Starting a new job can be overwhelming at the best of times, but throw a global pandemic and working remotely into the mix and new hires can feel on the ‘back foot’ before they even ‘set foot’ in the virtual door. We reached out to our apprentices who started the programme in 2020 to find out more about their experiences and they all agreed that the more structured the approach to their on-boarding the better. So here’s our guide to what your new hires first week should look like.
Avoid overloading your apprentice. Simply treat the day as a way of setting out what is to come. Make introductions to the team, managers, and key supports (for apprentices this may be supervisors and mentors) such as a virtual buddy.
Cover off the basic information and focus on what they need to know, not what you want to tell them. Remember you have a whole week (if not longer to fill), so take it easy, you want them to come back!
Any training to be done on this day should be bite sized and relevant to the role they are in. Setting out expectations again is a good idea as it may be a while since the interview stage ended and letting them know when the academic element of their apprenticeship will start is key here. We recommend employers to hire apprentices as well in advance as possible to enable them to settle into the organisation first before commencing studies. However, this isn’t always possible, so in some cases this part of their apprenticeship might begin in tandem with their wider role. It is important to bear this in mind when structuring your sessions.
They came back? Great! This is the perfect opportunity to provide them with some quality one to one time with their manager. This is the time to detail your management style, expectations and answer any questions or address any concerns that they might have arising from day one. It would also be beneficial to go over their training and studying schedule again to get a feel for any additional support you feel might be necessary at this stage.
Don’t forget though that it is also your role to make them feel motivated. Be specific about strategies that might help them achieve these goals, advice on prioritising and the importance of asking for help. Paint a picture of the overall vision of the organisation and what you are collectively trying to accomplish and help them see where they fit in.
Our handy checklist is available to use as a starting point for this session.
By now, they should understand the basics, know when they are to start with their studying and have a clear view of what is expected from them.
It is essential that this first week they also start to do the work that they will be expected to do every day, but are introduced to it in attainable assignments to tackle. This will help them feel that they have had a productive first week and a meaningful introduction to their new role.
It would also do now harm to check in at the end of the week to get an insight into how it went, what they felt could have gone better and ask if there is anything additional they need ahead of their second week. Feedback from new hires is really important to every organisations on-boarding strategy, but don’t forget, one size does not fit all!
You can find more information on on-boarding in our useful guide. Download your's today.