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Allow yourself time to adapt
Rarely formulated, and even less often given on arrival, corporate cultural guidelines and practices often require time to adapt before being integrated by the employee. However, it would sometimes be very useful to state them. Do they have to be written down? Nothing is less sure.
Availability, hours, holidays: the great unknown
The risk of unformulated practices is that they are not always understood by everyone. This can sometimes cause some discomfort between the regulars and the others. Topic that comes up most often: schedules, office presence and required availability. Employed in a fast food restaurant, Bertrand thus indicated on a forum that he had initially not understood that he had to “point” with his badge in the morning and evening at the checkout. As a result, his manager – believing in doubt that he had arrived late – decided to reduce his time for lunch.
For his part, Martin, an executive of an architectural firm, explains that the rules are unspoken in his company when it comes to vacations. Since the offices are usually closed the second and third week of August, everyone takes their holidays at this time. Problem: a colleague, thinking that the rules were out of order, took three weeks off in June. If the latter is within his rights, the fact remains that he no longer wanted to stop in August, which had the effect of create a lot of tension between employees.
Things that are said, others not
Rather opt for familiarity or formality, e-mail or telephone? And what about constructive criticism in meetings? One thing is certain: it is better not to always take literally what is officially indicated. Questioned by Rue89, Axelle had to pay the consequences. Believing to do well, it even put itself in the embarrassment. When she arrived in the company, she understood that the weekly meetings were a way for everyone to express their suggestions for improvement.
So much so that she decided to criticize the ideas she found irrelevant, waiting for her colleagues to do the same for hers. But nothing happened and some people in the company held it against him, even offering ideas about his service without telling him. Consequence: she found herself short-circuited.
At the risk of getting fired?
Sometimes it is even the way of working, too little detailed by the management, which can have unfortunate consequences. Simon, an Internet hairdresser, says that he was in charge of a hairdressing salon with around thirty employees on behalf of a chain for a few years, without knowing exactly what was expected of him. After two years, he ended up understanding that his directors wanted to see his way of managing change. Through examples of other situations, the management finally asked him to separate the employees to prevent affinities from forming. Tired of resisting these injunctions which did not correspond to his way of doing things, Simon ended up leaving.
From one company to another, the corporate culture is rarely identical – a difference which can be costly to ignore. As such, François explains that the arrival of a former director of Alstom at Valéo did not go smoothly. Shortly after taking office, the latter indeed decided to “put in the closet” two heads of branch to replace them with others.
Problem: contrary to the habits of Alstom, the closet does not exist at Valéo and the only possibility is dismissal. Result, the new director was discredited and then fired for his ignorance of the unspoken rules. What François summarizes as follows: “the corporate culture got the better of him”.
When unspoken rules come out of silence
Sometimes, to avoid any misunderstanding, certain companies or institutions decide to formulate these implicit rules in writing. This is particularly the case of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the human resources department created in 2009 a diplomatic and consular training institute for young diplomats. A way to give the keys to the house and to explain how it works, how to act or behave.
Mathieu (first name changed), an engineer director of a construction company, has for his part established a sort of welcome booklet for new arrivals in his society. Its objective: to explain the relational, who does what in the company or to answer the most prosaic questions: when and how do we make expense reports, when do we receive pay slips, etc.
A good initiative provided you remain flexible
Be careful, however, recalls Mathieu, the idea is not to detail everything or to freeze things. Because instructions that are too rigid would notably risk leading to their circumvention. The main thing is above all to give a frame, a flexible guideline likely to evolve.
Sources : blog.marc-vachon, Rue89, Journaldunet, Liberation, Economic-alternatives