The Journey to High Scores: Creating an Engaging, Inclusive, and Effective Onboarding Experience
Navigating through a new video game without a tutorial can be just as frustrating as trying to find a needle in a haystack. A game without directions leaves players feeling lost and unsure. Similarly, starting a new job without an effective onboarding process can be daunting and unsettling for new hires. Just as gamers need tutorials to help them navigate through new games, new hires, especially at a fledgling indie game studio, need an effective onboarding process to find their way around their new roles and the organization. In this article, we’ll be delving deep into the crucial role onboarding plays in cultivating and maintaining a strong and unique company culture, using the experiences of a rising indie game development star, Play On Words Studios, as our guiding star.
Part 1: Making a Lasting First Impression – The Way
First impressions are lasting impressions. This is especially true for your company’s onboarding process, and Play On Words Studios, despite being a young indie game studio, recognizes this. The onboarding process is their golden opportunity to set a strong, positive first impression that can shape a new hire’s perception and relationship with the company’s culture and values. To make this first experience a memorable one, Play On Words Studios employs an immersive, educational, and highly engaging onboarding process.
The unique onboarding approach at Play On Words Studios includes a comprehensive orientation that is far from a routine office tour or a mundane paperwork session. New hires are introduced to ongoing projects, given insights into past successes (and the occasional not-so-successful ventures), and taken through an interactive and fun-filled orientation session. This orientation is designed to keep new hires engaged, break the ice and help them understand and align with the company’s unique indie culture right from the start.
Part 2: The Experience – Tailored Onboarding
At Play On Words Studios, onboarding is much more than just a one-off process; it is an ongoing experience designed to help new hires feel valued, welcomed, and prepared for their roles. As a fledgling indie game studio, they understand the importance of crafting an onboarding experience that can successfully integrate new hires into their unique company culture.
One of the ways Play On Words Studios achieves this is through a meticulously crafted ‘welcome pack.’ This pack, given to every new hire, contains an overview of their role, the team’s structure, ongoing projects, and the performance metrics they’ll be evaluated on. This kit also introduces the new hires to the studio’s core values, policies, and the various communication channels they would be using, helping them embrace the indie spirit and culture of Play On Words Studios.
But the onboarding process doesn’t stop there. Each new hire is greeted with a personalized welcome message from their team leader. They also have a series of introductory meetings scheduled with team members, ensuring that the new hire feels a part of the team from day one.
Part 3: Clear Expectations and a Supportive Environment – The Mantra
With the competitive and rapidly evolving landscape of the indie game industry, clear communication of expectations and continuous support is the key to retaining talent and ensuring their success. Play On Words Studios uses the onboarding process as a platform to communicate clear expectations regarding job responsibilities and performance metrics. This proactive approach eliminates any ambiguity, helps new hires understand their roles better, and sets the stage for their success.
Play On Words Studios also understands the importance of providing a supportive work environment, especially to new hires. To this end, each new hire is assigned a ‘buddy’ – a go-to person for any questions, concerns, or support they might need. This buddy system helps new hires feel supported and valued, further reinforcing the studio’s culture of collaboration and teamwork.
Part 4: Fostering Relationships and Promoting Collaboration – The Strategy
Onboarding at Play On Words Studios is not a process that ends after the first week or even the first month. It extends over the first three months and includes regular check-ins and feedback sessions. This approach ensures that new hires have the continuous support they need as they navigate their new roles and the company culture.
To foster a collaborative and inclusive culture, Play On Words Studios organizes regular team-building activities and casual get-togethers. These events provide an opportunity for new hires to bond with their colleagues in a relaxed and informal setting, further strengthening their sense of belonging and collaboration.
In the thrilling and often tumultuous world of game development, the onboarding process plays a critical role in shaping the company culture and the new hire’s experience. Play On Words Studios, despite being a new player, offers a shining example of how a meticulously planned and executed onboarding process can lay the foundation for new hires, helping them seamlessly integrate into the company culture and equipping them for the exciting journey ahead. After all, a successful indie game studio, much like a captivating video game, is all about crafting an unforgettable user experience, and that journey begins with onboarding.
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