SAS New Hire Buddy Program

Description

The SAS New Hire Buddy Program is a short term engagement of a newly hired staff member and a “buddy”, a similar staff member within the School. The hiring manager may prefer to arrange their own match in the Buddy Program to match their new staff member with a buddy or may prefer to work with and/or request SAS HR to arrange a match. The buddy should be someone who has some time to devote by phone and/or e-mail communications and through in person meetings with the new hire during the period of the short term relationship.

A buddy should be someone knowledgeable of the appropriate points of contact and location of resources in SAS and the University that may be needed to answer questions the new staff member may have. Goals of the program include providing additional support for the new hire to get up to speed as quickly as possible in their new position, as well as allowing a professional development opportunity for an interested buddy. More information regarding the Program goals, scope and timeline follow. Please contact Rebecca Ross with any questions about the program or to assist in arranging a match for your staff member.

Goals

  1. To assist the new staff member in gaining knowledge about practices and organizational culture within the School.
  2. To address basic operational questions in a timely and direct manner.
  3. To assist in providing additional support for the new hire.
  4. To allow the new hire’s supervisor to become more available to deal with substantive issues with the new staff member rather than answering more basic inquiries.
  5. To allow the new staff member to begin to add value more quickly, leading to increased performance.
  6. To provide the new hire buddy with a professional development opportunity and a new avenue to become engaged by actively being involved in making SAS a welcoming place to work, and in helping to assist the new staff member to become more productive.

Scope of New Hire Buddy Role

A buddy should be willing to offer some time by phone and/or e-mail communications and through in person meetings with the new hire.

A buddy should be someone knowledgeable of the appropriate points of contact and location of resources in SAS and the University that may be needed to answer questions the new staff member may have. The new staff member may not have particular questions, but instead could benefit from the networking opportunity provided by being in contact with another professional in the School with whom they may not have otherwise come into contact. The buddy can also answer questions about situations or processes that the buddy has experienced. The role of the buddy is not to direct the new hire on any projects or work-related tasks or to attempt to resolve any conflicts which may be discussed. The buddy’s role should be to listen in a confidential, supportive manner and to help to direct the new staff member to the appropriate contact within the School for needed resources. The new hire buddy should direct the new staff member to channel matters relating to employee relations or those best handled by the staff member’s direct supervisor through the appropriate channels.

Timeline

A buddy can be paired with a new hire as soon as possible after the new hire’s acceptance of the employment offer. Depending upon when the buddy match is made, the buddy may be given the contact information of the new staff member and be in contact with the new hire prior to their start date, in order to introduce themselves, offer their contact information as well as to offer to assist in any questions they may have.

SAS provides a lunch for the new hire and the buddy at the Faculty Club at a time that is mutually convenient for them. It is hoped that this will provide a kick-off point in establishing a rapport with the new staff member. Rebecca Ross in SAS HR, rebross@sas.upenn.edu is the contact person for information regarding arranging payment reimbursement for the lunch.

The buddy is asked to remain in contact with the newly hired staff member for a minimum of 60 days after the new staff member’s date of hire. The buddy should continue to check in occasionally with the new staff member throughout this time period, and the new staff member is encouraged to contact the buddy periodically during this time with questions. Beyond the initial lunch meeting, it is the decision of the two staff members whether they would prefer more in person meetings or whether email and/or phone communication would work better. The buddy and the new staff member relationship can certainly continue beyond this 60 day window as desired.