If there’s one piece of advice we can give to new apprentices, it’s concentrate on building a relationship with your employers from day one. This article looks at 5 things you can do in the early days to really strengthen your relationship with your boss and co-workers which will help you settle in to your apprenticeship and become valued by them sooner rather than later.
1. Look for common ground
The first thing you will need to do is build rapport with your boss and co-workers. There are two sides to this: Professional & personal.
On the professional side of things, show an interest in what they are doing and why they are doing it. Do what you can to help them. A good question to ask could be “What can I do to help you today?”. Being helpful will show your enthusiasm for doing a good job and contributing to the success of the business.
On a personal level, as you’re working you can ask about things they enjoy away from work such as hobbies and interests. A good question to ask would be “What did you do at the weekend?”
With both areas, try to make things about them and not about you. You’ll be surprised how much you learn by doing this. You have 2 ears, but only one mouth. Use them in that proportion!
2. Contribute in meetings
Most types of work will have some form of meeting or other. If the meetings encourage active participation that aren’t just ‘tell sessions’, try to think of something you can say or ask to contribute positively to the meeting. Asking how you can help would work well here too.
3. Ask for feedback
In the early stages, it’s good to ask how you’re doing as you will need to find out the preferred working styles of others. Some will welcome constant dialogue, others may expect less interaction and expect you to work some things out for yourself. Watch how the boss interacts with others. This will give you clues as to how they like to be dealt with on a day to day basis.
4. Be a doer!
Bosses love employees they can rely on. If you can see that something needs doing, do it. Just remember that it’s most important to complete the work you have been set ahead of schedule if possible. So if you see something that needs doing that isn’t really your responsibility to do, ask yourself whether it takes you away from your own tasks. If not, get it done!
5. Keep them updated
Keep your line manager informed of what you are doing on a day to day basis. Remember to feedback to them on how the sessions are going with your college/ training provider so they know about the new skills you are learning too.
By building a good relationship with your boss and co-workers you will get more out of your apprenticeship. Look to understand things from their point of view and help where you can. You will soon become a valuable part of the team and love your work!