Socialization at Work – New Recruits

Socialization/interaction helps in adopting new scenarios at work. Particularly in an employment setting, when an employee gets into a new environment, he/she needs to make few adjustments. As a result, an individual must be adaptive towards his/her workforce, environment and management because different sets of performance standards are required to be met. Workplace Interaction
Since a new member (no matter how much experience he/she has) is generally apprehensive about the new employment, an appropriate orientation and introduction to the company and its different work units can help initiate a friendly work atmosphere for new recruits, reducing their fear of the unknown.
Would like to know as people are different in their approaches towards interacting with their subordinates, peers & superiors; for e.g. some are introverts while others are extroverts .Being a new recruit (hypothetically), which mode of interaction would suit you best and why?


  • Subhas C Biswas

    There is a tradition followed by every household in a joint family (organization) while a bride (new recruit) joins the family following marriage(employment).
    One step is to introduce the new bride (employee) to each member of the family (and extended family) and describe their interrelationship with the rest.
    Another step is to brief the bride on cardinal rules of the family and traditional values of the family.
    Another step is to take the bride to the kitchen, guide her to cook an item for everyone to taste and appreciate the skills.
    Then the bride is allowed to develop relationship with the husband (boss) and other members of the family. Communication channels are established, training given and performance monitoring starts.
    This is an established practice in several communities and worked well for decades.
    I feel this is a good model for socialization of new recruits.
    One of the bad model is to leave the bride and groom to manage their life, kitchen, respective work schedule, etc. immediately after the marriage (employment). The bride finds herself fish out of water, recalls her good days with relations left (parents and friends), and somehow manages to cope with the crisis. Such relationship and performance of the family becomes unsustainable in many cases, and they decide to live separately after a while.
    To me the best interaction related to a new recruit should be as per our expectation from our family members when we decide to live with them for rest of our life.

  • Fakhruddin AbdulAziz

    After Subhas reply, I think no further clarification is required. It is sucinct and beautiful.

  • Chandaralingam Kumarasamy

    Every employee , regardless new recruit or veteran have their own approach to mingle and socialize. Every organization will have induction program to suit their business need and how one can be useful or remoulded for the greater benefit of the org.
    Its never about the spoon feeding to handle human , the difference between a smart org and a great leader is working without boundary and bureaucracy of seniority & politics (easier said) .
    Moreover the connotations of a wife being an employee and the new household being the employers is really a forgone and a criminal way of associating management technique’s or HR relations or ways to socialize.
    The element of respect is missing , the org should welcome the recruit , being affable , guiding ,coaching and allowing for mistake ,rather then act in a certain manner to satisfy all employee’s needs.

  • Hiral Gambhir

    Great answer Subhas.

  • Fuwad Junaidi

    ear Salima
    How many hours do you( a new recruit) spend in the office everyday? And how many days in the week do you stay in your workplace? And if you’ve been working for years, well, imagine how much of your life you’ve literally lived in the office. Do the math—how many hours has it been, or days, or years since you’ve been a regular office “dweller”.
    Considering you basically inhabit your workplace on a regular basis and all in all for a significant amount of time, you have to make means to make it a better place. Not only in terms of declutering or organizing your workspace, but more importantly, the social atmosphere. You probably have (more than) enough stress coming from the tasks demanded of you.
    And if you happen to be “anti-social”, or else you feel an unlikely social workplace setting, then your stress is virtually doubled. By all means, take time for office socialization. Don’t be such a nerd or a dweeb so absorbed in what you “do” in the office. That is, don’t be a “robot” enclosed in your own cubicle eternally tinkering with the computer.
    Or else dribbling notes here and there that you don’t have time for occasional chit-chats. Much stress can be taken off you if you make means for healthy office socialization. Make your workplace the ultimate work setting, a place conducive for working and for you growing and becoming a better employee and person.
    Office socialization makes your workplace a comfortable place to be in. Have healthy and positive relationships with your bosses or colleagues in the workplace. This is office socialization which can ease stress anxiety and depression from your job, especially if it is tedious in itself. In fact, if you take time having amiable relationships with your co-workers, you find yourself more focused towards doing the tasks required of you.
    Office socialization is apparently a means for you to take care of yourself- as a person and as an employee. Social time in the workplace can actually boost your morale. Humor or a good laugh in the work setting would well be useful. But of course, it shouldn’t be offensive or derogatory.
    Having social time exchanging jokes ought to be within boundaries. Jokes you tell your old high school buddies might not be appropriate being shared with your colleagues, though. Sensitive jokes can endanger your professional standing or reputation. In office socialization events or parties, be mindful of “touching”, unless you go dancing with a co-worker or doing such other activities.
    You could prompt an eventual lawsuit by draping your arm around a co-worker, especially if you don’t have their permission. A handshake greeting is acceptable, but as much as possible, don’t make skin-to-skin contact with colleagues in your workplace. Effective office socialization also has to do with communicating with everybody in the place.
    And then of course, you also have to be an attentive listener. More importantly, you have to mind your manners. Pay attention to table etiquette when there’s a meal, or in your work habits, especially if your output is part of a team’s performance. Shop talk is better avoided—say only things which people appreciate hearing.
    Office socialization means you having to adjust with people in a place where different personalities abound. This is essential for a group setting wherein output and productivity is required.
    Fuwad Junaidi

  • Nay Lin Maung

    After new employees worked at the companies for a couple of week, he or she might had opportunities to learn the way companies things are doing around.
    I mean management style.
    There are two types of people in the companies. One who likes to help new employees; another one does not like to share his or her expertise with new employees because he or she worries about his or her job.
    New employees have to make their decision who likes to make socialization with older employees.
    Having socialization in the work is very helpful to the companies because employees are sharing their experiences.

  • Socialization/interaction with your peers is very important especially when a new recruit joins. I am sure you will know the reasons why some are already mentioned in your blog.
    But interestingly when you look at humans on average you will find more extroverts type than introverts. I believe introverts also like to be associated with people at workplace for various reasons. Although, one may argue that there energy is drained by being around different people.
    The MBTI types can help us / assist us to determine different behaviours of people. The 2 critical types would be “S” and “N”. I hope this helps 🙂

  • My approach towards interacting with different people varies sufficiently in most cases with their seniority. I consider myself an extrovert as i am quite loquacious. This helps me interact with my peers very easily as I can talk a lot on trivial things. On the other hand, in my opinion, this habit isn’t very efficient while interacting with your superiors and subordinates at work (not at social gatherings). So while interacting with them, I prefer to be succinct while not going astray from the topic and also keeping the conversation light and humorous. As for the conveying some official order to the subordinates, an email suits me the best as i think most of the people find it offensive to be ordered directly at their faces.

  • Viewing this question from the vantage point of a new recruit, I think there are two levels of adaptation: Understanding and adapting to the formal aspects of organisation (vision, strategic goals, priorities, department purpose and objectives, structure, role etc.) and to the informal culture — values in use, how we really do things/get things done and social relationships. Comparing my more positive and less positive experiences, here are the ‘best practices’ on the part of some companies,from my perspective.
    I was warmly greeted by my hiring manager, who first showed me to my office/work space and let me get settled; then introduced me to my colleagues, explaining their key roles, and how my work would interface with theirs. He also provided organisational charts and names and contact details for people he thought could be of help to me in getting started.
    We then had a meeting with the Functional Director who explained the company Vision, strategic goals, what the company was trying to achieve, who its customers and key competitors were, challenges, how my new function and department contributed to the final product and customer satisfaction.
    This company had a ‘people’ committee who had prepared a Welcome pack for new employees. It contained information about the company, useful numbers (e.g. the IT and facilities help desks, HR, medical, security, a ‘map’ of the company — showing where all the major functional groups were and contact numbers; and information about the community — train and subway stations, taxi services, shopping centres, key points of interest, the hospital and so on.
    They also arranged a meeting with my HR representative to explain and answer my questions about benefits, policies, rules, processes such as the appraisal process, career development, education and training opportunities and so on.
    My manager suggested I spend some time (a week) absorbing what I had learned, getting to know people and my way around, whereupon we would have a meeting outlining the scope of my responsibilities and objectives/priorities for the year.
    They also assigned me an experienced ‘buddy’ who answered questions, and provided advice about how to get things done in the ‘informal’ system.
    In my best experience, people in my department stopped by to chat, start relationship building and see if I needed any help with anything.
    I had been recruited from another company, and my new company had also established a support group for people who entered the company from other corporate cultures. This group was led by a company OD professional who facilitated discussions of what now established people from outside had found most challenging about the company culture, and provided tips and techniques for successfully adapting.
    I also was very pro-active.My philosophy was that new recruits did not need to sit around like slugs, waiting for things to happen/be done to them. I arranged informational interviews with people I had been told or believed were key to my role; I initiated conversations with my new colleagues, and departments who were our internal customers, I visited manufacturing facilities and talked to the sales force; I as.ked to attend customer clinics, and to sit in on key meetings that would help me understand more about company problems, challenges, and working processes. In my best experiences, this was supported/encouraged by the company. In my worst experience, I was told to ‘stop poking my nose in everything’
    I am an MBTI introvert, but, talking with extravert fellow recruits, these approaches were equally welcomed and successful with them.

  • Salima,
    Traditionally, I’ve been given a “Day” of Shadowing whomever I am coming in to replace. After that, I’m typically on my own.
    What I’ve learned in my time in consulting, is that it’s NOT the “Senior Partner” you need to worry about. It’s the “Junior Partner’s Administrative Assistant” that is the one that is going to get you fired.
    Since I can’t remember names or positions, I treat EVERYONE like the Senior Partner, and then I don’t have to remember anything.

  • Excellent, succinct answer Subhas. The only simple addition that I would like to add is to remember to take the new recruit out to, or with you, to lunch on the first day. I remember my first days at two organisations where the induction programme showed a break for lunch and those involved went and did their own thing! All the positive feelings built during the first morning were dampened by their actions.

  • Treat new recruits as you would like to be treated if it were your first day….

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