Company Processes for Socializing New Hires

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  • 0:00 Organizational Socialization
  • 1:16 Why Is Socialization…
  • 2:26 How Socialization Works
  • 4:52 What Are the Learning…
  • 6:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brooke Linn

Brooke has a masters degree in Human Science and is in the dissertation phase of a PhD in Organizational Systems.

The socialization process in organizations helps new employees adapt to their work and organization more successfully. Read on to learn more about company processes for socializing new hires.

Organizational Socialization

Kaitlyn was recently hired at a large advertising firm. She was feeling a bit nervous but, fortunately, Kaitlyn's socialization process has already begun. The firm's human resources department began executing its workforce planning strategy well before Kaitlyn was hired for her position.

This process began with a strategic plan to attract, retain, and motivate the right employee for the position and the organization. The plan continued with a process called socialization, also referred to as onboarding, which when done successfully, has the potential to create highly dedicated and loyal employees. In socialization, new hires are familiarized with the people, processes and overall culture of the business.

However, socialization is an ongoing process that operates far beyond overcoming first-day nerves or giving employees basic skills training. The process of socialization can take weeks or months and may require revisiting at any time. Kaitlyn's new employer had a two-month onboarding process that also called for revisiting learning areas as needed throughout her employment. The firm has a lengthy and open-ended onboarding process as a way to increase engagement and commitment within the organization.

Why Is Socialization Important?

Organizational socialization is an essential process for organizations of all sizes. In this process, new employees learn the values, norms and required behaviors of an organization's culture and are transformed into effective members of the company. Socialization research has shown that an effective onboarding process often has a solid return on investment. Onboarding and socialization practices help to ensure employee engagement and begin the process of building relationships among members of the organization.

Socialization helps new employees, like Kaitlyn, become accustomed to company culture, which ultimately can lead to less employee turnover. An onboarding process that familiarizes new employees with the culture and helps employees form faster loyalty to the organization. Additionally, a solid socialization process helps the organization determine how long it may take for an employee to feel comfortable, to adjust to their new work environment and become efficient, productive and successful. A clear and defined onboarding process also works to make employees feel valued. This influences engagement, which ultimately lends to a more motivated employee.

How Socialization Works

Let's look more closely at how socialization works. The first phase of the process is called anticipatory socialization. This is the part of the process that begins even before a new employee is brought into the organization. In general, there are two phases of anticipatory socialization, often referred to as vocational choice and organizational choice. Vocational choice refers to influences that shape an individual's choice of employment or career. Family, friends, religion, school, previous employment experiences, and the media often shape vocational choice.

Organizational choice is the process of choosing a particular organization. For example, this phase involved Kaitlyn forming her own ideas and expectations about the advertising firm as she decided to and applied for her new position. At the same time, the organization put out the right level of disclosure about the organizational culture so that Kaitlyn could make her decision about applying to work there. Once an individual is hired, this part of the process might include advance provisions to new hires such as an employee manual, relevant company forms and a first-day schedule.

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