Socialising New Engineers into the Organisation

Russell Korte’s research on how engineering graduates learned the social norms of an organisation as they started new jobs in the workplace produced two significant findings:

Relationship building is the primary driver of workplace socialisation.

The work group is the main context for socialisation, not the organisation.

This challenges views that organisational socialisation is a learning process that is mainly the responsibility of the newcomer.  Korte points out how induction/inhouse educational programs can leverage these findings:

Place greater emphasis on the social system in the work place — Relationships with co-workers and the manager determined the quality of learning and integration for newcomers. The quality of relationship building influenced on-the-job learning outcomes.

Recognise the influences and variances of work groups on learning and performance — “Newcomers’ experiences learning the social norms of the organization varied based on the quality of relationship building experiences in the work group.”

Newcomers to the workplace typically access information from these sources:

Differences between organisational-centric and people-centric onboarding processes: