Project Description

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Genentech – New Manager Roadmap Challenge

Onboarding Gamification


Genentech needed a more flexible onboarding process for their new managers. Apart from scheduling issues, new managers have a lot to learn, and traditional onboarding could not cover it all effectively. In addition, Genentech wanted new managers to follow best practices over their first year of employment. Genentech needed:

  • More flexible training delivery, so that new hires would not have to wait for their onboarding training to start.

  • Time-spaced learning, so content is presented over time instead of in a single learning event.

  • Systematic way to ensure that managers complete their training.

  • Ability to reflect new content quickly.


Digitec designed and produced the New Manager Roadmap Challenge – onboarding game for new managers. The game integrated with Genentech’s Oracle HR platform to automatically enroll new hires into the game. The game also integrated with their intranet, tracking to a leader board to create competition.

  • Onboarding topics presented as milestones on a 3D map

  • New managers earned points as they complete milestones

  • Time-spaced design automatically “unlocks” new neighborhoods over 30, 60, 90 days, 6-months and 1-year

  • Milestones linked to dynamic content derived from the Genentech intranet to keep the course content up-to-date


The game transformed what was a passive, one-time instructor-led course into a scalable, more engaging and continuous learning experience. The reporting allows supervisors to easily see where new managers are in their journey. These insights can be used for performance reviews.

With roughly 40 new managers hired in or promoted each month, thousands have taken the New Manager Roadmap Challenge since its inception. The following represents some of the feedback from project stakeholders, business line managers, and project reviewers:

“LOVE the tracking game! Excellent, excellent, excellent all around.”

“I’m Gen X, so this [online] format appeals to me…I really like it.”

“I LOVE the idea of a game [New Manager Challenge] –it got my competitive/achievement juices going right away.”

“I’ll get points! I can check off milestones! I can see where I’m headed and how to get there on the roadmap to becoming a great manager!”

In addition, the game won a Learning Officer in Practice award from Chief Learning Officer magazine for Excellence in Simulations and Games.

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