A good buddy is a beautiful thing. A mentor is pretty sweet too. And while similar, they serve different purposes. Buddies and mentors are great in our personal lives, but they are also important in our work worlds, especially when starting a new job.
We’ve all heard (many times) how vital a company’s onboarding program is. We also know how tough it is to fill a job these days. An onboarding protocol engages new employees, adding to the chances that they may actually stick around for a few years, not a just few months.
Where are you going to find the time to coordinate a buddy and a mentor for every new hire? We agree, it can be challenging, but it’s a must-do to successfully retain your quality new hires.
The Buddy and The Mentor. Who is Who?
- A buddy is a friendly, experienced co-worker who helps the new hire get a sense of the “lay of the land”, and perhaps someone to eat lunch with during those first crucial weeks. A buddy also assists with on-the-job training and the main goal is to be a resource for the new hire, answering questions and showing him or her the ropes.
- A mentor takes it a little further. A new hire is paired with a tenured person who helps him or her understand what makes the organization’s culture unique. Mentors answer questions and have meaningful discussions about the company and different work experiences, so still a go-to person for conversations, but mentors are more career and job focused.
Employees who are onboarded well are more confident, have greater trust in the organization, are more productive, have higher morale and… drumroll please… have lower turnover rates. Proof that everyone needs a good buddy.