Diversity Socialisation for Newcomers
Head of Human Resources
XYZ Investment Limited
Re: Diversity Socialisation for Newcomers
The significance of organisational socialisation cannot be overemphasised. Through the process, new employees are equipped with the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours necessary for successful organisational membership (Cable, Gino & Staats, 2013). In most cases, however, the process of socialisation focuses on aspects such as the goals of the organisation, individual role and responsibilities, behavioural patterns, as well as rules and principles pertaining to the organisation. Often, there is little or no attention to workplace diversity issues (Mcmillan-Capehart, 2005; Graybill et al., 2013). This is particularly true for XYZ Investment Limited, a hypothetical investment firm with operations across the U.S. The organisation could be at a considerable disadvantage given that workplace diversity has increasingly become a vital source of competitive advantage for organisations of different sizes and in diverse sectors and industries. Though research in this area has provided mixed findings, organisational commitment to workplace diversity has been shown to have a positive impact on creativity and innovation as well as organisation productivity and performance (Mcmillan-Capehart, 2005). If XYZ is to successfully embrace workplace diversity and embed it into its culture, there is need for a change in the way it socialises new employees. This paper explains why it is important for the organisation to incorporate workplace diversity issues into socialisation processes for newcomers. First, the paper provides a comprehensive definition of the notion of organisational socialisation. Next, the paper identifies deficiencies in the organisation's socialisation processes. Finally, recommendations for incorporating diversity issues in socialisation processes for newcomers are provided.
Attempts to define the notion of organisational socialisation have not yielded a universally agreed definition. Nonetheless, also known as employee onboarding, organisational socialisation generally denotes the deliberate process of adapting new employees to their job and the culture of the organisation with the aim of creating a productive relationship between the employee and the organisation (Ballard & Blessing, 2006). Though it may differ from organisation to organisation, the process...
Socialisation is achieved via a number of formal mechanisms including training sessions, workshops, staff meetings, memos, interactive sessions, tours, and printed materials. Socialisation may also be achieved via informal means such as observations. For instance, new employees may learn the organisation's culture by observing how peers interact with one another or how superiors interact with subordinates. In most cases, socialisation occurs via both formal and informal techniques, meaning that though formal orientation programs may last one or a few days, socialisation is often a long-term learning process (Mujtaba & Sims, 2006).
Organisational socialisation can have positive outcomes for both employees and the organisation. According to Ballard & Blessing (2006) organisational socialisation can be an important predictor of job dissatisfaction. When new employees gain a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and expectations right from the word go, they are more likely to settle down in the organisation quickly as they gain a sense of belonging early enough. Moreover, proper orientation enhances communication between the new employee and their supervisor as well as colleagues. Job satisfaction may in turn contribute to job involvement, good performance, organisational commitment, and employee retention (Mujtaba & Sims, 2006; Graybill et al., 2013). It is, however, important to note that job satisfaction tends to be affected by several other factors such as working conditions, interpersonal relations, supervisory and managerial support, compensation and benefits, as well as training and development opportunities. All the same, positive employees can significantly improve organisational efficiency, productivity, and performance (Graybill et al., 2013). Nonetheless, just like employee outcomes, organisational outcomes are often driven by other factors such as leadership, resources, capabilities, and macro-environmental forces.
At XYZ, the formal socialisation of newcomers takes two to six weeks depending on the position. Focus is generally on expected roles and responsibilities, the organisation's code of conduct, the organisation's mission and core values, introduction to colleagues, guidelines for workplace interactions, as well as rules for interacting with clients. Whereas the importance of these aspects cannot be understated, the organisation pays little attention to workplace diversity issues, if any. This does not necessarily imply that the organisation does not…
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