Onboarding Buddy Checklist: Foster Instant Connections
Buddy onboarding is gaining momentum as a must-have component of an effective onboarding process. In this context, an onboarding buddy checklist is a useful tool clarifying the essential onboarding tasks for buddies. The goal is to ensure a streamlined onboarding process for the employee, and role clarity for all the parties involved in buddy programmes at work.
This article will discuss the onboarding buddy’s responsibilities for your successful integration into a new company. These actions belong to the framework of a new hire buddy programme. Additionally, these responsibilities are very easily noticeable when using a tool like the buddy checklist for new hires, that lists the key tasks of the buddy for your social and cultural integration into your new company.
Furthermore, the article also includes a buddy checklist template to serve as a starting point for anyone interested in setting up a work buddy system.
If you want to read more about what is an onboarding buddy, we have prepared this resource for our blog HR.
Buddy Onboarding Checklist Insights
Employers who support social connections in the workplace and help employees form strong relationships with one another help build a successful workforce.
Getting Started with a Workplace Buddy Programme Checklist
Having a buddy at work is not only an effective way of getting a head-start at building meaningful relationships at work, but it is also a support system for you even before starting your new job. After all, work relationships play a crucial role for employee well-being. They can either positively or negatively affect an employee’s stress levels, productivity and general feelings of happiness.
In an article discussing how social connections can enhance your employee wellness, Forbes emphasises that employee wellness and well-being are not the only outcomes of close work relationships. In fact, having friends and social connections at work leads to a higher engagement and loyalty rates in employees. This is due to the fact that quality work relationships contribute to a strong and positive company culture that is based on the pillars of: trust, loyalty and respect.
And who else to inspire all of these, if not a peer? Someone that has been through an onboarding themselves and that also is very familiar to the culture of the company.
Preparing the Onboarding Buddy Checklist: Three Key Ingredients to Consider
A successful buddy onboarding programme is dependent on three key ingredients:
- the right buddy for the employee,
- the right workflow for the specific role,
- the right system and tools that facilitate the programme implementation.
Hence, the exercise of drafting a workplace buddy programme checklist from scratch (or based on a preexisting timeline) can ensure that a proper selection and configuration of all three ingredients. This will ensure a smooth process and positive outcomes. Namely, it can ensure that the new hire feels confident, integrated, motivated and connected to their new workplace.
Buddy Onboarding Checklist Insights
Who else to inspire trust, loyalty and respect when starting a new job, if not a peer, someone that has been through an onboarding themselves and that also is very familiar to the culture of the company?
New Employee Buddy Programme Checklist
We have drafted for you a workplace buddy programme checklist that can illustrate in a very structured way the key responsibilities and activities that you can expect to engage with your onboarding buddy. The activities are displayed in a chronological order. Thus, we start from the moment of selecting the buddy, to the conclusion of the buddy programme.
Hence, this workplace buddy programme checklist has four main stages: buddy programme set-up, preboarding phase, onboarding phase, and final review phase.
Setting up a New Employee Buddy Checklist for HR
- Start the process by creating a small profile for the new hire. Consider factors such as: age, experience level, role, key interests, other team members involved in onboarding.
- Open a new Buddy position internally. Is there a buddy rotation rooster to pick from?
- Appoint the Buddy that best matches the profile of the new hire.
- Schedule a meeting with HR, Buddy and line manager that will be in charge of onboarding the new employee.
- Discuss, decide and divide onboarding responsibilities:
- Who will do what?
- and when?
- Draft a preliminary onboarding plan, highlighting the lines of responsibilities for each key figure. Note that the buddy will have a clear social role. The line manager will be in charge of role specific activities. Is there also a mentor involved?
- Provide the Onboarding Buddy with access to customisable message templates to set communication in motion.
- Optional: Record a welcome video message from the Buddy to the new hire.
Onboarding Buddy Checklist: Preboarding Phase
- The buddy sends an introduction email to the new hire. It focuses on what will it mean for the new employee to be paired up with a buddy?
- Optional: the buddy submits the welcome video message to the new hire.
- Optional: The buddy arranges a quick get-to-know-you session. It can be done remotely, or if possible, by booking an informal meeting at the office. This can be a coffee break, or a lunch. (Note: It is up to the new hire to decide what is most comfortable at this stage.)
- Prior to the first day on the job: the buddy sends a message confirming the meeting time and location for the first day. (Note: Remember to express excitement for meeting the new hire and making him/her feel welcome to the company.)
- Prior to the first day on the job: The buddy ensures that the new hire’s work space is clean, that all equipment is prepared and laid out at the workstation. Things to consider: computer, phone, ID card etc.
- The buddy drafts a list of key figures involved in the new hire’s onboarding process across departments. For example: systems manager for IT onboarding, contact person for payroll etc. Include their contact details.
Onboarding Buddy Checklist: Onboarding Phase
First day Checklist
- The buddy meets & greets the new hire at the company reception.
- The buddy introduces the new hire to their workspace.
- The buddy (optional collaborating with the line manager) formally introduces the new hire to the team.
- The buddy provides a tour of the office facilities.
- The buddy explains the use of common areas and common goods, such as refrigerator, oven, microwave, dishwasher, break area, etc.
- The buddy reviews all office equipment and procedures for ordering supplies.
- First Buddy 1:1 meeting:
- The buddy clarifies the role of the Buddy figure for onboarding. Highlight the specific role of the buddy as an informal & social coach.
- The buddy discusses social integration elements.
- The buddy reviews the buddy onboarding programme: how many meetings to expect, what kinds of activities?
- The buddy establishes how to get in touch in case of need.
- The buddy provides an agenda for the orientation week.
- The buddy provides the list of key figures for onboarding across departments (ex: systems manager for IT onboarding, contact person for payroll etc.) and their contact details.
- The buddy addresses any additional inquiries from the new hire.
First Week Checklist
- The buddy arranges cross-team introductions.
- The buddy introduces the new hire to other teams and departments.
- If needed, cross-team introductions can take place throughout the entire first month (especially in the case of larger companies).
First Month Checklist
- The buddy books follow up meetings with the new employee on a weekly basis.
- The buddy can still engage in informal (and short) check-ins with the employee. (For example, just coming over at lunch time to ensure everything is ok.)
Key information and feedback to be collected in buddy meetings:
- Is the new hire settling into the company with ease?
- Is there anything else missing?
- The buddy arranges a monthly social activity with the new hire and the team. Examples: a Friday bar, a cake break etc.
- The buddy informs the new hire about company perks and non-financial benefits. For example: employee discounts, wellness programmes etc.
- If available, the buddy will inform about social clubs within the company. For example: fishing club, board game club, film club etc.
- At the end of the first month: review the buddy onboarding checklist:
- What has already been covered?
- Determine additional questions.
- If necessary, reconfigure additional new hire buddy program checklist items.
Second Month Checklist:
- The buddy books follow up meetings with the new employee on a bi-weekly basis.
- The buddy reviews company perks: employee discounts, wellness programme, gym membership etc.
- The buddy addresses any additional inquiries from the new hire.
Onboarding Buddy Checklist: Evaluation Phase
The evaluation takes place at the end of the trial period, or the end of the onboarding programme.
- Final buddy check-in with the new hire.
- The Buddy relationship may continue informally if desired or needed by the employee.
- Buddy programme evaluation:
- determine speed to productivity,
- general sentiment from the employee, the buddy and the line manager.
- HR drafts a lessons learned document to inform new buddy programme implementations.
You can download this checklist template below and start customising your own buddy onboarding checklist.
Onboarding Buddy Checklist: Concluding Remarks
A buddy onboarding programme is the epitome of building a culture based on trust and friendship. Not only are you supposed to learn your new job role inside out, but you are also supposed to be integrated in the company culture. Moreover, you are expected to start feeling engaged and connected. Additionally, you are expected to gain motivation for being in that specific job and in that specific company.
introdus, employee onboarding software, aims to craft the world’s best new hire experiences. As part of this quest, we advocate for the power of socialising and establishing meaningful social connections when starting a new job. In fact, these goals are championed by buddy programmes at work.
Thus, introdus is proud to introduce a Buddy Platform which inspires instant connection. You and your fellow employees will gain confidence, higher engagement, retention. As a result, you will likely become productive faster.
If you are interested in additional checklists, you have several options: the IT Onboarding checklist, the remote onboarding checklist, the onboarding checklist for managers.