New employee characteristics

Research has shown evidence that employees with certain personality traits and experiences adjust to an organization more quickly. These are a proactive personality, the “Big Five”, curiosity, and greater experience levels.

“Proactive personality” refers to the tendency to take charge of situations and achieve control over one’s environment. This type of personality predisposes some workers to engage in behaviors such as information seeking that accelerate the socialization process, thus helping them to adapt more efficiently and become high-functioning organizational members. Empirical evidence also demonstrates that a proactive personality is related to increased levels of job satisfaction and performance.

The Big Five personality traits—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism—have been linked to onboarding success, as well. Specifically, new employees who are proactive or particularly open to experience are more likely to seek out information, feedback, acceptance, and relationships with co-workers. They also exhibit higher levels of adjustment and tend to frame events more positively.

Curiosity also plays a substantial role in the newcomer adaptation process and is defined as the “desire to acquire knowledge” that energizes individual exploration of an organization’s culture and norms. Individuals with a curious disposition tend to frame challenges in a positive light and eagerly seek out information to help them make sense of their new organizational surroundings and responsibilities, leading to a smoother onboarding experience.

Employee experience levels also affect the onboarding process such that more experienced members of the workforce tend to adapt to a new organization differently from, for example, a new college graduate starting their first job. This is because seasoned employees can draw from past experiences to help them adjust to their new work settings and therefore may be less affected by specific socialization efforts because they have (a) a better understanding of their own needs and requirements at work. and (b) are more familiar with what is acceptable in the work context. Additionally, veteran workers may have used their past experiences to seek out organizations in which they will be a better fit, giving them an immediate advantage in adapting to their new jobs. -wikipedia

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