ANR Learning and Development
University of California
ANR Learning and Development

Onboarding Buddy Guide

 

Congratulations! You have been asked to be an onboarding Buddy for your ANR unit. One of the purposes of being assigned as a buddy is to welcome the new employee and reaffirm their decision to join ANR.

onboarding buddy

 

What is an onboarding buddy?

An onboarding buddy is a peer coach who assists the new hire to navigate the ANR system. A buddy partners with the new employee for the first few months of their employment to assist them by:

  • Offering encouragement and resources to help introduce them to the ANR culture
  • Explaining basic operational issues
  • Supporting their immediate productivity on the job
  • Helping them build confidence
  • Exemplifying ANR values

Toward the end of the few months, you and the new employee can discuss with the supervisor if and how to continue the relationship.

 

What an onboarding buddy is not

An onboarding Buddy is not:

  • Responsible for the entire onboarding process
  • A mentor who is involved with developing an employee
  • A supervisor, responsible for the new employee’s job performance

The buddy is not positioned to resolve performance, policy, or disciplinary matters. However, the buddy can share opinions on how to resolve these matters. Ultimately, a buddy directs a new employee to the supervisor to resolve a relevant issue(s).


Why Onboarding Buddies are important

 

New Employee Benefits

Buddy Benefits

ANR Benefits

Early productivity

Leadership development

Increased employee engagement & retention

One-on-one help

An increased network

Enhanced onboarding process

Understanding of how things get accomplished

Opportunity to support others

Increased employee productivity

 

Buddy Responsibilities

 

Buddy responsibilities include any of the assigned tasks your supervisor asks you to provide for the new employee and in general:

  • Meet the new employee on his or her first day and establish a rapport
  • Hold weekly meetings for 10-15 minutes in duration; the buddy can communicate acceptable boundaries for extra calls/emails
  • Answering questions and referring the new employee to pertinent resources
  • Introduce the new employee to others
  • Answer the new employee’s general or routine questions
  • Respect confidentiality
    Invite the new employee to eat lunch together at least once per month for 2-3 months
  • Taking the new employee for an expanded tour of the work location

 

Process suggestions

 

Before the employee’s first day

  • Meet with your supervisor to learn clear role expectations
  • Learn about the employee via LinkedIn or by accessing their resume

On the employee’s first day

  • Stop by the new employee’s work area or office to introduce yourself and your role
  • Provide the new employee with your contact information
  • Invite the new employee to eat lunch with you in your local breakroom

First week

  • Introduce the employee to the rest of the program/unit or others in the building that the employee may be collaborating or interfacing with
  • Share information on local lunch or café options
  • Learn about their work experience, hobbies, and goals
  • Share with the employee your role, how long you have been at ANR
  • Describe the office culture
  • Explain where to get technology help, processes for ordering office supplies, using office equipment like photocopiers, travel policy, or other help
  • Show safety plans, IIPP, emergency exits and safety information postings

First two weeks

  • Act as a training resource on processes, procedures, or system tools (ANR Portal, Collaborative Tools, UC Learning Center, IT HELP, HR Help, Outlook Calendar...etc.)
  • Guide the new employee with work specific to the role/unit/program

 

First few months

  • Schedule meetings together to enjoy over a hot drink
  • Check in between meetings to see if the employee has questions
  • Continue to introduce the employee to others
    Invite the employee to relevant work or social events
  • At the end of a few months, discuss with the supervisor if and how to continue the relationship.

 

Tips

 

  • You do not have to be an expert or know everything to be a buddy. Just focus your attention on assisting the new employee with an open mind and with a good attitude and identifying resources as needed. Ask questions like “What do you need?” or “How can I help?”.

 

Do’s

Don’ts

Offer feedback

Don’t be judgmental

Be patient

Don’t try to cover everything at once

Talk about each other’s communication preferences as you likely have different styles

Don’t try to force a relationship; it may take time to develop one

Sources: NYU, MITSHRM

Webmaster Email: jlazulai@ucanr.edu