With time playing an important role, the companies introduce newer or the time-tested, age-old techniques into the organisation to set the wheels rolling at a fast pace. The formal initiation of the age old system of using a buddy to promote growth is one such technique adopted into the system during the recent years. It is the system wherein the employees are given the support, encouragement and expertise of another which helps the former become more productive at a faster pace.
Many organisations make use of the buddy system to make the induction of a new entrant smoother and quicker. People with varying ideas and perceptions belonging to the same level in the related field make more productive buddies. Buddy to a new recruit should be someone who has been in the field of work for some time as it produces better ideas. The combination of amateurish suggestions and the experienced suggestions from the conversant can generate creative suggestions making them think in various perspectives.
The companies assign a buddy to a new recruit who helps him to identify and adjust to the various processes existing within the system. His experience in the organisation and the work assists the new employee to meet the challenges squarely. The differences in the ideas can make the identification of the problems easier. The combination of the suggestions can bring out the best way of coming up with a solution to the problems. Moreover the support and the backing of an experienced person give the encouragement and confidence to the new entrant to explore innovative ideas.
Building rapport with the buddy is the first step involved. The buddies must meet each other in the initial days on a frequent basis to get to know each other better, and each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The putting of two or more heads can throw light over the areas where one is lagging behind and the best way of overcoming them. It can arouse the interest in those fields which could have been sleeping behind the minds of the people. The management has to ensure that the buddies are created form different teams to open up better chances for differential thinking.
Once acquainted with each other, the buddies must identify the targets that are to be attained and the time span for its achievement. The targets should be practical and attainable in the short term. Once identified, the next step involves the detection of steps that are to be followed to make the dream a reality. On going through the tough times the buddies can contact each other to give the necessary drive and the push to move further. The encouragement of a buddy has immense power in propelling the other in overcoming the difficulties. The meetings in between must scrutinise the achievements so far and the modifications in the path to goal. The attainment of the target must be applauded for further encouragement. This should be followed by the setting of newer targets and the path to be taken for its accomplishment.
The role of a buddy though similar is different from that of the mentor. Mentoring a person is more complex and it involves guiding the employee for a longer period of time with a broader target in mind. Similarly, while buddies might belong to the same line of management, mentors generally hold a superior role in the organisation.
As a buddy can create a kill or win situation, the proper identification of the buddy is inevitable for one’s success. To quote Minoo Dastur, “The process of ‘culture-isation’ is best handled by reasonably senior or old-timers in the organisation. They are the right people who can give right perspective to new entrants (mentoring). The challenge is to find buddies with the right attitude. Wrong selection of the buddy can professionally kill a person.”