Now You See It, or Don't You?

In general, people trust the experiences they have had to date. As a new hire in a new environment, they don’t have the environment and cultural experiences in their new workplace to help them to gauge appropriate behaviors and ideas. Take a look at this video of a behavioral experiment. (This is 10 minutes long. If you do not have that kind of time, watch the first minute and then watch three minutes or so at the end, the final “test” is quite funny.)

In this experiment with the invisible rope, you see a demonstration where people trust other people’s behavior over their own senses. I believe they all knew there was no rope. However, once one person went around or over the “rope,” others followed suit. Why did they do this? They went around or over the “rope” because in the absence of really knowing what was going on in this situation they just did what others were doing. Have you ever encountered this situation at work? Here you are in a meeting with people that either have more experience in the organization than you or out rank you and you are lost in the conversation. Your colleagues are looking for a solution to an QRP issue that occurs when the starter launch reverses. Jules feels that the integration of the ABE hybrid matrix will mitigate the problem but not solve the timing issue. Teagan suggests a solution and people start to agree. Slowly, as the decision process progresses through head nods, all eyes turn to you. Do you nod your head in agreement? Many will.

Think of your new hire. In the absence of real cultural and organizational onboarding, your new hire will step over or go around the invisible rope. Your new hire might ignore what they intrinsically know to follow those who have been there longer. Who in your organization are they modeling? Is it the person who best represents who you are as an organization? It’s something to consider. Just because you didn’t provide a formal onboarding experience for your staff does not mean they didn’t get an introduction to your organization’s culture and values. The question is, are they getting the correct information from the right person?

If you don’t provide the correct introduction to your organization are your newly hire staff in danger of modeling the wrong person, persons, or culture? Could they be stepping over or going around a rope that is not there? Did you just spend a significant amount of time, energy, and effort to hire the right person and fail to provide them the good start they needed to optimize their value to your organization? Do you self a favor, make an investment in your new hire so that they can reach the potential that you saw in them when you hired them.

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