Having a friend at the office goes a long way towards making work more enjoyable. In fact, studies show that social connections with coworkers is one of the strongest predictors of job satisfaction – and employee retention. And, happy employees generally are more productive employees, so it’s a win-win all around.
A strong onboarding process is a good place to start with encouraging employee engagement. Why? One report showed that companies with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by more than 70%.
One tried-and-true way to increase engagement, boost social networking and lower stress for new hires is with a buddy system, which provides new employees with a dedicated person to show them the ropes, introduce them around and answer questions – helping them get settled in and working productively, faster.
The Infoblox Buddy System
At Infoblox we match up new employees with a “buddy” – their “go-to” person – for their first 30 days on the job. “Buddy Bloxers” help our new employees feel welcomed, informed, and eager to contribute. With the right buddy, a new hire can more easily transition into his or her new role and feel part of the team in a short period of time. Orienting the new employee to the company is a high priority for the buddy for their first 30 days. Often, longer-term friendships develop through this process.
Our buddies are “super Bloxers” who meet certain criteria:
- They live our company values. Our buddies demonstrate integrity, work collaboratively with respect for all, delight our customers, and are transparent by being good communicators. And, they know how to have fun!
- They are respected for their opinion and influence. Other employees seek them out for advice, and our buddies are eager to share their knowledge to help others get their jobs done.
- They value the buddy system. Some had buddies when they first joined and appreciate the importance of the program. Buddies tend to be individuals who foster a sense of trust and respect because of their work style, which is often a genuine interest in helping others be their best.
Buddy Bloxer Responsibilities
What does a Buddy Bloxer do? Generally, buddies are colleagues of the new hire. Their first task is to introduce their new colleague to the team and others with whom they will work. New hires may shadow their buddy to various meetings to learn how things are done and to meet others. Buddies offer guidance on policies, practices and norms. They are available to answer general questions or ones specific to the job.
It’s important to note that buddies are not managers of the new employee and it is a more informal relationship. However, it can be a good idea for the buddy to talk with the hiring manager prior to the new employee’s start date to gain insight on how to be most helpful.
The Infoblox Buddy System is very popular and has had great success – we’re proud of it. As one recent hire commented, “My buddy made me feel so comfortable on the first day here. He helped me settle in and get to know a lot of my fellow workers. Having a buddy made me even more excited about being part of this team.”
Being a buddy is a special assignment here at Infoblox.