Socialisation in the workplace is important to establishing a sense of community and a workplace culture where people are motivated. The socialisation process typically begins during the first few days of employment when initial assimilation takes place. Strong workplace culture evolves over time with ongoing socialisation effects.
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Socialisation and Training
Many organisations intentionally include socialisation as part of an employee's initial training. During the first few days on a new job, employees may feel uncertain or uncomfortable about the job and work environment. As important as it is to train on job duties, it is equally important to provide an opportunity for him to meet colleagues and to begin to build relationships. Workplace relationships play a significant role in our experiences and enjoyment at work.
Types of Activities
One of the first things trainers or supervisors can do is to take a new employee around and introduce her to colleagues in her department or the entire company if it is small enough. Additionally, taking the new employee in your department to lunch with co-workers is a good first-day or -week social activity. Explaining common social norms and activities in the company or department is also a good way to make a new employee more comfortable.
Some debate exists over who is responsible for a new employee's socialisation. In his May 2010 article "Relationship building among co-workers key driver of workplace socialisation," Phil Ciciora points out that too many organisations simply throw a new employee into the fire and expect them to form their own relationships. Ciciora also cites a study by human resources professor Russell F. Korte, which indicates about 15 per cent of new employee socialisation benefits come from managers, but 65 per cent come from co-workers. Thus, HR professionals in an organisation should encourage both supervisors and co-workers to actively participate in new employee socialisation. As time goes on, established employees begin to assume responsibility to help assimilate new workers.
Effects of Socialization
Effective socialisation for a new hire appears to significantly impact morale and longevity. Korte's study also showed that responding engineering companies lost anywhere from 20 per cent to 50 per cent of new engineers within two years, seemingly due to poor socialisation processes that did not much recruiting efforts. Health and wellness coach Rose Windale notes that while companies need to socialise employees early to make them comfortable. Employees can help their own workplace morale by getting involved and finding opportunities to laugh and enjoy quiet social time with co-workers.
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