by Simon Briffa | 10 March 2017
This week is National Apprenticeship week 2020 and it’s a perfect time to celebrate apprenticeships and what they bring to individuals, the economy and employers across the UK. The onboarding process is daunting for everyone, but for an apprentice who is likely to have very little work experience, it must be incredibly intimidating.
- Introductions (to the immediate team) – make sure you take the time to introduce your apprentice to their immediate team members by name and also provide a brief overview of their role.
- Introductions (to the wider team) – briefly introduce your apprentice to the wider team and the business. If you work in a large office or team, try not to introduce every single person by name at this stage. They may feel pressured to remember everyone and feel embarrassed to approach them at a later date if they forget. Introduce teams and departments or divisions. Explain that there will be an opportunity over the coming weeks to meet everybody individually.
- Desk, computer, emails and phones – spend time explaining how to log in or get access to the work computer. Make sure they have access to emails (where appropriate) ensuring they take notes so they can do this themselves going forward. Determine how familiar they are with typical computer programmes, such as Outlook, Word and Excel – for example, don’t expect your apprentice to know how to use Outlook. Most will be used to using email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo. Also, your new employee might need a quick tutorial on how to use the phone system. Think about things such as whether or not you have to dial 9 for an outside line and how to put a call on hold in case they need to ask a question.
- Company policies and procedures – most companies will have standard policies and procedures regarding things such as health and safety, email and internet usage. As with any new starter, you should encourage your new starter to read these policies thoroughly, but make sure you explain why they are important. Any prevalent information they need to know should be covered as part of their induction. For example, is there a policy regarding personal mobile phone usage that they may need to be aware of?
- Office etiquette – depending on whether or not your new member of staff has worked in an office before, you may need to go through some office etiquette guidelines that they may not be aware of. For example, brew rounds, whether lunch times are staggered, whether employees are expected to answer each other’s phones, what the policy is on stationery – there’s a plethora of ‘unwritten rules’ that would be beneficial to outline from day one, to help them start with their best foot forward.
- Create a timetable – often, new employees can feel overwhelmed with the introduction of new processes, new surroundings and new people so it can be useful to discuss with your apprentice what you expect them to be doing on a day-to-day basis. Establishing a weekly planner for the apprentice can be particularly helpful in managing their (and your) time.