The buddy system is a staple element of the onboarding process for many companies. However, to reap the benefits of it, it is essential to implement it correctly. These 5 key reasons explain why it gives so much value to any new joiner and how you can ensure that it functions well in practice!
The buddy system is an efficient way to help new hires settle into your organization with ease. By pairing your new hires with a buddy, you bring them into the lifestyle of your organization in a sociable and fun manner. To a new hire, a buddy can provide insights and context that a handbook cannot. By making new hires immediately comfortable, you can decrease staff turnover.
How can you ensure companionship?
Pair your employees with some similar interests! While they may not necessarily work in the same department, by sharing a culture, a love of dance or a habit of baking these employees will form a bond that eases the transition to your organization. The buddy system doesn’t need to be a formal process. Simply introducing like-minded individuals will help your new hires to hop on board, and your current employees to stay on board.
A recent study conducted by Microsoft showed that 97% of new hires who met with their buddy 8 times or more in their first 90 days of working there indicated their buddy helped them to quickly boost productivity in their role. This is explained by new hires settling into roles efficiently because their buddy makes the settling process easier. It is worth mentioning the motivation created by having a companion in work who is striving towards the same overall goal of improving your organization.
How can you ensure productivity?
By following up with both of the buddies and ensuring they are meeting frequently, you get an indication whether this relationship is developing well and your employees are benefiting from these meetings. A quick and casual check-in to see how they are doing and how helpful they find these meetings will tell you this.
3. Better job satisfaction
The same study conducted by Microsoft also indicated that after their first week on the job, new hires with buddies were 23% more satisfied with their onboarding than those without. After 90 days, this number improved, showing 36% more satisfaction in new hires with buddies compared to those without. Providing your employees with a companion in your organization from the get go ensures their job satisfaction and reduces turnover.
How can you ensure job satisfaction?
By communicating with your employees to ensure they are well matched and benefitting from their buddy meetings, you help them in their first steps into your organization. You can encourage them to succeed and reach their full potential right off the bat. An employee who feels secure, cared for and in good company, will be certainly satisfied in their role.
4. Provide insight
At Lepaya, we asked some of our recent hires how our internal buddy system benefitted them.
One recurring theme was that because Lepaya matches people across the organization, it gave new hires insights into different roles.
The buddy system used here motivates our employees to succeed. In one case, two interns met to share thoughts on research they were conducting within Lepaya, motivating and inspiring them with fresh ideas! (You can see them below, catching up!)
How can you ensure your buddy system will be insightful?
This can be achieved in a number of ways! Pairing employees from different departments allows them to share the different mechanisms of your organization. Conversely, pairing employees in similar roles as well, gives new hires both the different perspective of a colleague in another department, as well as the seasoned knowledge of someone in their own department. Encourage your new hires to introduce themselves widely across the organization at the beginning of their onboarding journey to immerse themselves fully.
5. For a more effective learning experience
Using a buddy system is not just a useful tool to improve your onboarding processes, but it is also useful for peer learning! For example, at Lepaya, we use buddy systems in most of our trainings, both virtually and face to face. Using a buddy system, employees will practice what they learn in traditional classroom sessions. They set goals during trainings and complete e-learning content with their allocated buddy to hone their new skills in real life. By using a buddy system in our learning programs, we encourage learners to not only interact and bond but also to motivate and support one another throughout their learning journey. Learning together ensures an active learning experience and a deeper understanding of what they will learn.
How can you ensure your employees get the most effective learning experience?
By ensuring the training provided is impactful, enjoyable and engaging.
Lepaya uses interactive learning to engage your employees and make their learning experience fun, memorable and effective. Whether they are learning virtually with our interactive bites or at in-person trainings, they will interact both with the trainers, actors and their colleagues throughout the process. Lepaya thinks along with you to ensure your organization gets the right training at the right time. If you want to know more about our trainings, be sure to get in touch!