Joining a New Organization
Joining a new company is like moving to a foreign country. The experience is exiting; however, there are always new customs, dress codes, language, rules, and ideas that one is required to learn in order to succeed in the new organization. Thus, there are challenges that one encounters in the shift. In most organizations, the new employees are expected to work and interact effectively in the new organization. The acceptance or non-acceptance of an employee in a new organization is dependent on the employee’s ability adapt in the new organization1. Additionally, new employees are assessed for recognition, promotion, promotion, and rewards depending on their ability perform in the new and perhaps very different cultural environment.
The new employees, who opt to ignore the new organization’s culture, commence at their own peril. The new organization presents new rules, customs, language, and dress code; these are summed up into organizational culture. Organizational culture refers to the set of written and unwritten rules and regulations that govern the conduct of people and how work is done in an organization. The qualities that make an employee successful in an earlier organization may not be applicable in the new organization. Thus, they are required to learn and adopt the culture of their current organization. For instance, the organizational culture at General Electric is regimented requiring the use of the company’s processes without questioning. The organizational culture at Xerox is fast paced and constantly changing. The managers in the company have a significant discretion on how they get the job done. While at Merck, the organizational culture is driven by consensus, with a significant weight being laid on data analysis. Managers of the company are required to draw a consensus to attain their goals.
Different organizations possess varying organizational cultures2. New employees are accustomed to the organizational culture at their earlier organization. However, new employees require their employees to work differently from their earlier organizations.
Thus, new employees are required to learn the organizational culture of the new organization and to adapt to the working environment of the new company. The organizational culture is powerful since it determines the interactions at the place of work.
Additionally, it determines how new employees will fit into the organization. Organizational culture can act as a hindrance to promotion. Despite being talented, skilled, and making valuable contributions to the organization, an employee may be doing things his or her own way and going against the grain. This may cause friction with the other members of staff and management of the organization leading to the new employee being rated negatively despite her valuable contribution to the organization.
Regrettably, organizational culture is not discussed formally with the new employees and is not found in any written form in any organization3. However, it is critical in determining how the organization works. There are instances where a job seeker is turned away by the interviewers since they feel that the person could not fit into the organization. In other words, the interviewers are always conversant with the culture at their organization, and they can determine the people who can and succeed and those that cannot succeed in the organization. Job seekers with little knowledge of the culture at the organizations they are seeking employment may not understand the reason for their failure to be hired. Additionally, they may not understand what they could have done differently in order to secure employment at the company. Thus, it is always critical to research and understand an organization’s culture as early as when an employee is making an application to a company. This would be critical in enhancing the opportunities to succeed at the interview and fit well in the organization once hired.
The initiators of the organization develop the culture of an organization4. It evolves over time; however, the processes and the ways in which the staffs of the organization work together are embedded over time. The unspoken rules of conduct, based on the shared beliefs and values develop into a reality of how the organization gets its work done. The new employees to the organizations are expected to equip themselves with the culture and to perform their responsibilities in accordance with the culture at the organization. However, a majority of people have their own preferred ways of working. Additionally, new employees may be tempted to recreate their earlier organizations into the present organizations and may tend to overstate their change mandates. These practices set up a vicious cycle, which results in the detriment of the new employee. These problems are evident as early as during the recruitment process.
The temptation to clone the new organization with ideas and practices that were successful in another organization is great. This arises from the fact that an employee understands the idea deeply, they had tried the idea elsewhere, and they had achieved excellent results. Additionally, the success in coming up with a successful idea may be the reason why the new company was interested in the employee. During the recruitment process, interviewers often encourage new employees to import their great ideas to the organization. Thus, it is natural for a new employee to want to try to duplicate the ideas from the earlier organization to the new organization. However, new employees should always be wary since the efforts to do so may often go off track. This can be attributed to various factors; the most significant cause of failure is the failure of the system to translate well in the new organization. The new organization may possess a powerful immune system that rejects external ideas despite the fact that they would contribute positively to the organization and improve performance. Regardless of the cause of the failure, the results are similar. The new employee’s efforts misfire and they lose credibility.
New employees who misjudge their change mandates during their integration in the new organization suffer similar problems notwithstanding the different reasons. During the process of recruitment, new employees may either be led to believe that or hoodwink themselves into believing that they have a greater scope of initiating change in the new organization than they actually possess. Thus, they may come into the new organization believing that they possess the mandate to undertake significant changes, only to lack support in their activities. Often, new employees fail to confirm and reconfirm with the main stakeholders in the new organization before undertaking their efforts in the organization. They fail to realize the fact that the understandings that are reached during the recruitment process are just but wishful thinking from both the interviewers and the employee.
In both cases of going overboard during the new employee recruitment and integration process, the employee fails to understand the bare truth of recruiting. During the recruiting process, the recruiting company endeavors to secure the greatest talent. Interviewers offer the best incentives to make the organization as attractive as possible5. Thus, the misrepresentations that may occur in this stage may not be out rightly intentional. However, the outcomes of adhering to the misrepresentations are inevitably bad. The new employee instigates a lot of discomfort in the new organization. The key stakeholders in the organization may start complaining about, reorganize in opposition to, and even scheme the downfall of the new employee6. If the new employee lacks a supportive superior who is willing to intervene in the situation and provide guidance on the best way forward, the outcome may have dire consequences.
Despite all the challenges that organizations place on new employees, there are various routes that new employees can follow and be successful. All employees have their preferred ways of working. If an employee secures a position in a company that supports his preferred style of working, he or she is usually competent and contented. However, employees who land in an organization with a different organizational culture to their preferred style of working encounter challenges. They are left with two options, to change jobs or work hard at learning and adapting to the new cultural environment. Employees who opt to stay need to undertake a thorough background research on their area of work. They need to take time and go through as much as possible work related materials. Additionally, it is critical to get to know the employees of the new company and form networks.
In a new job, networks are a valuable means of forging ahead. These factors will be important since the employee will familiarize himself or herself with the new organization, understand it better, and gain a different perspective of the company. The new employee will eradicate the outsider feeling and will understand the language and the way things run at the new organization.
In conclusion, a new organization is always challenging to the employees. The new employees are required to learn and equip themselves with the organizational culture and the way things are conducted in the organization. Additionally, importing the ideas and work practices from the former organization pose a challenge since the new organizations may not be receptive to external ideas. Thus, importation of ideas and practices may lead to dire consequences on the employee in the new organization.
Thus, it is critical for a new employee to approach a new work environment with an open mind and the willingness to learn. This will enhance the new employee’s prospects in the new organizations and offer a smooth transition from their earlier organization.