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MANAGERS: 7 TECHNIQUES TO NURTURE YOUR APPRENTICES

Written By Clare Davis

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How old are your apprentices?

The reason why I ask is that I trained a group of apprentices recently and I was shocked when we got into a conversation to find they were all very young (under 20 years old) and they felt they were not nurtured or looked after emotionally.

One person actually stayed behind to state how much he had struggled emotionally during his apprenticeship.

He was 18 years of age and moved to London to work for his dream company for an HR apprenticeship. What a huge move! During Covid as well.

He said he was doing the work of the graduates, taking on the same projects as the graduates, but he was not recognised. He also said he was not given the opportunity to share a house with other apprentices like the graduates were. The apprentices were forgotten. He ended up living in a shared house with people he didn’t get on with, hearing from graduates how they were having a great time, as they had all moved in together. He felt lonely and frustrated.

This young man had completed a survey for his final assessment in his apprenticeship programme. In the survey in the large corporation, he worked in, he found that 75% of apprentices felt disconnected from the apprentice group.

The age of apprentices can range from 16 up to 80. Some are very young. We need to take this into consideration when we are employing them and throughout their training. We need to connect them to establish work relationships and help them feel like they belong.

Were you aware that feeling excluded from a group triggers the same region in the brain as physical pain? How connected do your apprentices feel? Do they feel like they belong?

Feeling connected is especially important if apprentices are in a team who use the hybrid way of working, working from home for most of the week.

Here are 7 Techniques to Nurture your Apprentices so they feel like they belong:

1) Create a warm and welcoming culture, especially in your team meetings. Communicate to the rest of the team the situation of the apprentice, if it is their first role, and how they might be feeling.

2) Give the apprentice clear guidelines to help them in their new role, making sure they understand every step and are involved in new and exciting projects if appropriate.

3) Organise an apprentice welcoming event so they can all meet each other.

4) Set up an apprentice networking group that can meet on a regular basis to support each other.

5) Have an apprentice lead who can set up WhatsApp groups and other communication means for support and social events. The Apprentice Lead could be someone who has completed the Apprenticeship and then can support them.

6) Have an Apprenticeship mentoring system when past apprentices are allocated a new apprentice to help them through the process.

7) Have regular check-ins with your apprentices, asking about their situation, and how they are feeling.

If you want to find out more about how you can help strategise emotional fitness and positive mental health for your team, especially your apprentices, book in Calendly Strategy Call.

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