Onboarding Buddy System

The Buddy System is a vital part of Taubman College’s onboarding program. The HR staff selects a current employee (usually from a different team than the new person to help them meet other people) and invites them to serve as a buddy to a new hire for a time period of three to four months. While starting a new job is exciting, we know that it can be intimidating to be the new person. By connecting our new employee with a buddy, our goal is to provide them with a positive, friendly resource who can not only help them answer questions but can also help socialize them into our community.

Why Use a Buddy System?

Research has shown that there are many positive effects of having an onboarding buddy. Below are just a few reasons why implementing a buddy system is crucial to the success of not only our new hires, but Taubman College as a whole. For example:

  • Buddies assist with the unwritten rules: While new hires certainly bring an expertise to their new position, they still need to know how things operate here at Taubman College. Context is key, and our buddies have the experience to share those little things about how we operate, who the key stakeholders are, as well what our cultural norms are.
  • Buddies boost productivity: Having a buddy who can help out and answer questions along the way boosts confidence and makes for a quicker learning curve which results in higher productivity. Furthermore, managers will be able to spend less time on lower-level operational issues and focus more on higher-level tasks. 
  • Buddies improve job satisfaction for new employees leading to higher retention rates: Finding a sense of belonging, or socialization, is one of the most important factors in employee satisfaction and retention. Buddies provide a safe space and an immediate friend at work for our new team members who are still navigating what their expectations are, and how they can fit in. It can be intimidating to be the new person, but our buddies help to integrate our new employees so that they feel less as an outsider and more as a valued member of the Taubman College community.
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