I was in China last week where internet access to anything related to PrimeGenesis is completely blocked. Couldn't use PrimeGenesis email. Couldn't look at PrimeGenesis websites. And, as I'm sure, you all noticed, couldn't post anything on the PrimeGenesis blog.
People joining almost any new organization face the same issue. Their communication is blocked – in different ways at different stages.
Communication blockages during acquisition
Of course no organization is going to give people they are recruiting access to company intranets and emails. But, organizations should be mindful of the message they are communicating on the websites and emails that candidates do see. And, organizations should have a process in place to give candidates even more access while they are doing their own due diligence between offer and acceptance.
Communication blockages during accommodation
Things change once the offer is accepted. At this point, the more access to intranets and emails soon-to-be employees can have, the easier it is for them to get a head start on relationships and learning. Think hard about creating ways to give these people more access rather than less.
Communication blockages during assimilation
You are probably thinking that walls come down once the employee starts and the communication blockages go away. You are wrong. There are two ways to keep someone in the dark: give them too little information or too much. New employees get flooded with some much communication in their early days that it is almost impossible to sort through it. This is why they need mentors, coaches, buddies, touchstones or the like to help them decipher what is important and what is not.
Communication blockages during acceleration
I'm told it takes a full day to adjust to each hour of time change. So, coming from China to California, I won't be fully adjusted for eight days. After a couple of days, no one will notice (including me), but I still won't be 100%. The same thing is true for people in new jobs. They may look like they understand the communication channels and the new culture after a couple of months, but they are still adjusting. Give your new employees more help for more time than you think they need. The downside of letting them swim on their own too soon is far greater than the cost of the extra help.
Everything communicates – including what communication you allow to be blocked, however it's blocked. In general, more communication is better. Find ways to remove the blockages.