Unique New Hire Orientation Shakes Heads & Ping Pong Balls, Too

If you thought attending new hire orientation was blah-blah-boring, wait ’til you check this out.

Rackspace, a Web hosting company in San Antonio, TX, boasts a five day extravaganza of ice breakers, games, races, and skits as per a piece on Bloomberg.

New hire Lori Concilio, enterprise account manager, recalled, “It was loud, and it got crazy.”

And by crazy, Concilio means the Price Is Right-type game she played with 37 other new hires.

It sounds like the orientation is merely a reflection of its upbeat culture. Their “Rookie O” program full of fun and games isn’t optional for the faint of heart. In fact, the orientation program is mandatory for all new employees to attend.

Considering the budget for orientation is $25 per new hire, the monthly pep rally is certainly a way to join the ranks of its 4,500 employees. Full of speakers, skits and even a ping pong ball game (try shaking it out of a box strapped to your lower back), everyone may not exactly warm up to the idea.

Doris Sims, Creative Onboarding Programs author, told Bloomberg she endorses companies using games but buyer beware. “Some people might be put off by that,” she noted. Essentially fun activities should reflect the corporate culture and also have a purpose.

For Rackspace employees, if new hires are uncomfortable, they may need to simply get with the program. That is, the orientation is literally a glimpse of quirky, upbeat days at the office to come, Nerf battles and all.

“Those who delay the orientation, or did not go in years past, are the ones who are not successful here, because they did not understand the environment and how to really engage with an employee,” explained Lawrence Reyes, the Ambassador of Culture at Rackspace, and better known as SugarBear.