New Hire Buddy Program

What is It and Why Do You Need it?



Your onboarding process begins the first day you start on your new job: it is a process meant to set you up and assist you when starting a new job until achieving full productivity, and a new hire buddy program is exactly what you need in this journey. A buddy-program-onboarding will support you in gaining the knowledge, skills, and confidence to shine in your new position as soon as possible.

Bringing a new employee onboard can be both exciting and stressful for all parts involved: 

  • you, the employee might feel stressed about meeting the employer’s expectations and delivering, mixed with the tension between wanting to advance quickly up the career ladder but also taking time needed to learn the job.
  • the employer will want a return on the confidence placed on you in terms of a productive contribution to the business, as well as a successful conclusion to the recruitment process and investment (which takes resources from the company). 

When you, the new employee are onboarded, the main supervisor will definitely play a crucial role in shaping your first weeks and months. However, lessons learned from the largest global companies, such as Microsoft, illustrate that a broader team effort can ensure that your experience is both positive and productive, engaging you early on into the company culture and making you eager to contribute, all of this leading to you gaining employment satisfaction. Cue the work buddy system.

Consequently, a new employee buddy program enables managers to assign you a seasoned employee; this ensures that someone with valuable experience into the company can overlook your integration into the company culture, workplace ethics and rules of conduct, as well as into the job role. This relationship will have a duration that extends beyond orientation day, so as to ensure optimum benefits. Data suggests that a new hire buddy program is a very cost-effective, easily implementable, and efficient way to integrate new employees.   

“The idea was to provide an informal buddy who could cue new hires into the cultural norms they might not initially be comfortable asking about with team leads or mentors. It was an attempt to foster relationships outside of the person’s team”, Stacy Nordwall, Culture Amp, Senior People Operations Manager.

With introdus, Pre & Onboarding software, a new employee buddy program is easily implementable. It is a great way to get you connected with the company’s culture and values much more effectively. It makes you feel like your experiences matter for the company, and are safe on your path towards full productivity

This article will showcase how your new hire buddy program will help you build self-confidence and loyalty to the company and will encourage you to communicate and engage at work.

New Hire Buddy Program

The idea was to provide an informal buddy who could cue new hires into the cultural norms they might not initially be comfortable asking about with team leads or mentors. It was an attempt to foster relationships outside of the person’s team.

—Stacy Nordwall, Culture Amp, Senior People Operations Manager.

New Hire Buddy Program: Improving New Hire Satisfaction and Productivity


For many new hires when starting a new job, the learning curve is quite steep due to settling into an unfamiliar company that has very specific practices and processes, maybe even within a role they have not experienced before. When it comes to going through this process, we know you would rather not do it alone. This is why implementing a new employee buddy program can be so helpful and impactful on improving the employee experience. 

A buddy program onboarding presents measurable advantages:


Onboarding Buddies Boost Productivity

87% of organizations that assign a buddy program to their new employee during the onboarding process say that it’s an efficient way to boost new hire proficiency, according to a HCI report.


Onboarding Buddies Provide Context

Context is imperative when you are a new hire, context is a precious commodity: without it, you might struggle in trying to understand your role and the best ways to contribute to your  team’s success. Knowing what is expected of you is one of the most important factors that contribute to employee satisfaction, according to a Gallup Q12 study. Onboarding buddies can give the type of context you won’t be able to find in the employee handbook. This is one of the reasons why 56% of all new hires would like to receive a Buddy Program when starting a new job, according to HR Daily Advisor. 


Onboarding Buddies Improve New Employee Satisfaction

Buddy programmes help you gain the necessary confidence for navigating the realities of your new job, which in turn contributes to your perception of improved productivity and job satisfaction. Microsoft has revealed that 56% of new hires who met with their onboarding buddy at least once in their first 90 days indicated that their buddy helped them to quickly become productive in their role. That percentage increased to 73% for those who met two to three times with their buddy, 86% for those who met four to eight times, and 97% for those who met more than eight times in their first 90 days.

Benefits of a Buddy Program: for employees, buddies and companies

New Hire Buddy Program

Microsoft has revealed that 56% of new hires who met with their onboarding buddy at least once in their first 90 days indicated that their buddy helped them to quickly become productive in their role.

Onboarding Buddy Program Guidelines


We have already concluded on the many advantages that a buddy program onboarding can bring to your new employee experiences on your new job. We have additionally compiled a list of onboarding buddy guidelines that can optimize the process:

Choice of Buddy

The choice of the buddy must be first and foremost tailored to the new employee’s role, interests as well as life-stage (for example someone that is a parent will connect better with someone that is also a parent; someone that is towards the end of the career will not connect as well with someone that is at the very beginning of their career). 


Workload Prioritising for Buddy

It goes without saying that it is essential that the buddy will have time to be accessible to the new employee, so employees that already have tight schedules and deadlines would not be the ideal candidates for the job. The new hire buddy program names the buddies’ main responsibilities as well as a timeline of what items they should cover over the first few weeks or months of employment.


Trust and Confidentiality Lay at the Heart of the Buddy Relationship

Since the buddy is not a manager or direct supervisor, but more of a friend within the company, trust and confidentiality lay at the very heart of establishing a powerful connection. By removing the hierarchical element, you can trust your buddy with asking any questions you might have without worrying about possible repercussions.

A good piece of advice would be having the buddy meeting prior to the first day of work. This can help calm first-day anxiety, by ensuring that when the first day does arrive, you have a familiar, friendly face waiting for you, rather than someone completely unknown. 


New Hire Buddy Program: Concluding Remarks


A new hire program can be seen as a knowledge sharing method used to orient you when starting a new job, offering you a friendly social connection that can help you get up to speed in the new job as soon as possible. Despite its efficiency and easy-to-implement style, less than half of organizations (47%) are actively using the new employee buddy program method to onboard new employees, as reported by Sapling HR.

From a manager’s perspective, it might seem that designing a program meant to have employees socialize during working hours is a high risk investment. Yet, the actual cost of losing an employee (a high turnover rate for new employees), is more often than not a much costlier affair. High turnover rates can be reversed through fostering social connections between employees, especially when new hires join the company for the first time. 

Those initial interactions during my onboarding week humanized the office, and I knew my co-workers first as people rather than fellow employees. This deeper connection in the office ignited my ability to ask for help and feel safe to take creative risks. The feeling of belonging underscored all that I did that summer, and it all began with a buddy,” Megan Rogers, Intern at Gather, people operations software. 

Get insights directly from your dedicated Buddy during your Pre & Onboarding process with introdus.


Get a free demo

We are using cookies to gather statistical data in order to improve your user experience. Read more.