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Scott Cullen

Govia Thameslink Railway

Customer Service Coach

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Induction Programme – Board Game


I saw one a few years ago where new starters would learn aspects of the company, answer questions and achieving increases in their targets and business goals, such as profit and customer satisfaction. 

Has anyone had any experience of using such an approach for their induction programme? 

12 Responses

  1. a subjective comment….


    Whilst I can see that this may work with a group of entry level new starts, I doubt if it would be appreciated by people joining the organisation mid career.

    Besides which, the purpose of a board game is to "win"….so what happens to the people who don't win the game?

    And finally….anything with "game" in the title, associated to the training/L&D function, can be interpreted as "not work"… it tends to get belittled by line managers who are trying hard to quickly bring new starters up to productive speed.


    Sorry to be so negative!

    Rus Slater

  2.  Rus,Thanks for your comments



    Thanks for your comments – its always worth seeing different perspectives 

  3. Board Games

    I have used Board games at various times and find they can be a useful way of supporting navigation activities. By this i mean can you find the answer on system or around the building as such it is not about providing knowledge but developing a groups ability to navigate their way around system or policy books. Helping develop a level of independance whilst having fun.

    As for Rus's comments about the use of the word 'game' sometimes L+D has to stand up for what it believes in a number of recent studies point clearly to the learning centres of the brain being more fully engaged when individuals are happy. Lets use methods that put a smile on the face as well as information in.

  4. Game

    If I joined a company that made me play a game to be inducted, and worse, suggested I should have "fun" I would be out of the door as quick as you could say Ha Ha Ha

  5. “Happy” people and games

    Hi Stark1001

    I'm in violent agreement with you about people learning better when they are engaged, happy and enjoying themselves…..and if you have used these methods and they have worked, then Great…..I have done so myself as well. 


    My words of caution were solely based on seeing training events crash and burn because they were seen by some cynical line managers as too "fun" and not therefore not to be taken seriously; you can't run a successful training event if line managers won't allow people to attend because they deem them to be lightweight…..wrongly.


  6. Useful for the ‘Nice to Know’ stuff

    I specialise in Induction, and whilst most businesses these days don't induct in sufficient quantities to use a board game, I have used them in the past, and they've been very successful.

    Please remember that people learn in different ways, and something like a board game appeals to many learning styles: People get the opportunity to listen, discuss, do and see. Induction needn't be boring and trainers shouldn't impose their learning style on others.

    The board games I have used in the past have been used well in longer programmes (2+ days), and are an excellent way of recapping information/ testing retention. They are also a great way of introducing interesting (but not essential) information about the company. You don't have to sit down for an hour an play a game – you can do it 15 minute bursts, and working as a team helps to build relationships from day 1.

    The hardest thing is getting the format and rules right. You need to include a mixture of challenges/questions and 'free info', so aiming for a cross between game of life and trivial pursuit is a good way to start.

    Finally, its worth noting that a good game will look simple and be easy to play… but it will take a long time to develop. Don't think you can knock one out in a day!

    Sheridan Webb

    Keystone Development – Training Design and Induction

  7. Learning Styles

    How would you know what learning styles were in the group unless you had met them and done some analysis? Guessing none if its an induction.

    Structured one size fits all is wrong…unstructured, personalised, chaotic, empathetic is a step in the right direction so if you could come up with a crazy game for that I'd love to take a look. 

  8. Thanks for your comments

    Thank you for all your comments on this question, some very interesting points raised.  

    Garry and f1_girl thanks for your comments and link – all useful information to look at, I will keep you updated if this idea is developed further. 

  9. Game

    We've used a board game to reach how the company is structured (they visit different departments along the route of the board game) and they then are required to answer questions on the role of the department in the company and the key role players. It worked well.

    We reed the winners with a welcome gift pack (of Company promotional items). Everyone walks away with a gift pack at the end of the induction so nobody loses.

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Scott Cullen

Customer Service Coach

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