Taking on an apprentice can be a big undertaking for your business. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting the best out of your apprentice in order to ensure maximum return on investment. In addition to this, apprentice retention can prove to be a real issue for businesses, with around a third of apprentices failing to complete, and the cost of losing an apprentice is substantial.
With that in mind, Rubitek Solutions has compiled a list of 10 top tips on getting the most out of your apprentices. A successful apprenticeship can provide you with a motivated, well-rounded and loyal member of your workforce, so it’s worth putting the time in.
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Create a welcoming environment. First impressions are really important, so make sure that you create a welcoming environment for your apprentice and that everyone provides them with a warm welcome. This will help to alleviate any first-day jitters and put them at ease from the off.
Set up a mentor. Assigning a designated mentor to your apprentice with give them a chance to gain advice, meet new people and see the business from another perspective. It also means they have somewhere to go should they encounter any issues in the workplace. It’s hugely important that you ensure staff buy-in when hiring an apprentice, as they will most likely end up mentoring the apprentice more than you do, whilst most of your focus remains on running the business.
Set clear goals and objectives. It’s important that you make clear to your apprentice what is expected of them, just like you would with any new member of staff, but also that you discuss their goals. Chances are your apprentice will have their own set of objectives for their time at your company and, by understanding these, you can ensure that you’re both on the same page and discuss any ways in which you can help your new team member to meet any personal targets that they may have.
Provide effective supervision. Make sure you set aside time to assist your apprentice with anything they may need. Check-in with them regularly and make sure they see you as an approachable point of contact, not as someone who’s always too busy to help them.
Monitor progress. Track your apprentice’s skills, knowledge and targets from the beginning of their apprenticeship right through to completion and make sure to offer any further advice or training deemed necessary as a result (DID YOU KNOW? Rubitek allows you to schedule, record and store apprentice reviews to aid development).
Be an effective communicator. Where possible, try to have an “open door” policy so that your apprentice always feels like they can come to you if they need to talk about anything. Be a good listener and make sure you’re always willing and able to talk things through.
Be open to giving your apprentice new opportunities. An apprenticeship should provide your apprentice with a wide range of skills and insight, not just in their role or department, but in the entire business. Allow them to link up with other departments in order to receive a broader understanding of your company. This will help them feel more like an important part of the bigger picture and hopefully provide them with some great new ideas.
Practise what you preach. It might sound like common sense, but it’s important that you set a good example for your apprentice. They will most likely look to you for guidance on how to behave in the workplace.
Invest in your apprentice. An apprentice isn’t just for an apprenticeship. If things go well, you’ll come out of the process with a new skilled, loyal and highly engaged member of your workforce, so it’s worth investing in them. That doesn’t just mean money, but time too. Have a good understanding of where your apprentice’s skills lie and where they see their career heading in the long run and offer them opportunities with your organisation as and when they arise. Research shows that an apprentice will remain one of the most loyal members of your workforce, so it’s worth investing in them.
Learn from the experience. Once you’ve been through the process of hiring and training an apprentice, think about what you’ve taken from the experience and refine what you’ve learnt in order to offer an event better experience to future new recruits.
Let Rubitek do the hard work for you!
At Rubitek, we have developed a dedicated software solution specifically for employers and learning providers who want to provide better support to their learners. Rubitek Core allows you to track progress, record off-the-job learning, schedule reviews and monitor overall apprentice engagement.