A well-organised onboarding journey leads to higher job satisfaction, increases commitment and performance levels, as well as, will determine how long the new employee will stay with the company. We have learned that it is worth investing time in this, as it reduces employee turnover by up to 50% in some instances.

Our last round table with Jörn Köster, Co-Founder of elearnio.com, has shown once more how important a well-structured onboarding process is. To all our previous tips for a successful onboarding Jörn advised to implement additionally an on-going mentoring program for new employees. Today we would like to present his advice and insights about a well-working buddy program to you.


A mentoring program is a long-term training for the new employees. It is helpful on one hand to guide the new employees through the first weeks of their new employment to make sure that the newbies do not get lost on the way, create a high level of engagement, get to know the colleagues and simply have someone to ask “stupid” questions without feeling uncomfortable. This will even improve the onboarding and will make it possible to fully train the new employee even faster.

On the other hand it is also a great possibility to develop your high potentials and teach them leadership skills. But, and this is most important, not everybody can be a mentor. To implement a buddy program successfully, it is important to structure the content, set up performance standards, and also take some of their responsibilities to make sure the mentor has enough capacity to take care of the mentees.

According to Jörn, it will reduce the working time of the mentor up to 20-30%, depending on the complexity. In exchange for this, the mentor must deliver performance in the buddy program by defining qualitative and quantitative goals with the newbie. The mentor also needs to define a regular time, a specific agenda for each mentoring session and a check-in with the coach of all mentors in which they can reflect on themselves.

This will lead to qualified leadership skills and will prepare the high potential for future leadership roles. Therefore, it is beneficial for the mentee as well as the mentor and both are able to develop within the company. In addition, it will save time of the HR and leadership teams to concentrate on their main responsibilities.

If you have any more questions about a successful onboarding or mentoring program, please contact our MD Marie (marie@doneberlin.com).