Understanding Menarini’s corporate culture: Berlin-Chemie’s “Buddy Program”

Joining a new work environment often comes with the feeling of being somewhat lost, especially during the first few days. Getting to know new colleagues, understanding the workflow and internal dynamics, and getting the hang on the corporate structure can turn out to be more complicated than expected.

In such situations, having a “buddy” at work who can provide support and guidance during the initial orientation phase can help new employees feel quickly at ease.

Menarini draws strength from its international context and represents a reality that creates opportunities, celebrates diversity, and promotes an inclusive work culture, creating the best working conditions through careful corporate welfare policies and work-life balance.

In order to make the process of acclimating to the corporate culture and understanding new procedures easier and faster for new employees, providing them with guidance from seasoned colleagues through tutoring activities has become a customary practice.

The idea behind the new ‘Buddy Program,’ developed from October 2023 by the HR Marketing & Development team of Berlin-Chemie Menarini, is to create a welcoming environment for every newcomer. No one should feel uncomfortable because he or she asks questions, but should see themselves as part of the entire community right from the start.

In the corporate world, the figure of the buddy has become increasingly crucial in recent years. The buddy provides support during the initial phase of the new hire’s cultural integration into our company and is available to answer various questions.

The opportunity to become a buddy is open to Berlin-Chemie Menarini employees who are already past the orientation phase, have at least one year of experience, and show a positive and communicative attitude.

The goal is to connect with the newcomer by using the right approach to perform this new role. The  period of the Buddy-Program does not have a predetermined time limit, but is rather based on the perceived needs of the newly hired colleague.

The story of new Berlin-Chemie employee Benjamin, who unfortunately had to miss his first week at work, represents a positive example of this new system. Benjamin is very grateful for this opportunity: Rebecca, his designated buddy, has been a steadfast support since day one. 

Rebecca’s assistance to Benjamin extended far beyond the training phase. Despite not crossing paths frequently during their daily tasks, the two work friends still collaborate and support each other across a wide array of responsibilities.

Rebecca is always available for questions of any kind, and the two also meet during lunch breaks. The collaborative atmosphere within the company and the interaction based on mutual trust were not only the reasons Rebecca joined Menarini after her internship, but also why she chose to become a ‘buddy’ in order to support new employees.

I can ask my buddy for general information,” said Benjamin, “For example, I can ask questions about colleagues and their responsibilities, or about storage positions, or the many abbreviations. Questions that I avoided asking in my department, for fear of being annoying.

The success of this initiative is threefold and benefits all parties involved. For the new employee, it means building a solid network, boosting autonomy, and expediting productivity. Simultaneously, Buddies refine their social skills and strengthen their knowledge about the organization, fostering a more supportive workplace culture. Consequently, the company enjoys a higher level of retention, improved internal communication, and a positive atmosphere among its employees.