Home > Troubleshooting > Top 10 Tips for Successful Workplace Relations

Top 10 Tips for Successful Workplace Relations

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 7 Mar 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Apprentice Apprenticeship Work Employer

The workplace can be uniquely difficult to navigate. It is, in many ways, an unnatural construction in which individuals who seemingly have little in common but their occupation are forced to cooperate.

As an apprentice, you might be concerned about what may well be your first real experience of the workplace. On the other hand, if you are an employer preparing to take on your first apprentice you could be concerned about building a safe, productive, environment for everyone.

Here are some top tips for successful workplace relations – for both apprentices and employers.

For Apprentices

  • 1. Know your Rights…
    It is important for every employee to know their rights in the workplace – but this is particularly vital for apprentices. Make sure that you understand things like your pay, holiday entitlement, breaks, union membership and so on. And remember that these rights are there for your protection, so don’t be afraid to use them.
  • 2.…and your Responsibilities
    At the same time, though, you should ensure that you are fully aware of your contractual obligations. Make sure you know what you will be expected to do, when you will be expected to turn up, and who you need to report to.
  • 3. Get to Know your Co-workers
    This is absolutely crucial. Make sure that you introduce yourself to your colleagues, and try to get to know them. You will, of course, be spending much of your day in close proximity to them, so it’s important that you try to get on! If you feel awkward introducing yourself, ask your line manager to take you round when you arrive.
  • 4. Don’t be Afraid to Ask
    Throughout your apprenticeship there will, of course, be a whole host of things that you don’t yet know about. Indeed, that’s part of the point! So don’t be afraid to ask questions, and remember that you won’t be expected to know everything. By simply being honest, and asking for help when you need it, you will get more out of your apprenticeship – and both you and your employer will know where you stand.
  • 5. Don’t Burn Out
    It is very easy to forget about life outside the workplace, particularly if you are just starting a new job and are eager to impress. But it is important that you remember that your apprenticeship isn’t everything. Make sure that you set aside time in which you are not working or studying, to do something relaxing and enjoyable. This will help to ensure that you stay healthy and happy.

For Employers

  • 1. Be Patient
    When taking on an apprentice it is important that you are realistic about their abilities, and about the work that they will be able to perform. Always keep at the forefront of your mind the fact that this is a training scheme, and that the apprentice will be constantly learning. Don’t get frustrated or exasperated if there is something they cannot do.
  • 2. Know the Law
    This is a vital consideration for any employer. Remember that you have a series of important and significant legal obligations to your apprentice. You need to understand these obligations, and fulfil them. Failure to do so could well mean that you end up at an employment tribunal. If you are in any doubt about the legal requirements placed on you as an employer, make sure that you seek independent advice.
  • 3. Remember SMART
    Unrealistic goals are amongst the quickest ways to foster poor workplace relations. Your apprentice needs to set tasks that are challenging, but which they will be able to fulfil. The SMART rule is useful for setting goals. They should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-limited.
  • 4. Provide Support
    Where possible, try to offer some pastoral support to new apprentices. Remember that starting an apprenticeship can be a stressful and difficult experience, and that the apprentice might benefit from some personal, informal help. On the other hand, make sure that you don’t micro-manage – and make sure that you remember the boundaries of the employer-employee relationship.
  • 5. Be Honest
    Finally, it is vitally important that you are honest with your apprentice. This is clearly important during the apprenticeship, but it is also paramount when the training is coming to an end. It may well be that the apprentice is expecting to receive a job offer at the end of their training. You should be honest and up front about whether or not this will happen. If you do not intend to offer them a job, make sure that you explain why - and, finally, try to do this in a timely manner in order to ensure that they stand the best possible chance of finding employment elsewhere.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
My son has been asked to hand in his notice as an apprentice after 5 weeks. He works in a garage and understood that working on a Saturday was optional. He already works 40 hours a week. He is 17. He has worked 3 Saturday's already and when he asked if he could not work this Saturday the manager suggested that he hand in his notice as Saturday's were going to be a problem.It is not.However am I right to understand that young people should not be working over 40 hours until they are 18 and is this manager acting fairly?
Kaz - 7-Mar-16 @ 8:50 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Janey
    Re: Dealing with a Bad Employer
    What help can I get in my apprenticeship. I have being passing exams and work performance is excellent, but a formal complaint has…
    5 December 2018
  • Kevman
    Re: Can I Sack an Apprentice?
    My son is in his 2nd year mechanic apprenticeship. He has failed his driving test 5 times now and I believe it's due to the amounting…
    4 December 2018
  • Balu
    Re: What to Do When Your Apprenticeship Ends
    My contract has expired and I want to move onto the next level of my apprenticeship in hospitality what do I do?
    4 December 2018
  • SUFC Di
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    A friend has just started as an apprentice in a Care Home. She has now been told she has to work 10 am to 7 pm on Christmas Day. As…
    29 November 2018
  • Fiona
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    Hi my son is 17 and is going to start apprenticeship in Accountancy . He has been told for first 6 weeks he will not get paid. Is…
    28 November 2018
  • Scala
    Re: Apprenticeships: Parents' Frequently Asked Questions
    My 16 year old Daughter was dismissed 5 weeks into her apprenticeship from what I can see pretty…
    26 November 2018
  • Jimbob
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    Hi My son is 18 on a security apprenticeship just started his 2nd year. He's now expected to be on call every 3rd week he's…
    26 November 2018
  • Rascal
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    My son is in a 4 year welding apprenticeship, he has been there over a year. Last week he has gastroenteritis from the Monday…
    26 November 2018
  • Nic
    Re: Apprentices' Frequently Asked Questions
    Hi My son is 20 and has already completed a college course in electrician course level 2 and part level 3 and has…
    18 November 2018
  • Flossie
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    Hi, my son has just started an apprenticeship advertised at 40 hours a week, however from the time he is being picked up and…
    16 November 2018