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Conveying important knowledge with the buddy program

The buddy program provides a valuable concept for the onboarding of new employees.

What´s a buddy program?

The buddy program can be summed up in just a few words. With the buddy program, an experienced employee is assigned to a newly hired employee and serves as the first point of contact during the Onboardings. The assigned buddy shares his/her knowledge with the new colleague.

Caution: We don't consider knowledge transfer in the buddy program to be limited to content-related, work-relevant aspects, but expressly more than that. This includes, for example, the communication of corporate values, integration into social structures in the office, and assuming the role of "contact partner" when necessary.

Of course, it wouldn't be a good idea to randomly assign all employees to groups of two and then assume that everything will work out. A successful buddy program requires a number of rules and careful preparation.
Our whitepaper on this topic defines the following 5 basic rules:
  1. Define performance standards
  2. Define content & goals
  3. Install a compensation system via an incentive system
  4. Implement a coaching program for buddies
  5. Ensure measurability
Objectives defined in terms of time and content are a basic prerequisite for a successful buddy program. Even when things are going well, there must come a point when new employees have "arrived" at the company. At that point, they should no longer need the help of a big buddy.

Who is a suitable buddy for the buddy program?

Choosing a buddy for the coming weeks/months should not happen by chance. There are important criteria on the basis of which the buddies should be selected. These selection criteria are an important basis for the later success of the buddy program.

The big buddy

The Buddy Program refers to existing employees as "big buddies" - at least if they want to take on this responsible role and are qualified to do so. Being a big buddy implies bearing a lot of responsibility. Not everyone is up to the task. However, this role can also be seen as an opportunity for personal development. Experienced employees slip into the role of the big buddy in order to advance in the company themselves.
It is important to know that every big buddy will ask the legitimate question "What do I get out of this?"(A financial bonus, a title, chances of a higher pay grade, etc.) Finding a good answer to this is important if the company wants to benefit from responsible big buddies.

The small buddy

The "little" buddy is the newly hired employee. The buddy program is about providing the new employee with the most important information about the company. It is about Einarbeitung in die Firma, not training. Additionally, the little buddy should also be offered alternative ways to acquire knowledge and find contact persons. (e.g. knowledge database, e-learning platform, feedback discussions with superiors, etc.). In general, little buddies should be open-minded as well as independent. They must not see their big buddy as an encyclopedia, but as a mentor and help in times of need.

Why is the buddy program particularly effective during onboarding?

Onboarding is about enabling trained professionals to work effectively and productively in their new jobs. The company and supervisors create the framework to accomplish this. A buddy can provide important knowledge directly to the new employee(s) as part of the buddy program. This makes the buddy program particularly suitable for the induction of new employees.
Of course, the buddy program can also be used for internal training or other activities within the company. It is important to note, however, that it should not stand alone. In addition to close collaboration with the assigned buddy, there should also be an e-learning platform and an orientation plan, for example. The new employee can use this to acquire knowledge interactively. This also ensures that the great buddy still has time for his or her actual work.

Free Whitepaper "The Buddy Program"

There is much more that can be said about the important topic of buddy programs, which is why we provide a more expansive approach to this promising onboarding technique in our whitepaper.

In addition to a detailed explanation of the 5 basic rules mentioned above, there are also important tips on which pitfalls to avoid.

You can download the free whitepaper Buddyprogram hier herunterladen!

Free Whitepaper

Download Whitepaper

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