to GameFiction onboarding training materials? What about course maintenance? Do you need to hire additional staff for content development? That said, budgets need to be flexible. You may encounter problems with adding your expense, such as revised objectives or new compliance issues that arise during the development process.

3. Choose your rewards and game mechanics

Incentives and game mechanics are pillars of your gamification e-learning framework. You must choose rewards that motivate employees and actively employ them. However, these incentives must be aligned with the desired behavior and skill gaps. Staffers follow badges or try to get to the next level of serious games because they want to improve themselves. Their primary motivation is not the reward itself, but the change and professional growth that comes with it.

4. Separate GBL and Gamification components

Not like GBL gamefiction. That said, you can combine these methods to increase employee engagement and strengthen positive behavior. The key is to separate game-based learning from the gamification elements of your design. Know the limitations and advantages of each. Then select the best training tool for the job. For example, a one-time critical game can help employees refresh their memories and test their real-world applications, while a gamefiction course uses badges and points to improve knowledge retention and expand their experience.

5. Find the right team and equipment

This is actually a gradual process that coincides with the previous step. You must compile a team of GBL developers who possess unique skills and understand the company’s vision. They also need the tools to work their magic and captivate your newly hired audience and create content that is easy to use. Keep in mind that some employees are unfamiliar with learning technology. They don’t have to learn control of the game in the first week or try to access support resources.

6. Gather feedback

Once you have all the key planning elements like storyboard and activity layout, collect feedback from the team. Employees can help you identify neglected challenges or gaps that you need to cover in GBL training. It is also wise to host feedback sessions after each new higher training round. Ask new employees how they feel about the course and if there are any emerging gaps they have revealed. Did the rewards fuel their drive or make them feel isolated? Did the experience feel fragmented? If so, is there a way to combine all gameplay elements with thematic elements or rearrange the content?

7. Consider an e-learning content provider

An e-learning content provider can help you bypass many of these steps, but not all. You still need to clarify your objectives, create a budget and work with them to find the right rewards and game mechanics. As well as investing in an LMS to place content and monitor new recruits. However, their experience can help you reduce the development timeline and expand your resources. Some even take it upon themselves to gather feedback before launch to identify problem areas. Start with an online directory and evaluate their ratings. Then set up a meeting to discuss your needs. Finally, hire them for a pilot project to test their skills and see if they are suitable for your company.


A successful gamification design framework begins and ends with employee involvement. You need their input to customize your strategy and address the personal areas for improvement. It is also important to choose your rewards and gaming elements based on employee preferences and desired behavior. Above all, aim at the stimulus. The primary goal is to motivate new recruits until their drive and determination begins, not to make points the focus of your training plan, and to reduce the importance of continuous performance management.

Which e-learning content provider is right for your onboarding training? Find the best outsourcing partners in our online directory. Search by industry, specialization area and solution to identify the best sellers in your price bracket.

Badges, points, levels, and serious games should not be a distraction. Or they don’t need an expert game designer. To implement a successful strategy you only need to know the basic rules of GBL. Download our ebook Put It Into Practice: Tips for using training games for experiential learning for internal privacy.

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