An internship can be a wonderful opportunity that opens new doors for both the intern and your company. It’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are set up for a successful and effective work term!
A well-framed internship program allows the intern to hone their skills and allows them to decide what aspects they like to focus on in their future career, as well as if they’re a good fit to work long-term for your company.
Allowing the intern to work hybrid, sometimes in the office and sometimes from home, can be a useful work model and has been well-established in many firms by now. The convenience of working from home has appealed to many employers and jobseekers and has shaped its way into many different businesses, but it’s not perfect. hybrid work offers a different work dynamic that needs to be addressed -especially for internships.
CareersinGrocery.com has compiled the best ways that you can help your intern perform to the best of their abilities through hybrid work.
Make them feel welcome
The first day for an intern can be intimidating, especially if it’s their first job. Be sure to welcome them and make them feel like a valuable team member from the beginning.
It’s important for senior leadership to ensure that young talent feels welcome, we all know the importance of first impressions.
Introducing them to existing employees as well as other interns can help ease their nerves and make the office feel more familiar. If they are physically there, give them a tour of the workspace and maybe invite them to lunch.
If you are meeting through a video call or other distance format, allow them to introduce themselves and get acquainted. Building connections will help build familiarity and allow your interns to learn through their coworkers.
Create and set expectations
A hybrid work environment should have clearly set priorities and expectations. Linda Hill is a professor at Harvard Business School and the co-author of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. She stresses the importance of straightforward practices and protocols.
“Have an explicit discussion about how and when you’re going to communicate, who has access to what information, who needs to be in which meetings, and who needs to be in on which decisions” says Hill. It’s important to clearly outline what you expect of your interns, and how those expectations are applied in a hybrid workplace.
The platforms used, timing and expectations, and how often you will check-in, are all things to consider clarifying with your interns.
Develop a routine. Maybe you will set aside time for a daily video call every morning to check-in and ensure your interns are prepared for the day!
Supply guidance and be a mentor
An internship is a chance for the intern to develop their skills and gain experience in an applied career field. You can help yourself as a manager while you help your intern achieve their goals, but your intern doesn’t know everything, and you are their guide to success! Be sure to make yourself available to answer their questions and to teach them.
Training and teaching sessions are an effective way to teach your interns useful skills while they work alongside you. Regularly checking in with them whether in-person or online opens the door for two-way communication and ensures conversation beyond just handing them assignments.
Setting clear goals and expectations from the beginning will create a roadmap and help you both stay organized throughout the program.
Ensuring your interns have a broad experience is important for them, but it can be important for you too! Collaborating with an intern can help you develop resume-building management skills, and to learn more about the manager that you want to become.
Remember to have fun!
An internship can be a fun learning experience for everyone. Try and offer events both in person and through hybrid work. Let your creative side shine by hosting something like an informal video conference or coffee break meetings where employees can chat freely as they would in an office lunchroom!