Case study

Our take on human-centered onboarding

How we created a data driven, gamified onboarding platform which delivers premium customer experience, establishes employer branding from day one and makes internal processes a breeze.

Before you say, “hold up, you just put a bunch of trendy words together”, rest assured that we’ve done our homework and there’s a proper design process behind it all.

By the end of this design journey, VSE – the biggest supplier of gas and electricity in eastern Slovakia, received a digital onboarding platform for its employees. This platform steps in to help newcomers from the moment they accept the recruiter’s offer. It helps in managing expectations, sorting out necessary administrative burdens and provides essential guidance in the first months of a new job.

Additionally, the platform gathers and sends real time insights to recruiters, managers and HR business partners about employees’ performance, progress and emotional well-being. It also provides a safety net, allowing stakeholders to intervene where necessary, give praise where it’s needed, or sit back comfortably with the knowledge that everything is running smoothly.

“I have only positive things to say about this application. The design, visuals, layout, flow of information – everything is top notch. From the first time I logged onto ADAM, I was very pleasantly surprised by how it immediatelly pulls a new employee into the company culture. My first impression was: ‘Great, I haven’t even signed the contract and they’re already taking care of me.’ It’s a great tool for building company brand awareness.”

Some feedback from Karolina, one of the users who went through our platform.

“A great tool for our newcomers, managers and HR, which can be used throughout the onboarding process. We appreciate the flexibility and ability to quickly adjust content, so we can tailor the right experience for every newcomer.”

Andrea Vandlikova – HR specialist

So now that you have the basic idea, let’s take a look at how it was done.

Starting point

Starting a new job can mean having to make some major adjustments. And lets not kid ourselves, it can (and often is) a stressful experience – a new environment, new people and plenty of skills and habits that one need to change or develop. What if we could make this experience a more pleasant and less stressful one for newcomers?

VSE approached us with the challenge of designing an onboarding experience that would be able to mitigate these types of feelings in people. We knew that newcomers usually arrive at the workplace with a great number of questions and have to face a variety of challenges. The way they deal with these things is usually up to their individual character, some may wish to handle them on their own and others might need a helping hand (although there is also the question of whether they are capable of asking for help or if they need someone to notice and offer it first).

We know that if we want to keep people motivated, it’s important for them to:

  • Feel in control of the situation
  • Feel that they are making progress
  • See a higher purpose in their activities

In the process of onboarding, there are several critical moments when the newcomer can miss out on one of these feelings. Based on workshops, process mapping and feedback from the client, we have identified multiple possible issues, like for example:

  1. Information overload
  2. Lack of information
  3. Assuming newcomer proactivity
  4. Overwhelming of key people in the process
  5. Improper expectation management
  6. Inability to step outside of one’s comfort zone
  7. Negligence of emotional aspects (we don’t want to lose people because they were unhappy and we didn’t know about it)

We concluded, that if we can address these problems, we will be able to:

  1. Make the job easier for recruiters and supervisors
  2. Tidy up the adiministrative processes
  3. Make the whole process easier for newcomers
  4. Unburden the managers

Gamified solution

How to achieve these goals? Game design offers a few answers in its basic principles:

  1. Meaningful feedback
  2. Achievable challenges
  3. Clear and interesting goals

The result was a platform which married analytics and game design, that helps successfully guide a newcomer through the entire onboarding process. It begins with the acceptance of an offer. Afterwards it helps them handle all the administrative motions and preparations for the first day on the job, and all the way through managing their first three months on the job.

With this solution, we followed these design mandates:

  1. The content has to be easy to understand. That’s why we split it all into micro tasks, which the application drip feeds to newcomers in a meaningful frequency that is easily manageable.
  2. UI in which you can easily find answers to all of the questions along with proper feedback.
  3. The platform needs to have a proactive interest in the emotional state of the newcomer and, if the need arises, inform their colleagues from HR or team about their discomfort.
  4. SAP integration so that we wouldn’t add any more processes, but speed up the ones that already exist.
  5. Detailed analytics thanks to which we can see the progress and satisfaction of newcomers.


As soon as the platform became fully operational, we were able to see the fruits of our labour:

  1. The success rate of task completion (by the candidates) is in the 76-100% range

  2. Satisfaction with the with the onboarding process is at nearly 93% (with feedback provided by 73% of all colleagues who went through ADAM)/h3>

And some business benefits:

  1. The game became an organic part of the onboarding process

  2. Increased recognition of company values

  3. Employees can better assign their own behaviours to company values

The solution has yet to truly display its full potential, as it offers plenty of opportunities for further development in other areas. The feedback speaks clearly – employees are satisfied, HR has better insight and managers have a much better starting point when working with new team members.