When a company hires an apprentice or trainee, they set themselves on a road towards nurturing a key member of staff. Although this person will have minimal skills in your area of industry at first, they can be honed into an ideal employee.
This will mean keeping them productive and engaged, which as any employer will tell you, can be difficult to maintain. Apprentices offer some incredible gains in business productivity, however, so it is important to repay the favour.
According to research by Populus, 81 per cent of companies on an apprenticeship scheme believe their business is more productive as a result.
As the explained in the study: “there is evidence to show that apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, helping to improve both productivity and competitiveness.”
These productivity gains will rely on hiring the right staff and mentoring them in a way that allows them to become real assets to your team. This is where Apprenticeship Central can help. After a quick registration process, you can post your vacancy and find an apprentice to suit your workforce, giving you the best chance of engaging with them.
So, once you have the right employees, how can you begin to safeguard their productivity? Here are three ways:
Set clear targets
No one will benefit from being left in the dark. From day one, set your apprentice targets, whether these are weekly, monthly or quarterly goals.
If you are teaching them a certain skill, challenge them to have the ability to complete a task on their own by a specific date. This will encourage them to learn and they will appreciate the support.
Many businesses do this to further encourage employees to meet their goals. Incentives can be as far ranging as staff drinks to a half day off work.
Understanding your workforce will let you gauge what type of incentive work best to inspire productivity in your team, and your apprentice is sure to engage in the same way.
Ask them questions
Holding one-on-one meetings with your apprentice is crucial to the apprenticeship and traineeship process, and it is important and helpful to ask them plenty of questions.
Giving them the opportunity to ask you questions can help to address any concerns your apprentice might have about their work. A fresh pair of eyes may also unearth problems in your company that you would struggle to recognise otherwise.
Ultimately, though, communicating with your apprentice is a way to keep them on task and focused as well as reassuring them of your support, leading to higher levels of productivity.