Laying the Foundation Blocks: The Pivotal Role of Onboarding in Cultivating Culture

Jun 23, 2023 | Blog

How does your garden grow

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Thank you for reading this article to the end. I hope it has been informative and helpful. If you’d like to learn more about the topics we covered, I invite you to check out my podcast and my YouTube channel where I delve into these subjects in more depth.

Additionally, I would love to stay in touch and keep you updated on all the latest developments and insights in the world of leadership. That’s why I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter. Not only will you receive regular updates, but as a thank you for joining, I will also send you my free eBook, “5 Heroic Leadership Skills.” This eBook is packed with practical tips and strategies that will help you take your leadership skills to the next level.

So don’t wait! Sign up for my newsletter today and start your journey towards becoming a more effective and inspiring leader. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Game-Changing Leadership

“It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!”

Download and discover these five heroic leadership skills which are required to make an effective and successful leader in the video game industry. Get instant access below.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest