At some point, we have all felt lost at the start of a new job in a new company. That’s why other companies are implementing the buddy system. A buddy system is when an existing employee of a company is tasked to be your “buddy” for a period. This arrangement will allow for an easier and better transition to the new working environment. Your buddy will have to orient you about the different areas of the office. That also includes teaching you how to use certain equipment and how the process works. And yes, office politics will be a part of these conversations. You need those, too.
In a factory, for example, your buddy will show you how a square punch and die set is operated. You’ll be oriented in other machines, too. If you need to inquire about how to manage a tool or equipment, trust that your buddy will be there to help you. The goal of the buddy system is to accelerate the learning and adaptability of the new hire.
What Does a New Hire Get from the Buddy System?
Most new employees are uncomfortable about asking questions for fear that they may come off as incompetent. They want to prove themselves to their peers. For them, asking questions showed that they are not fit and skilled enough. That is, of course, a wrong connotation. Buddies can fill in that gap. They should always be ready to answer your questions. In some instances, some buddies precisely know what a new hire needs to know that you won’t need to ask questions anymore.
Buddies usually show new hires around the office. They point where the bathroom, copier, finance department, HR department, and lounge areas are. They take lunch breaks with the new hires to make them feel more welcome. They also introduce the new hires to the other employees, further breaking the ice. These are intended to make sure the new hires feel at home and comfortable in the workplace.
Buddy systems are incredibly useful in the onboarding process. This system allows an individual to navigate through the organization’s culture. Buddies should also offer encouragement.
Who Should Be the Buddies?
The buddies should be those who have worked a long time in the company. They should know the ins and outs of the company policies and be familiar with everyone in the organization. Most buddies are friends with the rest of the employees. They know them by names, so they can introduce them formally to the new hires. Also, buddies should not be the superior of the new hires. There should be a level of authority that separates the new hires and their supervisors.
In a buddy system, the buddies will usually have to report to the management about the new hires. They will make a preliminary assessment of these new hires. However, this assessment should not affect the overall performance evaluation of the new hires.
So does your business need a buddy system? All organizations will benefit from a buddy system, especially in accelerating the productivity of the new hires and retaining them for a long time. Make sure to talk with your employees about starting a buddy system in your organization. Everyone should buy in the system for it to work.