The Buddy-Sponsor Factor
THE BUDDY-SPONSOR FACTOR
How to naturally motivate new employees to perform FASTER
New employees who feel welcomed and are properly taken care of tend to perform better and faster. Additionally, they fit in quickly with colleagues and are readily contributing to new ideas. They speak favorably about your company to friends and relatives. They represent you more confidently with customers, business partners and suppliers.
How can you speed up the on-boarding process as well as the motivation of your new employees to perform fast – and to want to work for you?
It is vital to show quite a lot of dedication with new employees, as they can be very sensitive to any lack of care or special attention. Poor orientation and on-boarding of new hires can cost you dearly. According to a study by Mellon Financial Corp., lost productivity resulting from the learning curve for new hires and transfers amounts to between 1% and 2.5% of total revenues. The time for new hires to achieve full productivity ranges from 8 weeks for clerical jobs to 20 weeks for professionals, to more than 26 weeks for executives. (1)
While many employers agree that new employee orientation is critical to good performance and high morale, few actually take the necessary time to ensure that it is done right. As a business owner or executive, you are too busy to “babysit” a new hire, right? After all, you hired them to take over a load off your shoulders, not to add to it!
This is where a “buddy” can help.
A buddy, also called an internal sponsor, is a trusted employee who partners with a new hire during the orientation and job takeover period. He/she is a coordinator, an advisor or even a confidant. He/she is the one the new hire can always go to for any advice, comment or crisis, usually for the first 60 days on the job.
A buddy is NOT the new hire’s boss. The purpose of a “buddy system” — as ideally described in a company policy — is to help a new employee from the first day at work to:
- Adapt quickly to the new work environment,
- Start performing fast and
- Feel well taken care of.
The buddy’s responsibilities. The buddy is ideally selected with the new employee’s personality and character in mind. He/she recognizes that the new employee reports to his/her direct manager and therefore does not try to “manage” his or her protégé.
Although you might think that the buddy will become less productive as a consequence of such program, the reverse is usually true. The buddy’s role and responsibilities could be:
• Welcoming the new employee at the start and presenting the buddy system with its purpose and rules;
• Making him/her feel welcome and comfortable in his/her new environment;
• Giving tours of the company;
• Introducing other employees and executives;
• Being a source of clarification of policies, procedures, etc.;
• Taking care of the orientation process;
• Answering all questions, whatever their nature;
• Helping with the job description and training procedures;
• Accompanying him/her to staff meetings and to social or company events;
• Being a mediator in case of difficulties or frustrations on the job.
A buddy is really the business owner’s or the manager’s internal rep with the new employee. You should plan a weekly meeting or lunch with both, during which time you can informally communicate anything.
By formalizing the buddy-sponsor factor in the company, you allow all your staff to share the responsibility of making new employees happy and productive — fast.
To your success & happiness,
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