Growing up, most of us have heard of or have been exposed to the buddy system wherein you and a “buddy” work on a task or go somewhere together so that there is someone to talk to, bounce ideas off and lend a hand if necessary. As we grew into the career exploration phase of our lives, most of us began hearing about the benefits of having a mentor, someone who could show you the ropes and guide you towards your desired vision of success. Well, what if organizations blended the two through creating a buddy system in the workplace? What would this look like? How would employees’ benefit? How would companies benefit? Here are three reasons leaders should consider implementing a buddy system in their organizations.
Remote or In-Person, People Want to Have Someone They Can Go To
As you are building your company’s culture and infrastructure, it is important to identify talented people within the organization that can be matched up with an employee that may need assistance and support. Peer mentorship and coaching is the most preferred way to learn required skills for a new job. Establishing a connection between employees from the beginning will garner a favorable and productive working environment. Also, celebrating success with a new hire and a buddy together is motivating for the rest of your team.
Employees Feel Safer, Fostering a Culture of Innovation
Each new job has a learning curve. Your new hire will positively benefit by having a buddy who will provide them with lessons learned from past experiences. Assigning a buddy to a new hire builds confidence faster than leaving the employee to their own devices and having them figure things out on their own.
Constructive feedback is often received easier when it comes from a buddy, rather than a supervisor. New hires are often afraid that if they ask too many questions or receive too much criticism from above, they will not fit in, or may be perceived as not having the skills and abilities to hold a position. The criticism is less formal when it comes from a buddy, and a new hire can relate to anecdotes the buddy shares about how they found success in the role.
Companies Experience Greater Efficiency and Productivity
A buddy system significantly contributes to a positive onboarding experience for new hires. A well-executed onboarding process positions new employees for long-term success within an organization. Assigning every new hire a buddy gives employees a reliable, enthusiastic single point of contact for any questions they may have. Having a system that helps a new hire feel like they’re part of a great team makes a substantial difference in early workplace performance and long-term retention.
When a new hire makes friends they can confide in, they are more likely to be satisfied and feel safe and comfortable with their work environment. This translates to improved employee retention and can save you the time and expense of needing to constantly hire and refill roles.
Incorporating a support system such as the buddy system can help cultivate a supportive company culture that makes new hires feel empowered, noticed, respected, and equipped with the resources they need to succeed.
Written by Christina DiArcangelo.
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