Starting a new job can be exciting but nerve-wracking at the same time: new colleagues, new culture, and a whole new level of responsibilities. New hires need a little extra help along the way to get settled in their new roles—something like a buddy system at work.
The buddy system is a method of training that many people still use today. As a child, you were probably assigned a buddy or a student mentor at school. The same concept can be extended to the workplace too.
New employees are paired with experienced ones. This ensures that the new employees can navigate and learn everything they need to know to be successful on the job. From answering questions, introducing yourself to new people, to sharing information about the policies and procedures at your new company.
So let's find out more about it and how we can benefit from it!
What is A Buddy System?
The buddy system is a method of mentoring new employees at the workplace. The new employee is paired with an existing employee who will act as their buddy during the initial days of onboarding. This experienced employee is called the "buddy" of the new employee.
A buddy culture is a great way for new employees to feel more comfortable and get acquainted with the company culture, values, and changes in a new environment. It's also a great opportunity for more experienced employees to mentor their coworkers.
Buddy systems are also commonly used in workplaces to improve safety while working in hazardous environments.
It works particularly well in high-risk situations where the environment is unfamiliar or when solo work is necessary. The buddy system ensures that at least one worker will always be available to help if needed.
The army uses the same principle, but they call them battle buddies.
Benefits of Buddy System at the Workplace
The least effective professional relationships are the solely transactional ones. If you only see each other in meetings or only talk if there's a problem, it's unlikely to inspire or foster much genuine connection.
There are many benefits of having a buddy system in the workplace. Let's look at some of them below.
1. It makes new recruits feel more comfortable.
The buddy system is a great way to help new employees, and interns feel welcomed and at home as it applies to the workplace. It involves pairing them up with more experienced colleagues who can show them the ropes and answer their questions about the work culture.
2. It helps you socialize easily at work.
A buddy system is a way for coworkers to build and maintain this sense of togetherness.
Especially for the new recruits, they can often feel lost. A buddy system can help the new recruits feel comfortable and easily gel in with the rest of the team.
New employees who make friends in the workplace are happier, more productive, and stay longer.
As time goes on, employees feel like family. Coworkers develop a sense of togetherness and camaraderie, which in turn helps the company grow.
Further Reading: 8 Ways to Foster Team Collaboration
3. It helps informal learning through socializing.
By working with a buddy, an employee can benefit in many ways. It can help them find out who the important people are in the company, what the different organizational departments are. They can also get a sense of the company's business strategy.
Furthermore, they get to know about any unspoken rules that exist in order to fit in with the rest of the group.
4. It helps boost employee productivity.
Gallup found that having a friend or a coworker at work makes an employee 37% more likely to feel encouraged for growth. Having buddy systems, motivating teams, and conducting team-building activities boost employee productivity.
Further Reading: 8 Ways To Increase Employee Productivity In The Workplace
5. It helps improve employee retention.
Implementing a buddy system can be an effective way to help improve employee retention.
Creating a buddy system at work can improve employee retention by providing employees with someone to reach out to during stressful times. A buddy system encourages your employees to share their frustrations, victories or even vent to someone who will listen without judgment.
6. It helps boost employee confidence and morale.
A buddy system at work is an efficient way to help your employees feel more confident in their work and boost their morale.
These days, it's common for employees to feel isolated and alone at work. This isolation can lead to low morale, decreased employee engagement, and flat-out poor performance when left unattended. This can eventually lead to having a devastating impact on your company and bottom line.
Role of Buddy system in Remote Work
It is time to move on from the traditional office model, and there is no going back. Working from home or remotely has become as common as commuting to work.
While there are many benefits to remote working, there are also challenges posed by such an environment.
At work, it's easy to reach out to your colleague if you fear you missed something. But what if you're working remotely? When someone is working remotely, they don't benefit from turning to their colleagues for clarification.
It gets even more difficult for new employees in their virtual onboarding experience.
The buddy system can help overcome these challenges and ensure that remote teams stay productive and engaged.
The most successful businesses will be those that create a sense of community among remote employees.
Also Read: How to Optimize Remote Employee Onboarding
In The End
Whether you're new to the work world or you've been in the workforce for decades, having a buddy system at work is one way you can make your job more manageable and less stressful. Each person at work must have someone to look out for and help them be the best.
A buddy system helps an easy learning curve for the new employee. It shows them the ropes, especially when they don't have to 'figure out' everything from scratch.