Buddy Systems Alleviate HR Pain Points and Improve New Hire Experience, Says HR Research Firm McLean & Company

McLean & Company, the globally trusted partner of HR and business leaders, has released its newest research-driven resource, titled Implement a Buddy System at Work. This data-backed guide is intended to support HR leaders in building a more consistent and effective way to help onboard new employees. With HR facing ongoing challenges like significant turnover and competition in the talent marketplace, a “buddy system” is an easy-to-implement solution that McLean & Company research indicates is effective at helping new employees acclimate to a new organization and role.

Onboarding is often exciting and stressful for both the new employee and the manager, and new hires often need extra support to settle into a new role. McLean & Company’s New Hire Survey Database shows employees are 1.8 times more likely to be engaged when their acclimatization experience is positive compared to those who rate their experience lower.

A buddy is different from a mentor or coach. The term “buddy” refers to the internal tenured employee who assists a new employee in settling in with an organization. The buddy acts as a friendly point of contact to help new employees adjust to their roles during the first few months by providing advice, answering questions, and making introductions.

The research indicates that a buddy system provides ongoing support to new hires after their initial orientation without a significant investment in time or resourcing and can alleviate some of HR’s pain points with similar programs.

Buddy system programs offer the following merits:

  • Easy to implement with minimal coordination
  • Senior-level members freed up for more formal interactions
  • No specialized training required to be a buddy
  • Flexibility in meeting frequency, duration, and location

For employees, buddy systems are valuable and offer such benefits as:

  • An enhanced and more personalized onboarding experience
  • Prevention of potential isolation when hired ad hoc rather than in large groups
  • Help with the adjustment period as new employees become familiar with team processes and organizational culture
  • Networking opportunities and identification of key contacts within the organization

Improved distribution of the time managers traditionally spends on onboarding
McLean & Company explains that although the implementation of the buddy system and the buddy selection process fall under a manager’s list of responsibilities, HR can impact uptake and effectiveness by designing the framework and guiding managers on how to integrate it into their onboarding processes. This framework will ensure that a consistent approach is being applied throughout the organization and that all new employees have access to an additional layer of onboarding support.

 

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