Every new employee needs an onboarding buddy

Written by Candice Young, Dave Haspas, Dawn Klinghoffer

Bringing a new employee onboard is both an exciting and stressful time. And while managers play a critical role in shaping a new employees’ first weeks and months, a broader team effort can ensure the experience is both positive and productive.

Over the last few years, Microsoft has been working to improve its onboarding process. At the outset, we learned that a seemingly simple action — managers having one-on-one meetings with their new hires during their first week on the job — has outsized benefits. Through our continued research, we’ve also come to another conclusion: Onboarding buddies play an important role in ensuring a successful onboarding experience. While this may seem obvious, much like our findings on one-on-ones, it’s often missing in a new employee’s introduction to a brand new company. After piloting a buddy program involving 600 employees across the organization, we found that onboarding buddies help our hires in three key ways:

1: Onboarding buddies provide context. For tenured employees, the context surrounding most of their work has been so well established, it’s in the folds of every email written, every meeting attended, and every PowerPoint presented. For new hires, context is a precious commodity…

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This article was published on HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

Candice Young

Candice Young, Ph.D. is a Senior Data Analyst at Microsoft, where she acts as a research advisor to program managers in the areas of onboarding and manager capabilities. She is responsible for developing and implementing research methodologies used to provide evidence-based solutions to improve organizational practices and procedures that impact culture, onboarding, and career development.

Dave Haspas

Dave Haspas is a Data Analyst at Microsoft, where he works on analytics to support various aspects of the employee lifecycle, generating data-driven insights that inform our program teams on hiring, onboarding, internal movement, and engagement.

Dawn Klinghoffer

Dawn Klinghoffer is the General Manager of the HR Business Insights team at Microsoft. Her responsibilities include advanced people analytics & research for Microsoft’s business units globally, analytics and reporting support for HR programs such as Global Diversity & Inclusion, Global HR Services, Talent Management and Learning & Development. She is also responsible for reporting tools/technology for HR and employee data privacy.