Friday, July 27, 2012

Retaining Talent: Authentic Socialization

University of North Carolina Professor Brad Staats and his co-authors have published an interesting new study regarding talent retention.  The paper is titled, “Breaking Them In or Revealing Their Best? Reframing Socialization Around Newcomer Self-Expression.”  The scholars conducted a field experiment at Wipro BPO in India.   In this study, they introduced a new type of on-boarding technique for new employees.  The methodology is called "authentic socialization."   It focuses on helping new employees identify their capabilities and strengths, and then finding ways to use them to help the organization achieve its mission and goals.   That method contrasts with the usual on-boarding process, which is more about teaching employees "the way things are done here."  In the UNC Kenan Flagler Business School Research Insights magazine, Staats explains his research:

“Instead of indoctrinating new employees on ‘how things are done around here’ in hopes that they will internalize organizational values, authentic socialization enables newcomers to highlight their unique identities at the very beginning of the employment relationship and bring more of their signature strengths to the job.”

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