Survey Identifies Greatest Challenges When Starting a New Job
MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 13, 2012 -- Workers who ring in the new year with a new job may find learning the ropes to be their biggest challenge, a new Accountemps survey suggests. Forty-four percent of employees and 60 percent of managers interviewed said mastering new processes and procedures tops their list of concerns when joining a company. One in fiverespondents(20 percent)from each groupcited getting to know a new boss and colleagues as the greatest hurdle.
The joint surveys of workers and senior managers were developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm. The surveys include responses from 420 working adults 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment and 1,014 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
Workers and managers were asked, "Which of the following is the greatest challenge when starting a new job?" Their responses:
Learning new processes and procedures
Getting to know a new boss and coworkers
Learning how to use new technology and tools
Fitting into the corporate culture
Other, don't know, no answer
"The first few days and weeks on a job can be both exciting and overwhelming as new hires familiarize themselves with the company's work environment and policies, including any unwritten rules," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources KitFor Dummies®, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "Taking full advantage of orientation events and opportunities to meet and interact with colleagues can help smooth the transition."
Added Messmer, "Most companies provide training so employees can get up to speed on formal procedures. However, it's often more challenging to learn the cultural nuances of the firm, including how people prefer to communicate and collaborate."
Accountemps highlights seven tips for employees starting a new job in 2013:
Clarify expectations. Create a list of goals and responsibilities with your supervisor and establish a timeline for achieving them. Request feedback to ensure you're on the right track.
Find a role model. An experienced team member can provide newcomers with insight related to office protocol and performance expectations.
Watch, listen and learn. Each organization has its own unwritten rules. Observe how a top performer approaches problems and try to emulate his or her behavior.
Go out for coffee or lunch. Get to know your colleagues in less formal settings to build rapport.
Travel in different circles. Use orientation and training courses to network with coworkers in other departments. You'll learn company jargon, operational practices and values.
Ask questions. Not asking enough questions is a top mistake new hires make when starting a job. When in doubt, seek clarification.
Strike a balance. Exude confidence, but don't come across as a know-it-all. Take in all information before suggesting alternatives to current practices.