Are you a buddy at your work place?
Any new hire expects and goes through a lot of teething trouble when starts in a new company. To overcome this most companies follow a guideline and a structure for new recruitments for their seamless on boarding. Companies take a lot of effort in arranging trainings and to create a welcoming ambience for the new hires. If looked into more details, the expectations of junior hires are different from senior or expert hires. In most companies department of Human resources and Admin are not equipped enough to fulfill the inquiries of all the new hires. A company initiated buddy program can be very effective in this scenario to give that extra cushion of mental comfort to the new employees for first 2-3 months. This is an upcoming phenomenon in most companies and many companies still don’t have any functioning buddy program for the new employees, especially in government sector and start-ups. At an individual level all of us can step to become buddy for the newly joined employees and extend a relationship of warmth at work place.
Friendly welcoming smile: Often the newly joined employees have queries for basic facilities like cafeteria, stationary items or initial formalities. They are but little apprehensive and coy about the new environment and hesitant to ask for help. Your friendly smiling face can give the new person that cushion to initiate the talks. Believe me; people always remember the behavior they get on the first day, so by behaving friendly to a new comer on her first day you immediately increase possibility of more acquaintances at work.
A round trip: Upon knowing that person is new, you can spend few minutes of yours to show or describe the person the essential commodities at office premises. Take some time to introduce the person to the other immediate group members. This breaks the air of newness and comforts the new person. This is a small gesture but proves to be of great help to newly joined team members.
Involve in induction trainings: Normally we get so engrossed in our daily action items that we avoid being trainer to the new employees. Getting involved in coordinating training or imparting trainings for new employees immediately places you in the mould of a buddy. A good trainer is looked upon as a go to person for project related queries and you get exposed to skills like training, mentoring, and people management. By problem shooting for others you create a knowledge base for yourself too. It is necessary to have a fair idea about not hampering your own deliverables while solving other people’s queries.
Continue following up: It is important that as a buddy you don’t finish your task only at the first day. Follow up with the new colleague regarding any inconvenience or development of work allocations etc.
Impromptu Lunch or coffee breaks: A new employee finds it hard to enter into existing groups for lunch or tea in a typical corporate open office set up. You being a buddy can offer to join the new colleague for a tea or lunch or ask others to accompany her for a lunch or tea break, not necessarily everyday but initial few days.
Stop being judgmental: A new person must be having with preconceived notions and experiences. This is a human tendency that when you join a new organization you subconsciously compare it with your previous organization. Be patient when you hear some comparison and cribbing from the new colleague. Don’t try to be judgmental and or explanatory about anything they don’t like in the new work place. Lend a patient ear and give feedback if asked for.
Move on when its time: As a buddy you are not supposed to act as a manager or a designated mentor to the new colleague. Understand when it is the right time to leave the new colleague on his own. There may be instances that the new colleague lose touch with you upon getting busy with new projects and doesn’t come to you every day for a chat. That should be perfectly fine and move on being a buddy to the next new employee in your team!