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We’ve covered the benefits of starting an internship program and ways to determine if one is right for your business. And at this point, you’ve screened, hired and now you’re on your way to welcoming a new member to your team!
But what kinds of things do you need to be aware of in order to keep it beneficial? As you begin to manage one intern or maybe a small group, assess the time you have available and set up some goals to ensure the experience is beneficial to you as well as your intern.
Schedule a weekly or bi-weekly touchbase
By making sure you schedule time with your new hire, you can get a feel for how she is adjusting to the position by asking her questions and welcoming the ones she may have. This is also a good opportunity to set some expectations and review her assigned tasks. As a result of creating this line of communication, you should hope to have an intern who values you as a supervisor and respects your opinions as well as your time. If any problems arise, you want her to feel comfortable addressing you rather than having her go on disliking a portion of her experience.
Let him know he’s doing a good job. Or offer up ways he can improve. Interns are looking for a great experience and you are looking to potentially mold a future full-time employee or at the very least, a very good intern who has provided something to your business in terms of ideas, productivity and hopefully becoming a team player.
Make them feel a part of the team
Your intern feels awkward enough: being the youngest person in your workplace, maybe feeling inexperienced, unsure how to acclimate to this new work environment. Relieve some of that pressure and welcome her to the group. Maybe take her around the office and introduce her to your team. Or maybe invite your employees to the intern’s work station and host a light coffee or breakfast gathering. More so, if you think your intern can benefit from sitting in a meeting with your colleagues, put her on the meeting request and allow her to listen in and absorb some topics and see how your team works together.
Increase their responsibility
If you see that your intern is proving himself; showing up early, staying late, eager to take on a new project, show him how much you value his input and hard work by increasing his responsibility. Perhaps you have a new project you’re working on and need some fresh eyes to give some input. He will appreciate the acknowledgment of his hard work and likely take on the new task with enthusiasm.
Keeping your intern(s) happy and fulfilled should be a priority for you when starting an internship program for your business. If they are content with the experience, chances are they will take more pride in their work, and you will benefit greatly from the entire experience. And the hard work will pay off, because the highest compliment your interns can provide is sharing the great experience they had at your company with their school and classmates; providing you with more [quality] interns in the future.