I have a trainee who is really enthusiastic and tries to do his best but has little work experiences. He is very sensitive. We have cut down his responsibilities due to his work-hours. He will get smaller and simpler tasks and, if he is successful, that will subsequently move to bigger and more complex tasks.

We revealed our plan and he agreed with the decision because he knows that he was overburdened. Our goal is to build up his skills but we are concerned about hurting or offend him.

Additionally, there's a second trainee with similar work experience, but who doesn't have the work-hours complication and is not as thin-skinned. This second trainee isn't on the same plan - s/he is already doing more complicated work than the first trainee.

How can I communicate the long term goals and plans regarding the time-limited trainee? How do I handle the other trainee following a different plan? How do I avoid hurt feelings?

  • 4
    Your question is unclear. You ask "what is the best way to communicate our goals and plans regarding his resources" but also say "these days we revealed our plan and he agreed." If you already told him, why are you asking how to tell him?
    – atk
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 21:36
  • "what is the best way to communicate our goals and plans regarding his resources" I meant long term goals, yes we talked about our plan but I need help about the long tem communication:)
    – user7522
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 10:45
  • I have edited your question to try and make it clearer, and to separate concepts. Please feel free to roll back if I changed the meaning too drastically :)
    – atk
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


You have to treat them as separate cases. Treat your time-limited trainee like a part-time employee, and your full-time employee like a full-time employee.

You have to explain to the part-time person that they may not be part of some projects due to their time constraint. Also explain that their development will likely be on-pace with their colleague's based on the number of hours put in.

As for being thin-skinned, that will require coaching and mentoring. The workers entering the workplace today (at least in the U.S.) were raised on the idea of constant praise and no criticism. They aren't emotionally prepared for the harshness of the business world. Some have prepared themselves. A lot who have done military service have thickened up their skins, but what matters is the person in front of you. S/He needs some coaching in how to handle criticism and negative feedback.

  • 5
    This person also needs to be clearly told that failure to do well on the easier tasks means that no more interesting or difficult work will be provided. Some people think they are too good for easy stuff and don't recognize that from management's perspecitive if you failed at the easy stuff, you are big a risk to assign to anything harder or more interesting.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 19:25
  • @Wesly..we are mostly struggling with the time constraint and the emotionally unpreparedness. We found a coach for him and this senior colleague will mentoring the trainee. We hope this step will help the intern and we could give him harder task later on.
    – user7522
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 21:07

Assuming he only needs the information when he's on-site, then a blank wall with Sticky-notes is what you want.

Each note will have one task - and the estimated time it should take.

The tasks will be prioritized - the higher up the more important. 2 tasks can have the same priority - just put them next to each other.

But he can take a lesser-important task if he feels he does not have time for a higher-importance task that takes longer.

You could also add the date the task was posted - and insist that no task stay up for longer than "some time period".

If you want to use is as a tracking tool, you could have him move the "tasks being done" to the center-column and the "tasks completed" to the extreme right column - and you have most of a Kanban board.

You could do this on-line using Trello or similar.

  • Just adding a comment to note that this answer was posted before the edits. After the question edits, I'm not sure if this question is well suited to answer the question, but I'd hate to see you down-voted without being alerted to the change :)
    – atk
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 16:41
  • I am considering the same process that you offer me like a simpler Scrum board with mini stand-ups and the other formalities. I think an on-line tool is too much in our case I don't like to use another interface. Your comment is verifying my basic concept so I really appreciate your advise.
    – user7522
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 20:33

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