In order to arrest the disengagement of new joinees, the L&D function hit upon the idea of gamifying the onboarding
The pioneer of online travel in India, MakeMyTrip was founded by Deep Kalra and began its India operations in 2005. With offices in over 20 cities across India and international offices in New York and Dubai, MakeMyTrip is the undisputed online leader with its share of the travel market extending to more than 50 per cent of all online travel sales. The company was built with an aim to provide the Indian traveller a range of best-value products and services along with cutting-edge technology and dedicated round-the-clock customer support. It provides online travel services including flight tickets, domestic and international holiday packages, hotel reservations, rail and bus tickets, private car and taxi rentals and B2B & Affiliate Services.
Since 2012, the company has made strategic acquisitions including Hotel Travel Group and ITC Group in Thailand and EasyToBook.com in The Netherlands.
In the rapid scale-up to meet emerging business needs, there seemed to be some gaps at the induction-level and new joinees had inconsistent knowledge about the company and limited interaction with the leadership. It was also noticed that the onboarding time was slow and there was no clarity about the processes – engagement levels within the new hires dropped. The result was a series of knock-out effects on the company: longer learning curve for the new employee, limited innovation, less pride in employer brand and disengagement of new joinees.
The L&D function identified key interventions to arrest the disengagement of the new joinees. With the key imperative being sustaining new-hire interest in the company, the L&D team conceptualized a gamification campaign. Launched in August 2012, the campaign includes gamification techniques supported by TripOn app – this was loaded with fun-themed quizzes, badges, factopedias, hints, and pop up videos about the company history, policies, businesses and people. A member from the HR team facilitates in-class ice breaker sessions, exercises, office scavenger hunts (involves locating and identifying various members of the MakeMyTrip team and key office locations, getting clicked against them to score) and a fast-paced 20-20 quiz to summarize learnings. The graduates’ are rewarded with branded company T-shirts and goodie bags.
The concept follows up with a dedicated 60-day onboarding checklist process cheat sheet to the ‘new tripper’ and his manager which highlights specific roles, deadlines expected from self, manager and skip manager. Each month, an informal encounter (‘Leaders vs Rookies’) is held between new trippers and the CXOs through a competitive game (TT, foosball, athletics, darts, carom, 1 minute challenges etc.) followed by an open house to share feedback. A 60-day follow up feedback ensures adherence to standards and to make the experience even better. The gamification techniques have led to 25 per cent increase in engagement, lower attrition and sharper learning curve of the new hires. The buy-in from the business leaders was built by seeking a 30-day execution window.
L&D managers of other companies can take a cue from this as not only is it scalable but also cost effective and ensures end-to-end onboarding. Another good factor about the programme is the in-built feedback mechanism, which highlights any challenges or misses every week and ensures that it is followed up and closed.
A third good practice about this initiative is the deep connect that the new joinees develop with the leadership, which ensures channeling of ideas from the bottom up. Engagement levels become high and the initiative also ensures stronger bond between the manager and the employee.