Socialization is a process of adaptation after entering the organization. Socialization refers to the adaptation that takes place when an individual passes from outside the organization to role of an inside member.
Purposes of Socialization
Socialization formats are unique to each firm. However, some basic purposes include emphasizing these areas: the employment situation (job, department, and company), company policies and rules, compensation
and benefits, corporate culture, team membership, employee development, dealing with change, and socialization.
Company Policies and Rules
Every job within an organization must be performed considering the guidelines and constraints provided by policies and rules. Employees must have an understanding of these to permit a smooth transition to the workplace.
The Employment Situation
A basic purpose, from the firm’s viewpoint, is to have the new employee become productive as quickly as possible. Therefore, specific information about performing the job may be provided at an early point in time.
Compensation and Benefits
Employees will have a special interest in obtaining information about the reward system. Although this information is usually provided during the recruitment and selection process, a review of the data is appropriate during Socialization.
A new employee’s ability and willingness to work in teams is most likely determined before he or she is hired. In Socialization, the importance of becoming a valued member of the company team may be emphasized.
The firm’s culture reflects, in effect, how we do things around here. This relates to everything from the way employees dress to the way they talk.
Employees should know exactly what is expected of them and what is required by the firm for advancement in the job or via promotion.
Dealing with Change
Employees at all levels must learn to effectively deal with change in order to survive in their jobs. The best way individuals can be prepared for change is to continually develop and expand their skills.
3 Stages of Organizational Socialization
The Pre-Arrival Stage
The socialization process contains three stages that occur consecutively. It starts with the pre-arrival stage, which consists of anything a potential organization member has learned about the organization prior to joining.
Part of the pre-arrival stage is the selection process, which is used by the hiring company to hire people who can adequately perform the job but also to select people who will fit well into the culture of the company. The selection process provides the organization with information about the candidate but also gives the job-seeker information about the organization.
The Encounter Stage
Once a candidate accepts a job offer, they enter the encounter stage. This stage is where the expectations of the new employee meet the reality of the job. If the reality of the new job is different than what the new employee expected it to be, socialization methods are used to orient the new employee to the existing culture and to help them make sense of the culture of their new organization.
Finally, the new member must work out any problems discovered during the encounter stage.
This may mean going through changes hence, we call this metamorphosis stage. The options presented in the above figure are alternatives designed to bring about the desired metamorphosis. Note that the more management relies on socialization programs that are formal, collective, fixed, serial, and emphasize divestiture, the greater the likelihood that newcomers’ differences and perspectives will be stripped away and replaced by standardized and predictable behaviors. Careful selection by the management of newcomers’ socialization experiences can at the extreme create conformists who consider no organizational practice sacred.
Successful metamorphosis should have a positive impact on the new employee’s productivity and his commitment to the organization and reduce his propensity to leave the organization.