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June 03, 2019
Escape rooms, gamification and puzzles: our new orientation experience
By: Laura Dodd

Laura Dodd remembers her own orientation 20 years ago. It involved a lot of PowerPoint and a giant binder to carry home. Today, she’s part of the team that’s leading a brand new approach to orientation. Think escape rooms and gamification.


What can we expect

Our new orientation program is an interactive learning experience. We want to surprise and delight our new joiners (both graduates and experienced hires) so that they feel that they’ve made the right decision to join Accenture. They can expect:

  • Creative learning by doing
    Everyone has a different way of learning. Some people are visual while others are tactile. We are bringing fun and creativity to engage them right from the start and to get them excited about what they’re going to be doing here at Accenture.

  • Escape room format
    It is not a day of PowerPoint presentations. Obviously, we have to impart some information that way, but what we really want to do is use an escape room style format to solve puzzles, engage in wordplay in a sequential way where new joiners complete tasks in order to move to the next stage. We want to spark their curiosity.

  • Innovative problem solving
    That’s pretty much what we do at Accenture. We’re presented with a problem by the client and we need to come up with a good solution for them. We’re having the new joiners engage in short bursts of problem solving throughout the day. This is a chance for them to think out of the box and be truly innovative.

  • Non-hierarchical teams
    We want everyone to feel like they can contribute as a leader and not just in orientation. The session is not a top down approach. Anyone in the team can come up with the best solution or idea. We don't want them to be competitive with each other, we want them to work together in teams to identify and leverage each other's strengths.

Participating in a Design Thinking session on how to improve the new joiner experience.


Why the new approach?

We are definitely trying to turn the traditional orientation on its head. As technology and the requirements for our clients have changed, so have the type of skills we need. And that’s changed recruiting as well. We want to:

  • Localise and learn
    Conceived by the global onboarding team, we’ve been developing the new orientation for about a year and a half. There were initially two pilots, in India and ANZ, before rolling out the programme globally. Each programme is customised for the local market and each will provide feedback to the global team for continuous learning and tweaking.

  • Change expectations
    We want to change the misconception that orientation is you stuck in a room looking at slides crammed full of information or someone from HR telling you what you can and can’t do. Putting people and their talent first, will hopefully excite graduates and especially experienced hires who have participated in less innovative inductions - putting them in the right frame of mind before starting their Accenture journey.

  • Introduce gamification
    Studies around engaging someone through gamification has proven to be sticky. The information that they learn is retained by doing, rather than force fed approach. You learn by doing, engaging and interacting. The more we learn about learning, the better we get at training our people. Everyone learns a bit differently and we want to leverage all strengths.

  • Initiate exposure to leaders
    Accenture leaders participation in our orientation and integration programs really makes a difference for our new joiners. Their involvement is key to engagement, providing networking opportunities and sharing their knowledge and experiences giving insights into the business of Accenture.

  • Set people up for success
    Our new approach to orientation is all about setting people up for success. Our program is designed in a way that ensures no one is left out and ongoing support is available post-orientation. Our facilitators are trained to be open and approachable, so we don’t lose anyone. It’s important that we create the right tone and environment during orientation sessions. Everyone’s in the same boat, no question is out of bounds, so ask away!

Any tips for newbies at orientation?

Throughout the two days, you’ll have access to business leaders, HR, peer buddies and career counsellors - so take the opportunity to ask questions, lots of questions, and be a sponge.


Most importantly, be open to anything, go with the flow, and enjoy your first day!

With some of our August new joiners during orientation in Melbourne.

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