What Is A Buddy?

A Buddy is an experienced and engaged team member who has a good understanding of the work environment.  They are willing to provide time, be accessible and partner/support the new employee during their first three (3) months on the job. The ideal Buddy is a resource who is friendly, interpersonally effective, demonstrates patience, and is a positive role model with good communication skills.  The estimated time commitment for the Buddy varies but is approximately six to ten hours over the first three months.

Who Can Be A Buddy?

Departmental staff can volunteer to participate in the program and will be assigned to the  new employee by their immediate supervisor/manager. In general, a Buddy will be a peer of the new hire. The supervisor/manager is expected to review the program guidelines with the volunteering employee prior to them meeting the new hire. This will include a discussion on the program goals and expectations of them in their role prior to meeting with the new employee.


Buddy Program Department Coordinators

Department Name Contact Information
Department of Public Works Bonnie Tendencia btendencia@smcgov.org
San Mateo County Health Kimberlee Kimura kkimura@smcgov.org
Human Services Agency Danette Betancourt dtbetancourt@smcgov.org
Human Resources Theresa Rabe  trabe@smcgov.org


Goals of the Buddy Program

  1. To assist in helping the new employee feel welcomed and connected during their first day, first week and throughout their first 3 months on the job
  2. To help the new employee adjust to the County culture and their new work environment

Manager’s Responsibilities Pertaining to the Buddy

  1. Select positive role models as Buddy’s
  2. Ensure that participation in the program is strictly voluntary
  3. Ensure that the Buddy will have time to be accessible to the new employee
  4. Check in with the  Buddy  and new employee regularly  to assess if the “Buddy Role” is helpful

Role of the Buddy

  1. Introduce yourself and welcome the new employee on their first day of work
  2. Plan to follow up with them on a weekly basis for the first 3 months
  3. Show the new employee resources in the workplace
  4. Provide them with information (as requested by the manager) to help them get acclimated, feel comfortable in their new job and as a part of their new team
  5. Give the new employee an opportunity to connect with them and their peers
  6. To always remain professional
  7. To refer the new employee to their supervisor/manager for job specific questions

A Buddy Does Not:

  1. Replace the supervisor/managers role or take on any supervisory or lead duties
  2. Act as the “go-to” person re: assignments, business decisions, etc.
  3. Provide training and or assess performance
  4. Act as a career mentor or job coach