The first days at the workplace can be decisive for an entire career in an enterprise or company. How to spend the period of adaptation is not just painless, but the most effective? When is it important for a new employee to prove his abilities, be accepted into the team, understand the rules and regulations of the company, and also show his first results? An expert in the field of crisis communication and HR, business coach Anya Pabst shares the secrets of competent adaptation of a new employee with SR readers.
You have been looking for a suitable person for an open vacancy for a long time and, finally, you have found that same specialist with the necessary work experience, who is able to perfectly find an approach to customers and negotiate with any of them, an excellent salesperson - the task has been completed! But this does not mean that you should relax and reap the benefits of successful recruiting. The first months of work actually determine the success of an employee’s career in a new place, and the right motivation at this time is more important than ever. But an interesting fact was found out: almost 60% of HR personnel consider it necessary to develop and maintain adaptation programs for personnel, but hardly 40% actually do this.
Adaptation - this is the process of actively adapting a person to a new environment, getting to know the organization’s activities, the characteristics of production / commercial activity, inclusion in communication networks within a team, getting to know the corporate culture and changing one’s own behavior in accordance with the requirements of the new environment. The process itself is almost always stressful, and the task of the leader is to make the situation for the beginner more comfortable on the one hand, and on the other hand, to give him the opportunity to adapt and prove himself by successfully completing tasks and implementing projects.
At the same time, he needs to adapt to the new leader, and to colleagues, and to the enterprise with its corporate rules as a whole. Adaptation can be optimized with the help of corporate training, which begins with a detailed story about the company, corporate ethics, organization of the enterprise and its achievements. Corporate books, if available in the company, also facilitate the period of adaptation.
First impression is the most important
Adaptation is divided into four stages. The first - evaluative - Determines the beginner’s training level to develop the most effective adaptation program. If a new employee already has experience in similar divisions and departments, the period of his adaptation will be minimal. However, in this case, there are options for solving already known problems that are unusual for a beginner.
In the second stage - orientation - there is a practical acquaintance of the employee with the duties and requirements; Both the immediate supervisor and the employee of the personnel management service participate in the process.
The third stage is called “Effective adaptation”. It consists in directly adapting the new employee to his status, and his success is largely due to the degree of inclusion in interpersonal relations in the team. It is important that at this stage the beginner can act in several areas, testing new knowledge about the organization and working mechanisms. Particularly important at this stage is a joint assessment of effectiveness, trial and error.
The adaptation process ends with a step called "Functioning". It is characterized by a gradual overcoming of production and interpersonal problems and the transition to stable work. If adaptation occurs spontaneously, without special events on the part of management and personnel, it can take a year and a half. But with effective organization, it can come within a few months. And this means that the employee will achieve good performance much earlier, which will directly affect the company's income.
According to a study by the European Association of Managers, the average duration of adaptation is from 3 to 12 months, the most difficult being the first two or three, especially since they coincide with the trial period, which carries additional stress. It was at this time that the professional skills and interpersonal competencies of the employee were under close attention from both the management and its new colleagues.
Motivation and Efficiency
Each of the above stages of adaptation affects the motivation of the beginner. Even such minor difficulties as the delay in issuing a pass or creating your own e-mail will affect the enthusiasm of the new employee. Therefore, it is worthwhile to take care of the security notification and the preparation of the workplace in advance, as well as the selection of a mentor who will not only bring you up to date, but will also help with the above trifles.
The department head or mentor is also responsible for ensuring that the newcomer is familiar with the dress code, internal rules, company goals and even with the parking features and the location of the corporate dining room or kitchen. Corporate taboos - for example, a ban on checking personal emails or private conversations on a business phone - are also voiced in advance. The first conversation with the supervisor / mentor should be thorough. The main task is to discuss with the employee what exactly he will do now and how his activities fit into the daily tasks of the department or the whole company.
It is necessary to find a middle ground between the excessive flow of information with a mountain of tasks and the situation when a beginner is ignored and left to his own devices. In many respects, the employee’s motivation is based on the “elbow feeling” in the early days and confidence that they will not be left alone to deal with difficulties. An effective measure is to introduce a new employee who is invited to become a speaker at the meeting and tell about himself, his skills and plans in the company. On the one hand, this is a test for communication abilities, on the other - an act of adoption into the family. The new employee answers questions and, feeling interest, overcomes adaptation barriers. Such a performance is also a plus for other employees who are not surprised when they meet a new face in the corridor and do not have to “look closely” at the newcomer for an attempt to establish contact.
If the adaptation process began successfully from the very beginning, this will bring not only financial benefits to the company, but also motivational bonuses to the employee himself. Adaptation can also be accompanied by crises, when a beginner is faced with increasingly complex tasks, and sometimes with problems and conflicts, together with growing pressure from the social environment. Motivation in this period depends on external and internal factors. Among the first - adaptation measures, optimization of the work process, the formation of relationships in the team. The intrinsic motivation of a person is associated with the ability to overcome stress, which, in fact, accompanies the whole process of adaptation.
Look at others and show yourself
Social adaptation in the team associated with the adoption of standards of behavior, corporate values, is accompanied by increased motivation to establish personal and business relationships with colleagues. The more transparent the relationship within the company, the easier it is for a new employee to adapt. The speed in overcoming the social barrier depends both on the personality of the newcomer and the adaptive skills of his mentor or leader.
At the beginning of work, employees are very dependent on the opinions of others and seek social approval - both within the company and beyond. In the second case, it is important for them how prestigious the new place of work looks in the eyes of their friends, colleagues and acquaintances. The motivation in this case will be supported by detailed information about the mission, achievements, history of the company and the personal mission of the employee who came here to work. This closely connects social adaptation with organizational adaptation, when a newcomer gets accustomed to a new organizational status and adopts existing management mechanisms.
Adaptation in a new place is the stage when the motive of achievements is most pronounced
The tangible results in the work - increasing sales, the emergence of new customers, successful implementation of the project - are more important than ever for employee motivation. Now a new employee is experiencing much more satisfaction from the results of the work than from its process. For "oldies" the situation may be the opposite.
Learning from mistakes is not shameful
An important component is the feedback from the immediate boss, as well as with the HR manager. Performance evaluation, discussion of problems and suggestions - all this gives a new employee a powerful motivational incentive. Not the fact that everything will work out in the work. At the initial stage, errors and omissions are not uncommon. Therefore, another important factor is the culture of attitude to errors that exists in the enterprise.
If mistakes are treated as a stage of professional development, moments that bring new knowledge and experience, the new employee will not be afraid to take the initiative, even if there is a risk of mistakes. Feeling the support of his boss and colleagues, he will not only lose motivation, but will also increase it - trying to do better and more correctly. Learning from mistakes, and not being afraid of them, is the most important mechanism for successful adaptation in the workplace.
The competent attitude to the mistakes of employees is based on the confidence of the new employee in his abilities and his ability to act independently. This skill develops in the process of adaptation and plays a key role in the process of delegation of authority. The leader supports the newcomer and advises what to do in difficult cases, but entrusts the employee to make decisions himself in the process of completing a task.
Trust is an important part of the adaptation process
The leader must trust his employee, and the employee must trust the leader, for example, in that he relies on his opinion in certain issues and subsequently asks exactly what he instructed to do. Ideally, the competent delegation of authority and the distribution of responsibilities should create such an atmosphere in the enterprise when each employee knows his area of responsibility and performs tasks, being responsible for the result to his direct management. Then the process of adaptation of each new employee will be easier and more painless, and newcomers will quickly become loyal employees who associate their career prospects with your company.
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