How a buddy program benefits a company
Feeling lost on the first day is normal for any new employee. Although it can be exciting for them, they can also feel stressed and overwhelmed. Assigning a workplace buddy can help ease their way into the company, especially during the onboarding process.
What is a buddy?
A buddy is an already well-established and engaged employee that is willing to provide time, be accessible and support new hires during the first three months on the job. Anyone from the new employee’s department can be a buddy just by volunteering to enter the program. Generally, a buddy commits to the program from six to ten hours over the first three months of support.
- Welcomes the new employee on the first day of work
- Follows up with him on a weekly basis
- Shows resources in the workplace
- Provides information to help them feel comfortable and part of their new team
- Gives employees opportunity to connect with other colleagues
- Refers the new hire to their supervisor/manager for job specific questions
Benefits of a buddy program
Apart from helping new hires ease their way into the organization, implementing a buddy program in the company can bring many other benefits for the employees and the company as a whole:
- Makes it easier to make friends at work: a buddy will also support the new employee fit into the organization by introducing him/her to the rest of the employees in the company.
- Provides informal learning: new recruits can also develop new skills observing how the buddy interacts with the rest of the colleagues.
- Attracts and retains talent: having friends at work can make a difference whenever deciding whether to leave a company, and even join it!
- Improves the working environment and productivity: a buddy program encourages better employee communication and collaboration, providing foundations for good teamwork that increases productivity in the short, medium, and long run.
How to structure a buddy program
A company needs to be aware of the different phases of a buddy program to follow up on the success of the onboarding. A buddy program can be easily structured in 4 phases:
1- Build a relationship between the buddy and the new employee.
At this stage, the buddy and the new employee meet and start building trust. They get to know facts about each other such as hobbies or aspirations which will help them connect at a deeper level later. Both can agree upon basics such as the frequency of their communication.
2- Exchange information and set goals.
The buddy and the new employee exchange more information and start creating the goals and objectives of the program.
3- Define the work and the actions to achieve goals.
The buddy helps the new hire reach his/her goals through advice, conversations, written resources, documentation, learning activities such as training… This process is crucial to spot where to expect results and implement tools to measure and keep track of the performance.
4- End of the relationship and planning for the future.
Once the three months are over, the buddy can help the employee set their future goals and provide further support and channels to keep in touch.
Technology to support a buddy program
A buddy can easily bond with new employees using the technology as support. Here are some ideas of how to use technology to connect a buddy with the new hire, or any other employee for that matter:
- Internal communication: the buddy and the employee can meet online even before the onboarding process via chats or videocalls.
- Gamification: new recruits can also be awarded rewards such as praise badges, which is a great way to offer peer praise.
- Surveys: buddies can match with new hires based on shared interests and recollect feedback sending them out!
Did you know that niikiis is the all-in-one HR solution that can help you set up a buddy program and ensure its implementation? Our HR software focuses on facilitating internal communication via channels, micro learning pills, and surveys, which will help bring your buddy program to the next level. Providing kudos and connecting people from the organization is now easier with our social home! Request a free demo to discover how niikiis streamlines people operations.