Workplace Tour Guide

E&l Toolset Icons Tours
Fact Sheet

Workplace Tour Fact Sheet

What is a Workplace Tour?

A Workplace Tour is a highly structured Career Awareness activity in which learners visit a workplace, learn about the business, meet employees, ask questions and observe work in progress.

More than a simple field trip or site visit, a Workplace Tour is designed and structured to meet specific learning outcomes, be educationally rich, and build awareness of the business, its industry sector, its role in the economy and the career options it provides.

A Workplace Tour involves preparation and follow-up in the classroom, including research and reflection by learners. Tours generally last between an hour-and-a-half to two hours.

Workplace Tours are one activity in the continuum of authentic work-based experiences provided to all learners engaged in career-related programs or course of study in the Earn & Learn community.

Workplace Tours Are Designed To:

  • Provide exposure to the industry sector, potential career opportunities and jobs.
  • Build occupational knowledge.
  • Build an understanding of the education and training needed for entry into careers in the industry.
  • Foster an understanding of the business’s workforce and its contributions to the community.

Workplace Tours Are Structured To:

  • Enhance workplace knowledge and build career awareness.
  • Illustrate how key academic concepts are applied in the real world.
  • Offer learners a chance to ask questions and observe work in progress.
  • Promote learner interaction with professional adults.

Workplace Tours Are Supported By:

  • Learner preparation and follow-up in the classroom.
  • Research on the industry, the careers it offers and the hosting company.
  • Support for employer partners in delivering an engaging and interactive tour.
  • Opportunities to reflect upon the experience verbally and in writing.

Workplace Tours Are Connected To:

  • Classroom learning and preparation.
  • Individual career development/training plans.
  • A sequence of educational, training and workplace activities.
  • The learner’s next step, by intentionally sequencing with future work-based or career-related classroom experiences.
Workplace Tour Virtual Format Options
  • Consider working with an industry partner to provide an on-line tour of their facilities using Zoom or Facetime.
  • Allow for learners to interact with employees and ask questions during the tour.
Support Materials
Connector Checklist

WBL Connectors Workplace Tour Checklist

Quick tips for Work-Based Learning Connectors to ensure a successful workplace tour.

Before The Workplace Tour:

  • Identify the appropriate employer contact and work with them to plan the tour, providing them with materials and support.
  • Suggest that the employer bring in someone from the HR team to talk about entry-level recruitment.
  • Arrange for transportation, permission slips, food and address all logistics.
  • Find out if safety gear is required and, if so, arrange for it to be provided.
  • Talk with teachers/faculty about how a workplace tour can help them meet curriculum goals and make the classroom connection.
  • Prepare learners by having them research the company and practice their personal introduction.
  • Identify and document desired learning objectives.

During The Workplace Tour:

  • Work with the tour host. Make sure to provide time for introductions, an overview of the business and its operations and what to expect during the tour.
  • Ensure learners and teachers/faculty receive instruction in workplace safety and an orientation to workplace norms.
  • Structure the tour so learners see the full spectrum of activities and occupations within the company.
  • Help ensure that learners can observe and interact with employees at different levels of responsibility in the organization.
  • If possible, have learners experience some hands-on activity during the tour.
  • Have learners experience the tour in small groups and ask questions.

After The Workplace Tour:

  • Help learners connect what they’re learning in class to what they experienced on the tour.
  • Provide individual and group reflection activities for learners.
  • Suggest that learners share their experiences via social media.
  • Support learners in determining their next steps in learning about careers.
  • Debrief with the tour host.
  • Have the learners write thank-you letters.
  • Assess the impact and value of this tour and utilize employer, teacher/faculty and learner feedback to improve future tours. Document and archive information in ELENA.
  • Help learners update their career development plan and think about any next steps they would like to take to further their career goals.

Go Deeper

  • Make the tour part of a project and have learners prepare and deliver a presentation about the company after the tour.
  • Have learners create a presentation about their career pathway and deliver it to the employer partner during the tour.
  • Take pictures from the tour and provide them to the company for their website or newsletter.
  • Publicize the tour and the business by placing a story in the local newspaper or posting on your webpage. (Make sure you clear this with the employer partner first.)
  • Consider other potential public relations benefits and opportunities.

This includes Earn & Learn work-based learning connectors and others who facilitate, arrange and support work-based learning activities for learners.

Sample Timeline
  • Beginning of the school year: Identify and communicate with potential sites. Determine dates.
  • Three months in advance: Confirm sites and dates. Share format options.
  • Two months in advance: Confirm format and travel logistics. Recruit learners.
  • One month in advance: Collect forms. Prepare learners.
  • One week in advance: Review orientation and logistics.
  • During the workplace tour: Facilitate agenda, learner management and social media.
  • After the workplace tour: Thank-you notes, reflection and update career development plan.
Tips For Success
  • Conduct Effective Planning
  • Prepare for Success
  • Identify Learning Objectives
  • Create Authentic and Engaging Experiences
  • Connect to Careers
  • Support Learner Growth
  • Ensure Activities are Safe and Legal
  • Provide Ongoing Support
  • Provide for Reflection, Presentation and Feedback
  • Connect to the Learner Next Step
  • Assess and Document the Experience

Remote Note

Some employers may be in a position to conduct a remote tour of their workplace, perhaps as part of a scheduled Guest Speaker activity.    

  • Consider working with an industry partner to provide an on-line tour of their facilities using Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Facetime.
  • Allow for learners to interact with employees and ask questions during the tour.
Tools & Docs

Workplace Tour Downloads

Learner Preparation

Support learners in recognizing the curriculum

Learner Reflection

Structure a reflection activity based on a “What? So what? Now what?” format.