Why You Should Implement Apprenticeships and Mentorships in the Workplace

Do you currently provide apprenticeships or mentorships in your company? Or are you considering adding them to your current positions?

They are great programs that can benefit your company, your current employees, and your future workers. They can provide job opportunities and support the local economy, among many other advantages.

Let’s explore why you should implement apprenticeships and mentorships in the workplace.

Train Workers on Skills You Need

For many industries, there is a shortage of talent with the skills and experience you need for open positions. Use mentorship and apprenticeship programs to train workers to develop the skills and knowledge you need.

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Training Classroom

Today, companies are looking for candidates with specific skill sets and experiences, except there are shortages of these – especially in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

Why not be proactive and create and develop workers who meet your hiring standards? Many individuals can get most of the way there, but need help getting the rest of the way.

Plus, many workers cannot afford to take on unpaid internships, and fulfill their financial obligations. This is unfortunate because many of these individuals will make ideal candidates but can’t afford further training, expensive education, or take on unpaid work. That’s why apprenticeships and mentorships are vital.

Large Hiring Pool

With the skills and experience, you’re looking for. After an apprenticeship or mentorship ends, you have a hiring pool of talent to choose from to fill open positions.

You already know how well these employees work and have already gone through the hiring process. This makes finding candidates much easier. You already know them.

Hiring Tips
Mentoring

Hiring a new employee can cost approximately $11,000. Save money by choosing from an easily available talent pool you created.

Related: Elements of a Strong Company Culture

Implement Company Culture

Many hiring managers have difficulty finding talent that will blend well with company culture. While a candidate may meet every qualification on your list, if they won’t mesh well with your business’s mission or their potential colleagues, you’re out of luck.

Company culture is one reason why employees are fired. That’s a high turnover rate that leads to huge hiring costs in the future.

Hiring workers who understand your organization’s culture, and who works well with the rest of your team is the best choice. And luckily you already have individuals to choose from.

Transform Communities

Many companies don’t realize or think about the transformation that can happen in communities by offering mentorship and apprenticeship programs.

Harvard University is one example that’s creating change in its community by providing apprenticeships and mentorships in need-based communities.

You can make positive changes in a city’s economy, employ candidates who are interested in a particular field (e.g. STEM occupations), but who do not have the resources available.

Unfortunately, many companies will not hire these candidates because they lack the qualifications they’re seeking. Your business can become a leader in your industry by doing what your competitors are not.

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Will you implement an apprenticeship or mentorship program within your business? Why or why not?

 

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American Women Are Still Making Less than Men in Most Occupations

The gender wage gap isn’t news for most workers. For every dollar a man makes, women are bringing home 79 cents. It’s prevalent in many companies and workplaces. And it’s often elicits heated discussions.

Some believe it doesn’t exist. While others, as research shows, are growing more concerned every day.

Today, American women are still making less than men in most occupations with the same skills and experience. But what do we mean when we say that? Let’s explore the topic further.

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Busy At Work

U.S. women are making less in almost every occupation, including high and low salary jobs. This is even true for professions where women make up the vast majority such as secretaries, administrative assistants, and nurses, for example.

In the United States, there are approximately 4 million administrative assistants and secretaries, according to the U.S. Census. 96% of these roles are filled by women; however, male secretaries and administrative assistants average $31,041, while women in the same position bring home $27,529.

Related: A Brief Guide to Negotiating Your Salary

That’s $3,512 difference that may seem small now but can balloon over time. For instance, women will make over $35,000 less over a ten-year period.

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Working Together

It is important to note there are a few occupations where women are making more than their male peers. These are rare, but critical to note nonetheless.

These jobs include dieticians and nutritionists, crane and tower operators, meter readers and utilities professionals, highway maintenance, and telecommunications installers and repairers, among others.

According to the World Economic Forum, the gender wage gap isn’t expected to close for 118 years, if we continue as we are – that’s a huge difference for women workers.

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Do you address the gender wage difference in the workplace? How can you ensure there are no gender wage biases in your company?

 

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Your Remote Employees Are Happier and More Productive

Remote and virtual positions are becoming a larger trend in the workforce as technology progresses in the workplace, and companies are becoming more lenient with their policies.

Do you currently hire remote positions? Or are you open to letting employees work remotely in the future?

You’re in luck. According to TINYpulse, your remote employees are happier and more productive.

Increase Productivity

According to a study by TINYpulse, 91% of employees believe they were able to get more work done compared to working in an office environment. This is subjective, but overall, workers felt they are more productive.

The study shows that it’s important for employees to disregard work stereotypes and “having engaged, productive employees doesn’t require being in the same room as them.”

Hiring Tips
Working From Home

TINYpulse surveyed 509 full-time remote workers and 200,000 other employees in many different arrangements.

Feel Valued as Employees

Overall, remote workers felt like valued members of their team. It’s your job as an employer to make sure every employee understands their significant contributions and efforts. Everyone wants to feel appreciated.

With remote workers, feeling valued could mean sending an email letting them know they did great on the last project or telling them you appreciate all they’ve done.

Remote workers rated 7.75 out of 10 for how valued they feel in the workplace while the other pool scored 6.69.

Freedom and Happiness

For those workers who were able to choose to work remotely, they felt happier and more content with their positions, than employees than those who were required to work remotely.

According to Forbes, remote workers are happier than in-office colleagues, scoring 8.10 out of 10 in comparison to the other pool’s 7.42 score – despite remote workers often lacking strong bonds with their co-workers.

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Working Remotely

It’s no surprise they felt happiest when they had control over their work environment and hours. Give them freedom. What works best for them? Ask them, and do what you can to work with their suggestions.

Every worker is most productive during certain hours and places. Some workers may be more productive outside the office with a non-traditional schedule while others may want to work in the office from time-to-time and maintain a 9-5 workday.

Related: Your Staff Wishes You Showed Them More Appreciation – Here’s How You Can

Things to Consider

There are things that remote employees want their employer to know. How you provide feedback is important. With your current or future remote workers, feedback is critical to keeping happy and productive employees.

Overall, remote workers are satisfied with the feedback they receive from their employers – 92% are, while 8% are not.

Meeting face-to-face is crucial to maintaining a positive relationship and culture between you and your remote staff.

You should treat them as productive workers – because they are. Most remote workers are happier and more productive outside the traditional office environment.

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Freelancer

Don’t treat remote positions with skepticism. You don’t need to keep a constant watch on them to stay engaged and productive.

In addition, make all interactions with them meaningful. While you may only communicate with them once a week or bi-weekly to check on the status of projects, make it count. Treat them like any other member of your staff.

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You Messed Up at Work, Now What?

There comes a time in every job where you’re going to going to make mistakes. Sometimes, the mistakes are minor, but other times, they can be major. Making mistakes at work can really mess things up.

Luckily, there are ways to fix the situation. Mistakes happen, and employers know this. They happen because you’re human.

So, you messed up at work, now what?

Keep Your Head Up

One of the first reactions you may have to making a mistake is putting your head down, contemplating giving up, and listening to the negative critics in your head. But don’t.

When you make a mistake, you must act quickly. Acknowledge it, and make a plan to discover how you can do better next time.

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Correcting Work Errors

Your boss won’t appreciate you sulking around. Know you made a mistake, but don’t let it get you down. Negativity is contagious, and your supervisor will pick up on it a mile away.

Related: The Key to Successful Feedback Conversations

Continue to Work Hard

You will most likely be less motivated and productive after messing up at work. That’s the opposite of what you should do.

After making a mistake, you’re on your boss’s radar, and not necessarily in a good way. Employers want to know that you can move on after making a mistake, and you can go back to normal.

That means working just as hard, if not harder than before, and go above and beyond your boss’s expectations.

Find Out What You Did Wrong

Once you realize you messed up, have an honest discussion with your boss. Find out what you did wrong, and how you can avoid making the same mistake in the future.

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Performing Research

Perhaps, you don’t have the proper training, or you misunderstood your supervisor’s instructions. Discover the source of the issue, and figure out how to fix it so it won’t happen again.

While you may not see a flipside to your mistake, you have an opportunity to learn and grow as an employee.

Understand You’re Visible

After you make a mistake, your boss is aware of what the mistake was and who did it. Especially after you have a conversation with them about it.

If you work for a large company, you’re suddenly more visible to management. That could make you uncomfortable. No one likes the idea of someone watching what they’re doing over their shoulder.

For a little while, your supervisor will most likely be watching you carefully to ensure you aren’t repeating the same behaviors that led to it in the first place.

Rather than be angry or annoyed by this, use this to your advantage. Continue to work hard, communicate with them, and follow their advice. If they ask you to show them the final drafts of every article you write before you hit publish, then do that.

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How do you deal with messing up at work? What are your tips for handling workplace mistakes?

 

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Is it Illegal for Your Employer to Require You to Work on Religious Holidays?

Religion in the workplace can seem like a tricky and challenging subject. After all, if you practice a religion your boss doesn’t accept, or like, you could deal with hostility and discrimination.

These things aren’t supposed to happen, and it’s illegal for discrimination to occur in the workplace due to a person’s religion. But it can still happen, particularly for minority religion in the U.S. such as Judaism or Islamism. Catholicism and Christianity are more widely practiced and accepted.

The important question is: Is it illegal for your employer to require you to work on religious holidays?

This isn’t the easiest question to answer because it isn’t straightforward. Context and situations matter. Let’s explore this issue further.

You’re Legally Protected

In most cases, your employer is legally obligated to accommodate your requests to honor your religion or faith.

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Employees

However, an employer cannot outright deny your request for time off to honor or celebrate a religious holiday without a good reason and proof.

The Title VII under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship upon the employer.” It applies to companies with 15 or more workers.

This means employers can deny your request for time off if it interferes with other worker’s rights, is too costly, endangers your colleagues, or is harmful or damaging in some other way.

Related: Are You Happy with Your Job? Employee Satisfaction Highest in Over a Decade

Every State is Different

Each state has different rules and regulation regarding religion in the workplace. It’s important to check your state’s laws

For instance, some states require companies to have a minimum number of employees before religious protection can take place.

But places like California only businesses have 5 employees for religious protections to withhold. On the other hand, Georgia doesn’t have any laws that protect private employees.

You May Need to Explain Your Beliefs

Workplaces are diverse organizations that meld many different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences together.

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Manager

You may be Muslim, but your boss may Christian, and your close co-worker may be Jewish.

When your boss is of a different faith, it can be intimating to ask for time off to honor your religion; however, don’t assume they know about your faith.

Some explanation is necessary about your religion, and why you need the time off. But most protections are only for organized religions – meaning you can’t demand time off on Sundays because football is your religion.

Request Time Off in Advance

To avoid not having your time off approved, request it off months, or even years in advance. If you can, email or make a copy so if your boss accepts someone else’s time off, but not yours, you can make your case you requested it off first.

Also, most religions have set holidays. If you practice a particular faith, you should know what days you need off, and ask for them far in advance.

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Should all companies be required to accommodate employees’ religious time off requests?

 

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Here’s Why Your Boss Thinks You Have an Attitude Problem

Has your boss ever told you they don’t appreciate your attitude? If your boss thinks this is the case, that is not a good place to be.

But are you stuck trying to figure why they think so? Here’s why your boss thinks you have an attitude problem.

You’re Always Irritable

Every job brings its frustrations. But if you’re always irritated, this could be the reason your boss and colleagues think you have an attitude problem.

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Employee

If you’re always unhappy and annoyed at work, and can’t find a way to resolve that behavior, a new job may be the only solution; otherwise, you risk being fired for keeping up the problem behavior.

Related: Can an Unfair Workplace Harm Your Health?

You Respond Negatively

It’s never okay to roll your eyes, say something lewd, or be outright rude to a supervisor or colleague. So, don’t assume nonverbal communication doesn’t have the same impact as saying “You suck!” to a co-worker.

This behavior is unprofessional and rude. Just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t mean you need to react negatively toward the situation.

You Never Deliver Assignments on Time

If you always have an excuse for delivering a project or assignment late, this is a bad sign. And if you always have someone else to blame other than yourself, it may not go over well with your employer.

Part of completing a project or assignment successfully is planning ahead and coming up with backup plans.

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Hiring Manager

 

Sometimes things will go wrong or get in the way. But plan accordingly, and don’t them sidetrack you or always be the reason you turn in your projects late every single time. Look at your current behaviors and see what you can improve.

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How do you handle supervisor comments on your behavior? What are your tips for fixing a bad attitude at work?

 

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How Should I Deliver Bad News in the Workplace?

No one wants to be the messenger of bad news. Whether it’s layoffs, budget cuts, or letting an employee go, these conversations are difficult and awkward.

Employees may blame you for the bad news, even if you’re only the messenger. Bad news can negatively impact team morale, and quickly shift a happy, productive workplace into workers who are upset, depressed, stressed, or unproductive.

There are ways to handle bad news to diffuse these situations and help your staff process the information.

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Partner

The big question you need to ask is: How should I deliver bad news in the workplace? Let’s explore how you can soften the blow.

Be Straightforward

For most of us, delivering bad news makes us uncomfortable. Because of that, you may be less willing to get to the point right away.

Instead of beating around the bush, be as straightforward as possible. You don’t want your staff to misinterpret or misunderstand what you’re saying.

It’s a good idea to practice what you will say to ensure everything is clear when you make the announcement.

Your employees will appreciate your honesty, even if it isn’t clear right away. They’d rather be told the bad news in a clear manner, then be left wondering what exactly you meant.

When you deliver the news, also be mindful that your staff will need time to process the information. Give them some space, and don’t talk too fast.

Related: 3 Ways You Can Improve Employee Performance Reviews

Avoid Rambling

It’s natural for us to want to over-explain the message, particularly when the situation makes us uncomfortable. However, be as succinct as possible.

Choose your words carefully, and don’t keep your employee or staff longer than you have to. By rambling, you will make your employee and yourself more uncomfortable.

Hiring Tips
Hiring Manager

Make your point clear, but don’t go into a long-winded explanation. All you need is a sentence or two to explain the bad news, and that’s it.

Plus, do you really want to be in that situation longer than necessary? Probably not.

Choose Your Timing Carefully

It’s best to deliver bad news as soon as possible; however, if it isn’t an urgent matter, be mindful of the time and place. But keep in mind, the longer you wait, the worse it can get. If you hear the news on Tuesday, don’t wait until Friday to tell your staff.

Not every moment is appropriate to be the bearer of bad news. If you need to let an employee know their project deal fell through, or they’re being fired, don’t let tell them in the middle of a stressful task.

To show your respect and maintain professionalism, pull your employee or staff members away into a quiet room, turn off your phone, and deliver the news.

But don’t hang around if they react badly, or they’re grieving. You probably aren’t the person they want to comfort them.

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How do you deliver bad news in the workplace? What are your tips for breaking the news to your staff?

 

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Your Staff Wishes You Showed Them More Appreciation – Here’s How You Can

Your employees want to know you value and appreciate their hard work. Many employees don’t feel their supervisors show appreciation enough.

This can cause workplace issues like lack of trust, disrespect, and can take a hard hit on morale. All in all, your staff wishes you showed them more appreciation – here’s how you can.

Relax on the Dress Code

You don’t have to relax on the dress code entirely, and in many office spaces it isn’t appropriate; however, you can implement Casual Fridays once a month where your staff can wear jeans, but still maintain professionalism.

Hounding on your workers for the littlest dress code errors is not a good way to build a successful and healthy relationship with your staff.

Hiring Tips
Casual Wear For Friday

Instead, relax a little, and let them relax a bit too. Something as simple as relaxing on the dress code now and then can make a big difference.

Cater Meals

Your staff works hard for you, and a little appreciation in the form of delicious food is an excellent choice.

It could be as simple as ordering pizza once a month, or bringing in donuts, scones, or coffee for an early staff meeting.

Hiring Tips
Pizza For The Employees

Better yet, ask them what’d they like to eat, take a vote, and deliver on your promise.

Related: 3 Ways to Hire More Millennials Without a Big Budget

Tell Them

One of the easiest ways to let your staff know you appreciate them is by telling them. Arrange a small office gathering, and tell them you value and appreciate their hard work.

Hiring Tips
Praising Employees

You can even formally recognize staff members for their success on major projects, or for workers who went that extra mile and stayed up late to make a last-minute deadline.

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How do you show your staff you value and appreciate them?

 

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Companies are Pledging to Train and Employ More Veterans

A little over two weeks ago, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden celebrated the fifth anniversary of Joining Forces – a White House initiative that’s goal is to decrease veteran unemployment by more than half.

Since its launch in 2011, it has proved to do more than that. It’s meant to help veterans and their spouses transition into civilian life. With more than 40 companies participating in the program, it has become a success.

Veteran Jobs
Veteran

Joining Forces has helped over 1.2 million veterans and their spouses find training and employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the veteran unemployment rate in 2011 was 8.3%. In 2015, the unemployment rate for veterans is 4.6% – that’s half of what it was when the program began.

Related: Tips to Land a Job as a Veteran

Today, more companies are pledging to train and employ more veterans. Some organizations plan to employ more than 110,000 veterans and train 60,000 veterans and their spouses in the next five years. Many of these industries include technology, aerospace, and telecommunications.

During the conference, Jill Biden stated, “Today is about making sure that when our young men and women return from war, they are welcomed home with a good-paying job. They confront challenges that most Americans never have to face.”

Veteran Jobs
Seeking Work

Every year more than hundreds of thousands servicemen and servicewomen leave active duty and transition to civilian life. Many perform the technical jobs and have the skills companies are looking for. It’s important their military experience is recognized while job seeking.

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Do you take initiatives to hire and train more veterans? Do you think programs like Joining Forces are important?

 

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We’ve Developed Robots to Perform Human Jobs

When many of us think of the future of technology, we may see a world where robots are a large part of our world. You may see them driving cars, interacting with us, and even performing our jobs.

Technology is a core part of our culture. We have voice activated applications, can stream media on our phones, and have GPS. Technology can accomplish anything, and something new is created and designed every day.

For decades, we’ve been fascinated with creating robots, and many have succeeded. The future of technology is here, and we’ve developed robots to perform human jobs.

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Robot

This could be a good and bad thing, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Having robots work human jobs means fewer people are employed in certain capacities. On the other hand, robots can be designed to perform the jobs no one wants.

But many lower-income families rely on minimum wage jobs to meet their financial obligations, some even carrying multiple jobs at one time. What does this mean for the future?

What kinds of robots have we designed to perform human jobs? Let’s take a look at a few.

Fast Food Workers

Momentum Machines is a company that has designed a robot to cut, cook, and assemble burgers. It can do it all in as little as 10 seconds.

When raising the question of putting line cooks out of a job, the company understands this, and it seems to be their aim. Instead, the company encourages these replaced workers to work for their business as robot support technicians; however, these workers would have to pay for the technical course to get the job, but would be provided a discount.

Hiring Tips
Robotic Help

How do you feel about a robot making your burger?

Related: IT Jobs – What is an Information Technology Specialist?

 Pharmacists

Did you know there are robot pharmacists? The University of California, San Francisco doesn’t hire human pharmacists in two of its hospitals. Instead, prescriptions are handled by robots.

They receive medication orders and retrieve the proper prescriptions for customers. When it launched in 2011, the robot had handled over 350,000 prescriptions without a single error.

While the robot hasn’t replaced all pharmacists, it makes you wonder if they eventually will. Would this be a good or bad thing?

Librarians

The University of Technology in Sydney has come up with an ingenious way to house the least read books that are collecting dust. They’re stored underground in a dust-free environment in steel bins, and when needed, a robot known as “bookBot” retrieves it.

The books are available instantly, with the touch of a button. The university’s librarians have grown fond of the robot, which frees up extra floor space in the library for popular and frequently read titles.

Robots in libraries? That used to be only a thing of fiction.

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How do you feel about robots replacing human jobs? Are robots a good idea in the workforce?

 

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