Training plan for design assistant in workplace

Hi, this is my first post. Appreciate your time reading this. :slight_smile:

We have a graphic design graduate as a new recruit at work, whose role is design assistant. His skills is quite limited at the moment and the working speed is slower than we expected. We kind of knew it’d take some time for the new staff to get settled and are trying to help as much as we can. We check everything he does and he seems to be lacking attention to details and not an eye for typography/spacing etc. Also need to polish up PS retouching skills as this is a regular task. His role is a new position and we are happy to train this person up so his position will someday grow to be a designer.

Soooooo… my boss has asked me to create a six months training plan for him with key milestones to ensure this person will be up to speed and do things correctly before sending out to clients. I have to identify and do document training needed for the year.

How do I go about it? Has anyone created a training plan/programme for their junior team members? I am thinking what steps and resources are needed to achieve his objectives.

This is new to me, if anyone has experience on this or has any example plans, I’d like to know.

Many thanks in advance.

Sorta sounds like you got a triple-whammy here and have your work cut out for you. Since we don’t know what it is you do, it’s hard to make a plan to train someone to your department. I’m assuming you are the senior designer?

Generically speaking:
You have to take a look at how you do things and the steps involved in what you do yourself.
Start with pieces of projects with specific tasks and due dates/times (it’s best to use non-critical projects at first if possible.) Be sure the trainee understands how the part he is doing fits into later parts. It may help to go over the project and have them write down what you expect to have them accomplish. Maybe discuss things like the importance of brand standards, the need for proof reading, maybe show them examples of pieces with proper layouts.

Observe why there may be a lack of attention to detail. Is the guy being interrupted to do other tasks? Or worse, is it the phone. We have a hell of a time with interns and their goshdarn personal phones. Whatever the case may be, they need to work on their project uninterrupted until it is adequately complete. It doesn’t sound like you have a problem with them working too fast they miss stuff. I’ve seen that too.

Typography is tough. It takes time to develop an eye for it. There is a pretty decent “game” online that I’ve used, not sure how much it helps as anything more than a slight introduction to the concept, but you can give it a try.

Photoshop retouching is an artistic skill. That can take either a lot of time or they simply just never get it. Most interns have far too much photoshop skill these days and not enough skill in other areas. I’m a firm believer in a designer being able to draw and in them having a firm grounding in the use of perspective spaces. I’ve never had to resort to teaching an intern to draw. Advice I’ve given on GDF here for designers wanting to learn to draw is to lay hands on a copy of the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and go through all the lessons in it, in order, no skipping, no matter how dumb it seems.

As far as technical skills in photoshop, masking and such, you might want to find some Lynda videos that pertain to your workflow for him to review. Don’t let them in Lynda unsupervised as they can spend far too much time on inconsequential things.

To make it official, look at some performance improvement plan (PIP) templates, which is the formal way human resource departments work with managers to help employees improve. This article does a good job in asking the questions you’ll need to create this plan.

Once you’ve mapped something you, share it with your boss and the HR department (if you have one). These types of plans make or break a positon. It also gives the company better legal footing to let someone go if they just don’t work out.

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