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Thursday, March 25, 2010

BEYOND THE CUBICLE – CORPORATE CULTURE: Survival Tips – How to Assimilate into a New Culture

Beyond the Cubicle - Corporate Culture with Teri Aulph

While the job market is turbulent and unpredictable, there are people landing new jobs. As they join a new company, successfully assimilating into the new culture can make or break their career.

Entering a new company can be like relocating to a foreign country. New employees encounter new behaviors, dress, language, values, and rules. They will need to learn how to thrive among all of these in order to succeed and be a "good fit."

Underestimating the importance of cultural fit can be foolish. New employees are assessed for recognition, compensation, rewards and promotion, depending on how well they adjust in the new and, most likely, different culture.

Organizational Culture is an unspoken value that, while intangible, if misunderstood or ignored, can manifest in negative tangible results.

The understood or informal rules, based on common values and beliefs, become the reality of how the work gets done. Those who join the organization are expected to adapt and accomplish their work in accordance with the culture.

If you are beginning a new position in a new company, below are a few questions you would be wise to explore early in your tenure:

What it’s really like to work here?

What are the accepted behaviors and attitudes?

How do people communicate with one another?

How are decisions made and problems solved?

How are customers treated?

How is success defined here, and how does one succeed?

How do people work: independently or collaboratively?

From Day One on a new job, what will escalate and ease the transition is to quickly learn about the “way things are done here.” How well a new employee "fits" is determined in the first few weeks, so learning the culture is as important as learning policies and procedures. To be successful, investigate, understand and comply with both formal and informal expectations.

The interesting aspect of a cultural fit is that it is determined by people company-wide. There isn’t one person or even one designated group of people who judge the fit. It is an organic behavior embedded in every company. When a new person enters the company, EVERYONE plays a part in deciding if they fit the culture.

All this being true, how do you begin conversations regarding the culture and whom do you ask? Networking is the best method to learn what is accepted and what isn’t. Building relationships across the organization and demonstrating a sincere interest in how things work in the new company will position you as a team player who respects what is valued by others at the company.

New employees face many challenges when starting a new job: Understanding your job, learning about your boss, figuring out how best to get along with new colleagues, etc. Make sure that understanding, respecting and assimilating into the culture is a top priority in order to be poised to reduce obstacles and escalate your success.

For more information, please visit Teri's TNNW Bio.


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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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