The Buddy System

by | Oct 29, 2014 | Teamwork

Joey Havens

An important part of our culture at HORNE is the buddy system. Unlike the crusty former St. Louis Cardinals Manager Whitey Herzog who once said, “I’m not buddy-buddy with my players. If they need a buddy, let them buy a dog,” we recognize that we need to give our people the friendship and help necessary to transition well into our organization. We assign a buddy to all of our new team members.    

This can be one of the most rewarding things one can do as a professional. I think we can all remember how awkward it is to be the new kid on the block. You can’t even remember everyone’s name. Everything seems such a steep learning curve at first. Nothing seems easy. A buddy transforms that stress into a positive experience of what it means to be part of your team.

This is a great opportunity to serve your firm, share your culture and increase your ability to retain great team members. It’s those first few days, weeks and months that leave a lasting impression on what type of team we are. So please, take this role seriously and volunteer to be someone’s buddy soon. 
A great buddy will be very proactive in introducing themselves and checking up on our new team member daily. Sometimes an email, telephone call, or face-to-face visit just to touch base is in order. Certainly we want to provide a little more attention during those scary first few weeks. Take them to lunch with a group so they can begin to network with other team members in a social setting.
What do you wish you knew early on? What would have helped you to get off to a faster start? Assign your new team members a buddy and make them feel welcome. Tell them stories that make clear your vision and culture. Listen to them with a compelling passion to understand. Be patient. When we take the time to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.

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