Magazine article Talent Development

The Great Acclimation Race: New Hires Have Less Time Than Ever to Get Cozy in Their Workplaces. Employees Racing to Learn a New Culture Can Follow a Simple Steps to Help Make the Transition Easier

Magazine article Talent Development

The Great Acclimation Race: New Hires Have Less Time Than Ever to Get Cozy in Their Workplaces. Employees Racing to Learn a New Culture Can Follow a Simple Steps to Help Make the Transition Easier

Article excerpt

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Forget the standard 90-day onboarding transition that allows employees to gradually grow accustomed to their new nine-to-five work environments--now, try nine weeks.

The Creative Group asked advertising and marketing executives, "On average, how long would you say someone is in a role before you know she is a good fit for the job?" The average response, based on more than 500 telephone interviews with executives from small and medium-sized companies, was 45 days.

"A lot of new hires are being expected to acclimate much more quickly than in the past," says Donna Farrugia, executive director for The Creative Group. "Nine weeks isn't a lot of time. Organizations today are moving at such a fast pace that even expectations such as these are moving faster."

The condition of the postrecession workplace may contribute to this shortened time-to-acclimation. With fewer organizations hiring, employers that bring in fresh talent have higher standards for new hires from day one. Companies that have experienced reductions in force and budget cuts are most likely to execute leaner training and development programs and may not provide the robust orientation processes that employees once enjoyed.

Employees who enter their new workplaces with a plan will enjoy a smoother transition, Farrugia suggests. New hires must be aware that their new supervisors are evaluating their attitude, enthusiasm, teamwork, and performance within the first two weeks on the job. As a result, employees must be proactive and work to make immediate contributions as soon as they walk in the door.

"Don't use the 'I'm new' excuse," Farrugia warns. "Give it your all from day one: Soak up as much information as possible, see how your position fits into the bigger picture, and get a clear sense of your employer's priorities and expectations."

Of course the responsibility for success is not one-sided--employers have a role to play as well. …

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