Managing Apprentices - Do's & Don't's
In between providing the best level of support for our customers, our Managed Services Team are training the next generation of Oracle and SQL Database Masters and that is why they have taken on another apprentice. Following the success of the previous year (read the blog here) the Team have given us some of their top Do's and Don't's on how to get the best out of your apprentice...
"When taking on apprentices into your workplace, there are many challenges and issues to consider. Here is a list of tips to try and follow:
1. Do keep them interested - if the key is learning, don't offer a list of completely mind-numbing tasks each day to kill the initial enthusiasm.
2. Do make them feel like part of the team - sometimes giving apprentices special treatment, whether it's positive or negative, can possibly place them in an uncomfortable position, so be sure to make a judgement call on this.
3. Do listen to them - although most of the time apprentices are young and inexperienced, it doesn't mean they can't bring any good ideas to the table.
4. Do show them a potential end goal - giving an apprentice a glimpse of what a future job could hold can keep the levels of enthusiasm and optimism high.
5. Do give regular feedback - if you wait 6 months to tell them how they are doing, it can be too late or difficult to help build on their progress.
6. Don't hold out for a miracle - if an apprentice is consistently under performing over a long period of time following lots of feedback, keeping them on for the sake of it can be detrimental to your practise.
7. Don't overload them with important responsibilities - if an apprentice is given some tasks for which the business counts on a high level of responsibility and quality, counting on a young and inexperienced member of the team can be a big risk.
8. Don't expect the world - an apprentice is after all literally that. They are there to learn from the experts in a field that is new to them.
9. Don't ignore any obvious flaws - as a manager, you are responsible for helping the apprentice get better. For example, if they keep forgetting to do things, make sure they keep track of a to-do list.
10. Don't get them to just make cups of tea for you all day!"