If your company is continuing to work remotely, either full-time or as part of a hybrid working model, you might be wondering how you can help an apprentice feel welcomed into your team.

The onboarding process is a critical time, especially for an apprentice, as this could be their first ever experience of the workplace. Therefore, it’s up to you to make sure they have the information and support they need. 

Although this is a big responsibility, there’s no need to panic! In this week’s blog, we’ll share our top tips for how to successfully complete the remote onboarding process for an apprentice.

1. Set realistic expectations

Remote onboarding might be a new process to both you and your apprentice. Setting expectations before the first day will help you both to understand the process, and help provide accountability. Overall, this will help the process run much smoother, and help avoid any miscommunication down the line.

Ask your apprentice what goals they want to achieve during their apprenticeship, and be prepared to answer any questions they might have about the process. While you should communicate clear expectations, you should also encourage them to approach you with any questions or concerns they might have. This will help you start your professional mentor-mentee relationship on the right foot, and help improve the chances of the apprenticeship’s success from day one.

2. Keep a checklist

Onboarding an apprentice remotely can take a little bit longer than an in-person onboarding process. Extra paperwork, delayed responses to emails, and other factors can all cause delays of a day or two. However, by keeping a checklist of what needs to be done, you can make sure your apprentice has all the essential information they need in good time.

In addition to covering training for things such as company values and methods, you might also want to go over more general work topics with your apprentice, especially if this is their first job. Establishing expectations on timekeeping and task management can help prevent awkward conversations down the line, and sharing advice for healthy working habits to develop (i.e. taking breaks, eating healthily, etc.) can encourage your apprentice to make the best start possible.

3. Introduce the team 

When introducing colleagues to a new employee, it’s important not to overwhelm them with too many new faces at once! Think about splitting up introductions into smaller groups, such as by department, depending on the size of your company. You might even want to have one or two company ‘ambassadors’ to help your apprentice get settled in. Having more than one friendly face to go to for help will go a long way in helping your apprentice find their feet in their new job. 

Getting to know new colleagues and building professional relationships can be difficult for any remote worker, especially an apprentice who is new to your company. Consider holding virtual team-building exercises, such as quiz nights or coffee breaks, to help your apprentice build rapport with their new co-workers.

4. Keep in touch with video calls

In normal circumstances, you would see your apprentice in person every day at the workplace. Try to establish this same pattern via video calls, or another form of communication that works best for you. 

For the first few weeks of the apprenticeship, scheduling in beginning-of and end-of-day calls to go over tasks and workload will help immerse your apprentice into the working world, and give them an opportunity to address any concerns as soon as they come up. In addition, this will help keep track of other important things such as their time management and attendance. 

Being able to effectively communicate in all situations, including over video calls, is an essential skill for the modern employee to have. Having regular video calls with your apprentice will help them develop the right professional manner, which will be an important tool throughout their career. 

You may need to provide additional training or equipment for video calls, such as a laptop or a work phone. Discuss this with your apprentice in advance so you can plan ahead of time, which will make the onboarding process run even smoother.

5. Ask for feedback

It’s one thing to give feedback, but you should also be open to receiving it. Once onboarding is complete and your apprentice has settled into their role with your company, ask them for feedback on the process. By getting honest feedback, you will be able to identify particular strengths or areas to improve upon for the future.

Find your apprentice with Easy Apprenticeships

At Easy Apprenticeships, we’ll help you with every step of the apprenticeship process, from finding the right apprenticeship provider to securing funding. Call us on 0203 982 7600 to speak with a member of our team today, or visit our website to find out more!