Tips to Match a New Recruit's Perspective with Workplace Culture
BY Ben Smith
A company? s culture is an intricate part of its success. Each employee has a specific niche that they fill to contribute to the company? s success.
When new employees are brought in, there is a period of adjustment while they find their role within the company. Most employees who fail to work out fail because they cannot adapt to their new role.
Peter Cairo, executive coach and partner of CDR International, states that many companies fail to give adequate support for new employees. "They may offer an orientation period that? s focused on trivialities like where to find the key to the Men? s or Ladies? room. The issues that really matter are often ignored? but the employer who really wants his or her new hire to succeed will address them directly and immediately."
What is really important, according to David Dotlich from CDR International, is how the employee understands the culture of the company. By looking at characteristics in employees that fit well into the company culture you can recruit workers that will adapt well to the environment. Things that matter include, do they work fast, do they work reliably, do they depend on others for support,and even how their sense of humor fits within the office.
Helping a recruit figure out the culture of the company can be influential in their success. The process should start as early as possible, before they even come to their first day of work. Some helpful details about the company dropped during an interview can help an employee on their first full day in the office. The earlier a recruit is told of aspects of the office environment the earlier he will feel comfortable and begin to fill his niche.
The following are tips to keep in mind while helping a new employee make his transition.
Clarify expectations up front
The sooner an employee knows exactly what he has been hired to do; the more comfortable he will feel to ask questions. Don? t rely on a written description. Go over your expectations point by point to make sure the new employee understands and is comfortable with them.
Ask about company culture
See how much they understood about the culture of their previous job. Test if they can explain how they fit into their last position. The more the recruit understands about the informal rules of the workplace, the easier time they will have adjusting. If an employee has little understanding of their environment it might indicate that they are unwilling to learn how things work. Two key factors for success are learning quickly and wanting to learn.
Give them the big picture
Discuss the company? s long-term goals and strategy. Cover future projections or large projects in progress. Tell them how fast people are usually promoted up through the company. This helps the recruit to gain a sense of the company? s culture and how individuals fit into the company? s plans.
Outline helpful details around the office
Tell them everything they need to know but might not ask. These things might range from details of a supply ordering process to company policy for casual Friday. It? s the little things people often forget to mention to a new employee that can affect how they fit in around the office. It also gives them clues to the culture of the department they will be working in, which will help them to adapt.
Help them network quickly
Even during the interview process it is a good idea to introduce them to people around the company. Identify key personnel to whom they may be reporting, or next to whom they might be working. Let them get a feel for how people interact and offer suggestions for dealing with "difficult" personalities.
Don? t assume qualifications will equal success
Just because they did a good job in their last position and seem to have all the qualities you are looking for does not guarantee they will fit in perfectly. The culture of their previous work environment may have meshed well with their strong communication skills, but your company will require a stronger emphasis on planning or organizing, areas your new employee may be weak in. What do they see as their strongest and weakest traits? Compare that with what is required of them.
Establish a professional relationship with the new recruit
Don? t sit them down at a desk and forget about them. Try to "coach" them along during the transition period. You have spent time and money recruiting them. Make the recruits feel comfortable as soon as possible while they settle in. The recruit might need you to clarify things, but may be unwilling to ask if they aren? t comfortable yet.