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How to Manage Interns the Right Way

While an internship has its pros, it definitely has its cons. More often than not, interns are given the menial tasks in a company and their contributions are undervalued or non-existent. If you run a company and have been toying with the idea of taking on interns, keep reading to find out how you can make sure you get the most out of them and that they get the most out of the experience as well.

Internships are a Two-way Street

When you take on an intern, you need to spend time talking to them about the roles and responsibilities associated with the internship. Don’t make the mistake of letting a perfectly good intern go to waste by fetching coffee day-in-and-day-out. Negotiate some opportunities for the intern to travel throughout the company and learn as much as possible so they can get something out of the experience and your company may benefit from fresh eyes as well. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open during an internship relationship because there may be many opportunities for both you and your intern to learn from one another. If you are running a dictatorship, rather than being open to new and unique perspectives, you’ll find that the internship experience was not beneficial for either party.

Set the Ground Rules

Onboard your intern as you would any other paid employee. Take time to go over all of the aspects of information and ensure that your intern signs the same paperwork that your regular employees would, especially any non-disclosure forms that will protect your information. Make yourself available to the intern during the first few weeks so that they have a chance to get answers to questions and feel supported. If your employees go through a training program, put your intern through the same training program. If they have to take tests, have your intern take the tests as well. This helps them understand the company in a more robust way and learn the ropes of what everyone is doing behind the scenes.

Interning is About More Than Fetching Coffee

We’ve all seen this scenario play out at one time or another in our careers: the new student intern is excited about the opportunities to learn and network and instead of being put to work, they are sent to the coffee shop, to fetch lunch, and to clean up after lunch. Remember that interns are professionals who are trying to kickstart their careers and if they have come to your organization, you should treat them with respect. They are not just unpaid help. They are there for the betterment of themselves, but more importantly, your company. And getting another round of coffee doesn’t benefit your company, now does it?

Provide Interns with a Path

One of the best ways to manage an intern is to give them a specific job to do and allow them to develop a path toward success for themselves. You might be inclined to micromanage your intern because they are not a paid employee, but use negotiation tactics with your intern and talk about what they want to get out of the internship and what you hope to get out of it as well. That way, everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises as you move forward. When employees, or interns in this case, have direction and know where it is they want to go and need to go, they are far more likely to succeed. People don’t need to be micromanaged. They need to be given a task and given the space to complete the task. Don’t assume anything about your intern. Give them the chance to educate you on what they can do you and your company.

So whether you are about to take on your tenth intern or you have been putting off taking on your first intern, consider all the benefits you can provide to that person and how they can benefit you. Avoid the coffee pot and give them a specific job with specific tasks to accomplish and they’ll help you do amazing things. Most interns are younger but don’t discount the older workers who are looking to make a change, learn new skills, and shake up the millennial workforce. Assumptions kill dreams. Don’t make that mistake with your intern.

How to Manage Interns the Right Way Reviewed by Awesome Blogs on 12:15:00 PM Rating: 5

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