Socialization: Definition, Purpose, Process

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Socialization

It refers to process of making the new employees get acquainted to the new environment of the organization. This reduces the anxiety of the new hires and allows them to adjust with the other existing employees in the company.

The purpose of Socialization can be distinctive from firm to firm. However there are certain fundamental purposes which are discussed below.

  • Employment Situation: The basic purpose of every organization would be to make the new employees industrious as soon as possible. Hence detailed information relating to work is provided at the initial stage itself.
  • Rules and Policies: The workforce should have a good understanding of the constraints and policies of the organization for smooth and continuous operations. Therefore, all the jobs in the company have to be performed as per those rules and policies.
  • Compensation and benefits: Although this information is made clear during the recruitment process, an analysis of this is required during socialization process. The employees will have some interest in knowing the rewards offered by the company.
  • Corporate Culture: The organization culture affects the entire working pattern of any company. This includes everything, from the way they dress to the way they behave with the other employees. Hence, a glimpse of the culture should be given during Socialization.
  • Working as a team: During Socialization, the importance of working as a leader is emphasized to add value to the organization. This ability of leadership is assessed during the initial stages of selection and training.
  • Dealing with Change: Coping with change is a big challenge to the employees at all levels in the organization. The employees must have the ability to manage or deal with change for survival in their respective jobs. Socialization helps them in preparing for change by continuously developing and training their skills.

Process of Socialization

The Socialization process can be divided into three stages:

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  1. Pre- Arrival Stage: This stage recognizes that every individual employee comes with set of values and hope. For example, in some jobs like the managerial kind, the employee might need a substantial degree of socialization in training. During the selection process, most organizations inform their prospective candidates about the process of Socialization. Selection process also helps the organization in determining the right person to fit the right job. The success here depends mostly on the degree of forecasting made by the selection team.
  2. Encounter Stage: Here the employees bump into the real working conditions of the organization. For example, the expectations of the job, co workers, immediate seniors and the business as a whole. Here, if the expectations confirm to be more or less correct, this stage reaffirms the employees of the perceptions generated in past. If the reality is different, socialization helps the employees in understanding to replace these. But socialization cannot totally resolve the differences in expectations.
  3. Metamorphosis Stage: The new employees, in this stage will work out solutions to meet any problems. Hence this stage is called the metamorphosis stage. At this stage the new employees will have become comfortable with their jobs and the team members. New hires will feel that they have been accepted by their superiors and peers. Not only this, they would have by now understood the organization system as a whole. They will also know what is expected of them, how they are evaluated and how productive they are towards the goals of the organization.

∗ There are many people involved in socializing the new hires. Let us understand who they are:

→ HRM Department: It conducts orientation programs for the new hires in order to socialize them with the new environment. This department plays a vital role in the new employee orientation programs; it also participates in these programs to ensure proper mechanism is in place. Prior to the arrival of new hires, the HRM department must be sure that a proper routine is set for them.

→ Managers or Supervisors: The immediate supervisors will also play a part in socializing with the new hires by informing them about the work culture, policies and procedures. In medium and small organizations new hires may report directly to the supervisors who in turn introduce them to the other employees. These employees will take them through the other departments and make them comfortable with the teams.

→ Organizational Culture: Most of the times, the organization culture itself socializes the new hires with its unique environment. Cultural here may comprise the rules and regulations, principles of significance and language of communication. In a broader sense it includes the etiquette to be followed by the new hires with their peers, supervisors and management.

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