The New Hire Checklist For Buddies: A Guide to Making a New Employee Feel at Home

You’ve been declared onboarding buddy, and that’s a first for you?

Don’t you worry, we’ve got your back!

When you are paired up with a new hire integrating your company, there are several things a buddy at work can do to make them feel welcome and to improve the onboarding experience.

If it’s your first time being a buddy, it can be easy to forget things. That’s why we’ve put together this new hire checklist – special for work buddies!

Follow this thoroughly, and you’ll be sure to be elected “Best buddy at work of the year”!

Table of Content

Introduction: The Buddy at Work program

New Hire Onboarding Checklist for Buddies at Work: 7 Things to Remember

1. Get to know your buddy

2. Introduce the new hire to the team, properly

3. Help them find their way around

4. Give the new hire insider tips on the informal company culture

5. Be a good listener & Ask questions

6. Share your local knowledge

7. Involve the new hire in off-office activities

Get your Free New Hire Checklist Template – Buddy at Work Edition. Link coming soon.

two male colleagues smiling at work fist-pumping while other employees work in the background

Introduction: The Buddy at Work program

The New hire Onboarding process

Making each new employee feel welcome is important for building a productive, convivial and positive work environment.

To do so, an organization’s Human Resources department usually has a whole onboarding process in place to make the new hires feel “at home” from day 1 – or even from day -1 if you consider the pre-boarding phase.

From revising the new hire paperwork and company policies to double-checking the job description, conducting an informal performance review, 30-60-90-day check-ups, setting up all devices or accounts with the IT team, creating the access badges – and much more – the HR team follows along with new employee onboarding checklist to transform a new hire into a productive member.

Pro tip: If you are curious about the extensive list of tasks you can do to properly onboard properly the newbies, we’ve posted on our blog the ultimate onboarding checklist. Go check it out!

One of these tasks might be to pair up the new employees with current team members in order to facilitate their integration in a more friendly and informal way. That’s what we call the buddy at work program.

If you’re new at it and have been paired up with someone new, follow our new employee checklist specially made for buddies.

New Hire Onboarding Checklist for Buddies at Work: 7 Things to Remember

1. Get to know your buddy

Let’s start with the basics.

First things first, you will obviously have to introduce yourself and why not, pick him up at the entrance on day 1 of their new job. This might sound like a lot, but having a shoulder to rely on when stepping in for your first day of work in an unknown office can be pretty comforting.

But that doesn’t stop here.

Try to find out about their background, interests, passions, and goals. This will help you find common ground and build a rapport that you can even take outside the office if you feel like it.

Have a look at our list of 175 icebreaker questions if you need inspiration!

2. Introduce the new hire to the team, properly

Make sure to introduce the new hire to everyone in the department and the people they’ll be working with. Not just those who sit near them. This will help them feel more comfortable and get settled in quicker.

Also, be sure they know a little more than their names.

Who does what? Who is the decision-maker? Who is the manager of this team? Having a general idea of the organizational structure will help the new employee understand how to get things done.

Now, you want to be the best buddy at work possible, not another HR representative. That’s the whole difference here. You’ll be the friendly face around and the shoulder when they need advice.

So when you introduce your teammates to the new hire, don’t limit yourself; include funny stories, their nickname around the office, or the last embarrassing thing they made at work! We want juicy stories!

If the manager hasn’t done so, you can also organize a team lunch for the new hire’s arrival during the first week.

two colleagues dress in suits walking down an office corridor towards a meeting room

3. Help them find their way around

A new hire may feel overwhelmed by the sheer size of their new workplace.

Suppose the manager or HR department is respecting a thoughtful new employee onboarding process. In that case, this step might have already been completed.

If not, a great onboarding practice to take on their first day is simply to give them a workplace tour and show them around.

Point out the office kitchen, bathrooms, relaxing areas, and other common rooms of the office. You can also show them how to use the coffee machine, where are the best snacks in the office, and where they can find the office supplies they might need.

4. Give the new hire insider tips on the informal company culture

Next on the list: are the employee insider tips.

Help the new hire learn the ropes of the company culture from an employee’s point of view. This includes the dress code, social events, lunch hours, or even activities (sports league, contests, volunteering, etc.).

You can also introduce them to the company’s social media accounts and any other relevant communication channels they should know about.

Don’t forget the unwritten rules!

These are the things you usually learn after a few weeks/months on the job and are not always written in the employee handbook. Think about the usual after-work activities, if people are more formal or chill in their interactions, or how to navigate company politics, for instance.

Your new team member will definitely appreciate your help with these!

5. Be a good listener & Ask questions

It can be difficult for a new hire to adjust to a new environment and job duties. Any new employee has millions of thoughts on their first day, first week, first month.

They might not tell you everything, but be there for them if they have questions or want to share how they feel.

Be patient and take the time to listen to their concerns. You can also encourage the new hire to ask questions and voice any concerns they have – no question is too small or silly. 

6. Share your local knowledge

Local knowledge is key when you’re a newbie at work. From where to find the best coffee to shortcut routes to avoid traffic, having a “buddy” in the know can be a gamechanger.

As you settle into your new role, take some time to share your local knowledge with your co-workers. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Share your favorite local restaurants, bars, and cafes. Not only will your co-workers appreciate your recommendations, but it’s also a great way to bond over shared interests.
  • If you know of any shortcuts or alternative routes to avoid traffic, share them! This is especially helpful if you have a long commute.
  • Do you know of any great local parks or hiking trails? Again, this is another great way to bond with co-workers and get some fresh air during lunch breaks or after work.

So go ahead and share your local knowledge – your co-workers will thank you for it!

a group of friends at a pool hall playing pool

7. Involve the new hire in off-office activities

A big part of feeling comfortable in a new job is getting to know your coworkers and feeling like you’re part of a team. One way to help a new hire feel welcome is to involve them in any after-work activities you have planned.

Whether it’s grabbing lunch, going to a company happy hour, sharing a coffee, or taking a walk around the block on your break, getting the new person outside the office will help them relax, start can help build bonds and make the office feel more like home. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

So if you’re looking for ways to make a new hire feel comfortable and welcomed, don’t forget to include them in your after-work plans.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to add the new team members to your colleague’s chat groups! It’s a simple thing that is often forgotten on the first days, and that can help them feel part of the adventure right away.

Get your Free New hire Checklist Template – Buddy at Work Edition. Link coming soon!

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By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to becoming the best buddy at work! New hires will appreciate your thoughtfulness and support as they start their new job.

Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Get social with us! We’d love to read your best practices!

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