SPEC Kit 323: Socializing New Hires · 13
is the likely reason, as evidenced by the number of
comments citing promotion and tenure committee in-
volvement in socialization activities. For support staff
and other professional staff, the Staff Development
Officer is somewhat more likely to be involved than
a library committee (eight to nine responses for the
Staff Development Officer, as compared to seven for
a committee).
Goals and Budget for Socialization Programs
By far the primary goal is to communicate the orga-
nizational culture of the library, as cited by 54 institu-
tions (95%). An additional seven goals were selected
by 56%–75% of respondents, including those relating
to: performance evaluation, promotion and tenure,
inclusion, retention, training in specific areas, organi-
zational culture of the campus/parent institution, and
professional culture of librarianship. Among other
goals described, several institutions seek engagement
and identification with the larger entity, communica-
tion of the library’s strategic plan and mission, and
introduction to the local community.
There is a sense from respondents’ comments that
budgeting is not a major issue. Many institutions fund
socialization activities from general library funds/
operating budget or a combination of library, univer-
sity, and private funds. Occasionally, the library staff
association will fund specific events. A number of
institutions report that little or no budget is needed,
with costs limited to staff workload.
Length of Participation in Socialization Programs
and Activities
The time frame for completing each socialization activ-
ity is logically shaped by the nature and scope of each
program. Socialization for new hires is an ongoing
process, and can vary based on the individual needs
of each new employee. For example, respondents de-
scribe the individualized nature of job shadowing or
coaching, and note that the relationships developed
through this activity can last well beyond a specific
time frame. As mentoring can also facilitate the de-
velopment of long-term professional relationships, the
time frame for this activity also varies considerably.
Other socialization activities have more specific time
frames. For instance, orientation programs are typi-
cally completed during the first six months to one year
on the job. Respondents also noted that orientation
activities are often completed in stages, starting with a
checklist on the first day or week, and involving meet-
ings (over a period of several weeks or months) with
staff from the human resources unit, the immediate
supervisor, and/or other colleagues.
Evaluation and Assessment of Socialization
Fewer than half of the respondents (24 or 43%) have
tools in place to solicit feedback from participants for
evaluation, with an additional 13 (23%) reporting that
they plan to develop a process. Surveys, individual
interviews, and focus group meetings are typical ap-
proaches. Other tools include evaluation forms, break-
fast or lunch with the dean or administrators, and exit
Research libraries and archives utilize various
measures of success, with feedback from participants
as the largest single response. Also cited are employee
and supervisor satisfaction, morale (with one institu-
tion specifically seeking improvement as measured
by an annual ClimateQUAL® survey), retention rates,
and achievement of tenure. One respondent has two
simple measures: does the mentee volunteer to be-
come a mentor and does the mentee encourage other
new staff to participate in the mentoring program.
Benefits of Socialization Programs and Activities
Respondents report a wide variety of benefits accrued
from socialization programs and activities (for the
organization as a whole, as well as for new hires).
Socialization programs and activities facilitate gen-
eral orientation and acclimation to the organization
and its culture. Through meeting and getting to know
colleagues more quickly, new hires establish a net-
work of contacts within and outside the organization.
Respondents also note that new hires receive the nec-
essary tools and support to learn and do their jobs ef-
fectively, which enhances and increases productivity.
Survey respondents also reported that socialization
programs facilitate learning about how to be success-
ful in the promotion and tenure process, which can
Previous Page Next Page