Orientation of a new employee


Orientation covers the activities involved in introducing new employees to the organization and to his or her work unit. It is only a small part of the overall socialization of a new organizational member. It expands on the information received during the recruitment and selection stages and helps to reduce anxiety of joining a new job. An orientation program should familiarize the member with the organization’s new objectives, history, philosophy, procedures and rules. It must communicate relevant personnel policies such as hours of work, pay procedures, overtime requirements, specific duties and responsibilities of the job, introduce the employee to his or her superior and co-workers and provide a tour off the organization’s physical facilities.

In many medium-sized and most large organizations, the personnel department takes charge of explaining such matters. In other organizations new employees will receive their entire orientation from the supervisor. In small organizations, the employee orientation may not be formal and the supervisor may assign the new member to another employee who will introduce him to the others. This could be followed by a quick tour of the office after which the new employee is shown his desk and left to fend for himself.

Every organization has its own unique culture that defines appropriate behaviors for organizational members. This culture includes longstanding and often unwritten rules and regulations, a special language for communication, prejudices and standards for social etiquette. An employee who has been properly socialized to the organization’s culture, then, has learned how things are done and which work-related behaviors are acceptable and desirable and which ones are not.

The concepts of role, values and norms are interrelated. The parameters of the role change in response to the value and norms in the environment where one performs that role. People who readily accept all of them become conformists or the infamous “Yes Man� . At the other extreme are the rebels, those who reject all the organization’s standards. In between, are the individuals who accept some standards, but not others. The main objectives of socialization process is to ensure that rebellious, norm rejecting types are changed or expelled. However, depending on the management’s objectives, managers utilize different methods of socialization.

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