October 4, 2022

The Role of Coaching in Apprenticeships

The Role of Coaching in Apprenticeships

While coaching has long been embraced at the executive level in business, more organizations are now recognizing its value for all levels of their workforce and embracing a culture of coaching. Here’s a brief look at how coaching fits into the picture for tech apprenticeships.

Separating the concept of coaching from managing can be conceptually difficult. The best managers are also strong coaches, using that skill set to get the most out of their teams.

For our purposes, we’ll consider management to be a process of review, assessment and improvement on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of a given role. These tend to be items that lend themselves to being measured, for example deadlines met or customer satisfaction ratings.

While coaching may have similar end goals, it takes a more holistic approach that encompasses not only the business outcomes but the human interactions that lead to them. A manager, for instance, might point out to an employee that he or she is behind on tech implementation project. A coach will seek to understand the attitudes and behaviors that are causing that to be the case, and work with the employee to map out an improvement plan.

An obvious differentiator is that coaching requires a more individualized approach. An IT manager will have certain quotas or goals they need their each team member to meet, but the coaching process to achieve that goal will differ from person to person. A coach is there to extract the talent that already lies within the person.

Franklin designed our tech apprenticeship model with coaching as a central component, we call it our “secret sauce” because it is what ensures the success of each apprenticeship. Each apprentice participates in weekly one-on-one sessions with a Professional Success Coach, who is qualified themselves by via a Registered Apprenticeship Program with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The key here is that those sessions do more than track progress on technical skills. They are focused on building technically competent tech workers who are also well-rounded employees, set up for a successful career at their companies.

Our Success Coaches work with apprentices on the professional skills that lead to better interactions with clients, team members and managers. These include problem-solving skills, solution-focused thinking, communication, time management and even managing stress.

Employers offer tech apprenticeship programs because they are looking for a long-term solution to building their tech talent pipelines. They are looking for their apprentices to have successful careers within their company. Thanks to comprehensive coaching throughout our program, Franklin Apprentices graduate with both the professional and technical foundations for a successful career in tech, and loyalty to their employers for providing them with the opportunity to develop both as a technical expert and a productive team member.


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