What is an Onboarding Buddy?

According to researchers Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton Princeton, social connectedness is one of the most important factors that drives happiness and well-being. This same strategy can be applied to ensure the involvement of an onboarding buddy in the onboarding process.

When a new employee joins a company, he might feel a lack of social connectedness, i.e., the quality and number of connections an individual has in the family and workplace. For this purpose, an onboarding buddy should be assigned to the new hire. He is considered a peer coach who ensures the new employee feels greeted in the company.

Who Is an Onboarding Buddy

An onboarding buddy is a current employee who is matched with the new hire. He is responsible for providing guidance, support, and educating the new hire about the organization’s processes, policies, culture, and social connections. This will help in making him feel comfortable in the workplace environment.

The responsibility which lies on the shoulder of onboarding a buddy is highly crucial. To make sure it is not missed it should be included in the onboarding checklist.

Why Use Onboarding Buddy

An onboarding buddy plays a vital role in making the onboarding process successful. The following surveys indicate how crucial it is to associate a new hire with an onboarding buddy:

  • 47% of organizations are using an onboarding buddy program. (Sampling HR);
  • 56% of the new hires feel more comfortable if an onboarding buddy is assigned to them (Click boarding);
  • If an onboarding buddy is assigned to a new hire, then it is highly probable that employees’ efficiency at the workplace will increase. (Together platform);
  • 87% of the organizations agree that a new hire’s proficiency increases if they use a buddy during the onboarding process (HCI.org);
  • Socialization is the key to onboarding (Click boarding);
  • 56% of the new hires who had met their buddy in the first three months have reported being more productive than ever (Microsoft).
Why use onboarding buddy

Provides Context

Employees are well-versed in the surrounding of their workplace from every email, presentation, or meeting they have attended. This experience of existing employees is a valuable thing for new hires, which can help them understand their role better.

Their context cannot be found in the employee handbook or company manual. They have crucial information regarding the stakeholders, their behavior and unspoken rules that may exist, and how to think strategically. All this knowledge and understanding of the company can ensure new hires’ smoother transition into the company.

Keeps New Hire Satisfied

An onboarding buddy can answer all questions of new hires which will eventually help in making the new hire satisfied. The research was conducted where assigned onboarding buddies were compared with those who were not assigned, buddies.

It was found that 23% of new hires with onboarding buddies were more satisfied with them than those without buddies.  When it was further continued for 90 days the percentage of satisfaction increased to 36% as they had received more active support from their onboarding buddies.

Onboarding buddy

Boosts Productivity

Once the new employee is hired, he wants, and the organization expects, speedy productivity. It will take a certain amount of time to adapt to the organization’s culture, roles, and responsibilities. The assigned onboarding buddy can help in boosting his productivity more quickly.

Microsoft deployed a buddy program for their process of onboarding and conducted research. It was found that if a new hire meets their buddy two to three times, their productivity increase to 73%. If four to eight times, the productivity increase to 56%, and 97% if he meets him more than eight times during his probation period.

There are a few concerns that the human resources department should consider while initiating and assigning a buddy with the new hire:

  • The current employee’s workload should be prioritized so that he has enough time to efficiently support the needs of new hires.
  • Make sure that both onboarding buddies and new hires know at what time they will meet so that they can manage their work accordingly.
  • The time and duration must be predetermined and agreed upon.  
  • It is very vital to assign the work of an onboarding buddy from the same team as he or she has a better understanding of the new hires and role and will be able to communicate well.  

In conclusion, the onboarding buddy is an essential part of the onboarding process. They can help the new hire transition into the new role quickly. It is also vital that organizations do not overcomplicate the process.

Making the onboarding buddy plan simple without any complexity will be highly valuable. The new hire will feel more relaxed, productive, and satisfied, and will tend to stay longer in the company.

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