Jul 11, 2014

How having a buddy impacts your success

July 11, 2014 - I recently wrote a note to our head of strategy, chief marketing officer, and senior vice president of sales, congratulating them on the super job they’ve done… as buddies. (pause for effect). 

While they all happen to be friendly folks, the note was less to do with their social skills and more to acknowledge their terrific contribution as official “buddies,” appointed as part of an integration program to help new leaders navigate their way through the organization.

As we continue to build our leadership talent pool at very senior levels, it’s important to integrate them well into the organization to initiate a cycle of mutual learning and benefit, which is what the Global Integration Program aims to do. Buddies – one track of this multitrack program – are high impact senior leaders who partner with new leaders to help them quickly learn about the culture of the organization, get an in-depth view into some critical processes and get a head-start on network building. Other tracks include a 100-day plan; a week-long intensive workshop; one-on-one sessions with the integration leader; and speed coaching sessions.

But this isn’t all one way. Buddies also help the organization get to know the leaders better, which can often lead to some interesting outcomes.

As an example, we recently hired a sales leader for a specific part of our business in Europe. After going through the 100-day plan and partnering with his buddy (who happened to be the head of that particular business) we realized the immense potential this individual brought to the table, so we made some changes and expanded his portfolio to cover all of Europe, vs. the smaller part he was originally hired for. 

On the flip side, the experience can turn sour if the buddy doesn’t invest time into the relationship – a common pitfall of selecting very senior executives. On the one hand they bring rich experience and a strong network but because of their packed schedules, they often aren’t able to make the time required to create a material impact. The way we dealt with this was through: 1) strong endorsement from the CEO who directly linked fast and effective integration of new leaders to the success of the organization and 2) spotlighting and applauding buddies who did make the time, setting the right example.

As we continue to look for ways to sustain the momentum and intensity of the program, we are guided by the belief that successfully inducting new leaders has a direct positive impact on retention, engagement, productivity and performance.

About the author

Piyush Mehta

Piyush Mehta

Chief Human Resources Officer

Piyush Mehta leads Genpact’s global Human Resources (HR) function and in this capacity has played an integral role in the organization's journey to becoming an Employer of Choice.

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