Training and managing a bricklaying apprentice on the job every day is not easy. The relationship between the employer and the apprentice is built through shared experiences involving trust and commitment.
A bricklayer gave me a tip recently on how to get the best out of the apprentice and build a good relationship. The bricklayer said:
“Before you knock off for the day, think about what happened on the job today and find one good thing the apprentice did well during the day and tell him or her.”
The apprentice may have stuffed up many times during the day but if he keeps trying and is willing to learn, personal acknowledgement in the form of a small comment from you on the one good thing he or she did that day provides huge encouragement for him to bounce back the next day.
Even good apprentices can make mistakes in learning new skills and young people today can quickly get down on themselves for not being as good as they want to be. (Review a little background on this generation).
Bricklayers tell me that a small compliment on “One Good Thing” (you did today) makes a great difference and as a result they’re repaid many times in terms of the apprentice’s attitude, attendance and productivity.