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Talent Management Excellence Essentials January 2015

The Orientation Process Understanding the socialization process can enhance the orientation By Dr. Stephen Benigno She walks into the building with anticipation, excitement, and a little bounce in her step. A secretary seated at the entrance to the building stares at her, a custodian smirks in her direction and two women dressed in suits walk past her in the hallway without giving her a glance. She continues toward the sales office, only finding her way by looking at the signs on the walls of the corridor. She takes a seat on a couch near the receptionist, waiting for the woman to acknowledge her arrival. Finally she is called to the desk where she is greeted by a man dressed in a three piece suit who acknowledges her and gestures her to come toward the office. She rises and precedes through the swinging gate doors that separate the manager’s office from the rest of the room. Before she can enter the office, the man in the three piece suit hands her a binder, a set of keys, and a map of the building. She is told of the department meeting within the hour and she is escorted by an office aide to a small office three doors down. Her first day in her new position has begun. Unfortunately, the first day of employment for fledging em-ployees in the corporate environment often begins with new employees stumbling through their first days on the job without facilitation, preparation or encouragement. Most importantly new employees within large corporate environments are not provided with enough strategies in their orientation programs to deal with the conflicting values created by the socialization process of the workplace organization. “Organizational socialization is the process by which a person secures relevant job skills, acquires a functional level of organizational understanding, attains sup-portive social interactions with coworkers, and generally accepts the established ways of a particular organization.” (Tormina, 1997). The new employees often crave an opportunity to engage in constructive conversation with incumbent co-workers and they relish the opportunity to utilize the suggestions of those individuals. “Organizational man, and not how man changes his society” (Brim, 1996, p. 4). As the days progress, the new employee becomes occupied with the responsibilities of their new position. Often, the individual’s socialization is typically understood as the process by which or-ganizations help newcomers learn about their work and adjust to the workplace” (Ashforth et al. 2007; Bauer et al., 1998; Ostroff & Kozlowski, 1992; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). The socialization process is not a formal orientation or a scripted dialogue that will help the new employee become ac-climated to the new social environment. The socialization of the new employee involves an intricate and selective non-directional series of experiences involving co-workers, supervisors, clients, administrators, and support personnel. “Research and theory suggest that through interactions with incumbents, transitioning individuals learn about how the organization operates.” During these interactions, incumbents consciously and unconsciously reward behaviors that align with the existing organizational values, beliefs, culture, practices, and systems and manage those behaviors that do not align” (Louis, 1990; Jones, 1983, 1986; VanMaanen & Schein, 1979). The new employees often find themselves struggling and floundering within the social environment, attempting to make sense of the elusive and often confusing protocol and procedures that have been established and put in place by incumbent staff and predecessors in their posi-tions. The new employees find themselves attempting to change their behavior in an effort to meet the criteria and expectations of their position in the hierarchy of the organization. Brimm terms this as “how society changes the natural sensitivity to the obstructions created by the social organization can become a low priority on the list of survival criteria for that individual. “The sense making processes engaged in by individuals and groups of individuals and by groups of groups are continuous 18 Submit your Articles Talent Management excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 01.2015


Talent Management Excellence Essentials January 2015
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