The allocation of a buddy to help support a new member of staff in the early stages of their employment with the University can ensure a smooth start through the initial few weeks and months in their new role and can improve employee retention.
It is the line manager’s responsibility to find a buddy for the new starter. This should be done a few weeks before the new starter joins the University. This is a voluntary relationship: a buddy can choose whether they wish to take on this role and a new starter can decide whether or not to have a buddy. The new starter however should be offered the opportunity.
The aim is to pair new employees of the University with an experienced staff member to assist them effectively transition into their new role, where this is felt to be appropriate. The role of the induction buddy is to support new employees to ensure they feel welcomed and settle into their role by introducing them to various aspects of the University community. Although informal in nature, the buddy can provide valuable assistance and guidance during the induction process.
For most roles, it is appropriate to choose a buddy from the same Faculty or Directorate but for senior roles, it may be more appropriate to choose a buddy from another Faculty or Directorate.
The aim of an induction buddy is to:
- provide an informal point of reference and friendly face in the first few weeks/months of the job;
- reduce the initial confusion and uncertainty faced by new starters;
- assist in answering day-to-day and general queries on orientation and basic operational issues in a timely and non-bureaucratic way;
- encourage communication and prevent new employee feeling isolated;
- connect new employees with other staff members;
- support the induction process.
- Help the new employee to understand the culture (formal/informal).
A buddy can support a range of activities and discussions that focus on orientating the new employee the University, /School/RI/Service and their local team.
There are a range of activities /discussions that may include, for example:
- introducing the new staff member to other staff;
- orientating them to the campus, teams and the local work space;
- answering general questions to assist in the new employee navigating through their new work environment;
- explaining local processes as relevant;
- directing them to where they can find out more information about specific aspects of the University employee community.