New hires and employees brought together by company acquisition or through a merger have a period of time where they acclimate themselves to the company culture. According to a 2008 study done by the Aberdeen Group, approximately 86 percent of organizations that were questioned said that new hires take at least six months to determine if they will make a long-term commitment to an organization. If you don't have policies in place to help those new hires adjust to your company culture, then your turnover rate may go up.
Employee socialization is the process by which new employees understand the company's policies, the internal culture, how the company hierarchy works and the ways to function effectively in the organization. Developing programs and policies that integrate new employees into the company helps the company maintain a consistent corporate culture.
A primary example of employee socialization is new hire orientation. This a time when new employees develop working relationships with each other, and should be a time when the company encourages new and existing staff members to become acquainted as well. Other forms of corporate-sponsored socialization include holiday parties, family nights at sporting events, social gatherings such as a company bowling night and a company summer picnic.
Employee socialization not only helps new employees understand corporate culture, it also encourages the development of teamwork between new hires and current staff members. Allowing employees to become more familiar on a social as well as professional level can develop strong bonds that improve productivity and help to reduce employee turnover.
While an employee socialization program is essential to integrating new hires into the company culture, it can be counterproductive if there is too much focus on socialization. Each new hire requires an effective balance of corporate work policies and socialization programs to get a comprehensive understanding of productivity in the company culture.
- University of Kentucky; Organization Socialization and the Outcome of Organzational Identification; Timothy D. Buckingham; 1999
- Aberdeen Harte-Hanks; Effective Onboarding Techniques and Strategies for Improved New Hire Retention; February 2008
- University of Illinois News Bureau; Relationship Building Among Co-WorkersKey Driver of Workplace Socialization; Phil Ciciora; May 2010
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