As travel dates loom in the future for dealership assignments, my teammates and I at the digital marketing team for General Motors had questions pertaining to the proper procedure for communicating with our dealers and how we can appropriately provide any potential feedback to our dealer. While this advice was given to the digital marketing team, it can also be taken into any professional setting: learn the process and understand how an organization operates before suggesting and making changes.
New employees that are hired into a company are essential to the success of the organization because they carry innovative new ideas that will prevent stagnation and complacency. However, this eagerness to bring about change needs to be checked at the door until an employee has a firm understanding of all the processes and policies that a company operates on. Certain ways of doing things might have worked at different organizations, but that doesn’t guarantee universal success.
For the first few weeks of training, it’s important to carry a willingness to learn and listen, rather than pitch ideas right away. Managers and other employees won’t be receptive to a new hire who immediately suggests making changes to the current system of operations.
There will come a time where managers and employees will ask for advice and suggestions regarding improvement. A new hire needs to make sure they aren’t stepping on any toes when giving advice; it’s also important to give a disclaimer “in my opinion…” or “I would suggest…” to convey a level of humbleness.
If there are glaring issues that are seen in the workplace during training, or at any time during employment, these issues should be reported to someone who can investigate those issues and effect change as appropriate.
Training should be treated as a time to learn about the organization and how it operates, not to suggest making changes with only a cursory knowledge of the company. I’m an analytical person who enjoys dissecting information before making significant changes so this advice runs parallel with my professional behaviors, but most new hires should follow this kind of procedure unless they were employed specifically to make immediate changes or provide consultation for a company.