Assimilating into an Organization’s Culture Successfully
Successful assimilation into an organizational culture by a new employee can sometimes prove to be a very daunting task. It is full of overwhelming experience with a lot of new faces, processes and unanswered questions about how things happen in the new organization. In certain instances culture shock is involved since the new employee finds the modes of behavior in the organization quite different from his normal way of doing things.
The process of assimilating in to a New Organization
To assimilate properly in a new organization, there are certain things that the employee requires to do. First and foremost, he has to be a good communicator so as to obtain adequate information as to how processes and things happen in the organization. Good communication involves a lot of things. Among all the other things, it calls for good listening. The employee must be a good listener. It should be noted that most organizations do orientation of their new staff. This is where proper listening skills are required. A new employee should, therefore, take this opportunity to grab as much information as possible regarding the processes, procedures and policies of the organization. These procedures are always in line with the missions, visions and core values of the organization. Actually, this is the initial fundamental step that an employee gets to interact with the organization.
During the induction and the orientation process, the employee ought to seek clarification on the organization as much as possible. The cultures of organizations differ. From the responses obtained, the employee should make an informed judgment on the new dressing codes, modes of interactions, ethics and codes of behavior in the new organization. The employee should, therefore, not be afraid to obtain as adequate information as possible at this early stage.
Keenness is another virtue that becomes a very fundamental catalyst to the assimilation process. The new employee should be very keen and observant at his early interaction with the organization. He ought to take a lot of time observing how things are done in the new organization. He should be quick to realize the differences between the way he is used to doing things and the way things are done in the new environment (Fine, 2005). Having gone through this, the next step should involve putting all the efforts towards adjusting to the new way and styles of doing things. It does not cause harm to ask a lot of questions especially during the first days.
One mistake that people make is being so rigid and holding strongly to their former culture. For one to quickly, completely, effectively and efficiently assimilate into a new organizational set up, he has to understand that his is not the only culture. This calls for an understanding, comprehending and appreciating the cultural diversity. The new employee should clearly understand and internalize the new culture so that his chances of survival within the new environment can be enhanced. Otherwise it becomes difficult to assimilate. He, therefore, needs to be flexible and accept change since this is part of his new life.
Attitudes that people bring in the new Organization
When people are employed in a new environment, there are certain attitudes that they usually carry with them. Such attitudes have a great potential to influence how slow or fast the individuals will assimilate in the new organizations. Some people come already prepared to meet the new cultures. They come with the attitude of diversity awareness and, therefore, find it absolutely easy to appreciate the multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic settings that may present in the new work environment. Besides, they come with their minds already set to the diverse styles of leadership and work methods. As such they are able to easily appreciate the differences in terms of how things happen in the new environment.
Some people, however, come with attitudes that express a deep sense of rigidity. They find it absolutely hard to emulate the work procedures in the new setting. Such people would rather hold to the old ways of doing things rather than assimilate into the new fashion of doing things. Their acceptance of change and successful integration as members of the organization are effectively limited by their negative attitudes.
Artifacts noticeable to a new employee
New employees tend to be very keen and are able to notice artifacts that the other employees may not notice. This lends credence to the keenness of a visitor’s eye. There are certain architectural drawings in the organization that the long time employees may have taken for granted having interacted with them for a while. These mean a lot to the new employees. Pictures of events that had previously transpired in the organization and are placed on the walls also make a lot of sense to the new employees. They always want to know. There is always an anxiety, a curiosity, a gap of knowledge that the employees want to fill. They want to fully get assimilated as members of the organization. As such they quickly notice the visual arts that are present anywhere in the organization.
In some organizations there are statues which are always symbolic of an event, an individual or exercise that once happened. New employees are usually very keen to notice these. They take a lot of their time studying these artifacts and their implication to the organization. If there are visuals with information transcribed on them, the new employees will be very quick to notice them. Most organizations have displays of their visions, missions and their core values. They also have information regarding what they have achieved, their past leaders and their period of service. Many new staffs easily get to notice these very easily. Moreover, in case a previous competition or impeccable service, the organization may have been awarded with trophies which they tend to keep in their custody. New employees find it very easy to notice such trophies.
Rituals that should not be violated
Every organization has its own unique culture that each member ought to conform with for him to successfully get assimilated to the new environment. As such these become sort of rituals that each employee has to subscribe to in order to exist in the work environment. Every individual has to conform to the organizational codes and standards of behavior as prescribed by the organizational culture. The codes of dressing have to reflect the acceptable standards of the organizational dressing codes. The kind of language should also reflect the prescription of the organization. Depending on the type of organization, the new employees have to know whether to dress officially and the kind of language including the jargon, who to talk to, how, where and when. These rituals should not be violated by the new employees if they want to develop productive interpersonal relationship on the job and perform to the expectations of the organization.
The so called rituals are taught to new members of an organization through the orientation. They are made aware of the expectations of the organization and they also state their own expectations. Again, seminars are organized for the new employees where they are briefed on the organizational codes of behavior and work ethics. These build enough confidence on them making them to work strongly towards the achievement of the organization’s goals. Some organization constantly organizes training sessions for their new employees until such a time when they completely get assimilated to the new environment.
Professional communication skills
Employees ought to embrace a lot of professionalism and integrity in the manner in which they communicate both internally and with the external clients. Being passionate and showing concern for one another in the work place is the first step to ensuring a good and professional communication. The jargon that is used should be related to the work environment. As such, employees have to desist from using vulgar kind of expressions at the work place. The body language should also be combined with the verbal speech so as to make the communication vivid and practical. However, non verbal cues should be those that express high degree of integrity and professionalism.
Respect for oneself and for others at the work place should be reflected on the way the people communicate in the organization. Politeness and humility should particularly take central stage hers. Moreover, the codes of dressing speak a lot. Therefore, the dressing should be expressing professionalism and work ethics indeed. In this way, an individual successfully gets assimilated to the new work environment.
Successful assimilation into a new work environment is a process that calls for dedication to keenness, being observant and embracing proper communication skills. It requires the new employee to be very vigilant on the new processes and to be flexible enough to change.
Fine, M. G. (2005). Building Successful Multicultural Organizations: Challenges and
Opportunities. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.