Being a manager is demanding at the best of times, but managing an apprentice takes a little bit more time and patience. If you have decided to grow your team by hiring an apprentice, it is now part of your responsibility to lead them to success. Developing your apprentice is extremely beneficial, not only for the apprentice but also for you and the company. You get to mould your new employee to fit your specific business needs, you can train them up to your own company standards and you get to create a key potential permanent member who can continue to grow with the business.
In this blog we cover some tips that you can use as a guide when managing an apprentice so that they can make the most out of their apprenticeship- and vice versa!
WEEKLY ONE TO ONES
Having weekly one-to-ones with your apprentice is an essential element to ensure you are setting them up for success. Catching up with your Apprentice on the same day and same time each week lets them know you are dedicated to their journey. When they see you are committed to their learning, they will respond in the same way. During this time, apprentices can discuss any upcoming projects and concerns, or request extra support from their manager. In return, as a manager you can check in with your apprentice to discuss tasks and check in with their personal well-being. Weekly catch ups also provide an opportunity for managers to get to know their apprentice on a more personal level so that over time the apprentice will feel as comfortable as possible.
CLEAR OBJECTIVES AND DEADLINES
Within your weekly meetings, it would be beneficial to set weekly goals for your apprentice to work towards each week. Having clear objectives and set deadlines will allow your apprentice to use their own initiative and learn how to organise their time efficiently. By giving your apprentice set tasks each week not only are you ensuring that they are confident on which tasks to focus on, but you are also showing your apprentice that their work matters to the business and helps drive the company forward week by week. You could even reward your employee for these objectives, you could give early finishes on a Friday to the people that performed well or have achieved their goals. This will help teach your apprentice how to prioritise their workload and motivate them to work hard.
DEDICATED TIME TO COMPLETE APPRENTICESHIP WORK
Giving your apprentice a set time during the working week to complete their Apprenticeship tasks not only shows your apprentice that you care about their qualification but also that you recognise the importance that this course will have on their career. Allowing them half a day a week or time at the end of each day to focus on their Apprenticeship course will ensure that your apprentice does not fall behind. Make sure you let your apprentice know that you are there to support them throughout their programme – not just within their job role! We recommend checking in with their Apprenticeship coach from time to time to keep up to date with their progress, so that you can provide them with additional support if they need it.
Putting in the effort and developing your apprentice’s skillset is not only valuable to them- it also adds value to your team and company as a whole. You can develop your apprentice beyond their Apprenticeship training by asking them to take part in webinars and complete relevant online courses to further expand their knowledge. This could include courses from Google Digital Garage, Codecademy, SEMrush Academy, or any other course that you think would be beneficial. Alongside webinars and courses, you could schedule time for your apprentice to shadow other members of the team. This will allow them to pick up valuable skills that they can utilise in their own role, and also provides a deeper understanding of each member and their specific duties.
We asked Baltic’s Marketing Manager, Megan Hussey, how she sets her apprentices up for success.
“My one piece of advice would be to make sure you have a comprehensive onboarding plan ready to welcome your new apprentice, it can help them settle in easily and make them feel instantly part of the team. It’s important to remember that for some apprentices, this could be their first experience in the world of work – so make sure you have the time to support them! I recommend regular one-to-one meetings, team shadowing, and providing them with guidance around general office etiquette.”
Read more on How to Support your Apprentice throughout their journey.