Are you an employer looking to improve your internship program?
As the workforce increasingly goes remote, internships are following suit. But this shift isn't without its challenges.
While remote work may have its benefits, it's clear that it's not working well for interns compared to full-time employees. For employers, managing a remote internship program can be difficult. And for interns, the experience can be isolating and frustrating.
According to a study from Glassdoor Economic Research, 70 percent of interns interviewed between October and December 2020 disliked the idea of a remote internship.
Former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in a recent interview with The Information that workers under 30 could be missing out on "the largest career-learning cycle" of their lives and developing their network by not going to the office.
So, by improving the intern experience, and you'll improve your company's future. By giving interns a valuable, engaging experience, you're setting them up for success. Moreso when they enter the workforce full-time.
It's a win-win situation for everyone involved. Learn more about how to improve your internship program with the following tips.
Upgrade The Onboarding Experience
You know the saying, "first impressions are everything."
Well, the same can be said for onboarding experiences. After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, and that first impression can make or break whether or not someone remains with your company.
With that in mind, it's important to make sure that your onboarding experience is the best it can be. There are a few ways to do this, such as ensuring that all the necessary paperwork is completed beforehand and providing an orientation covering all the important information.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your onboarding experience will make a positive impression and encourage interns to stay with your company for the long haul. Communication of information is key in a smooth onboarding process.
Increase Training Opportunities
There's no denying that the world of work has changed dramatically in recent years. With advances in technology and the rise of the gig economy, it's becoming increasingly important for interns to be adaptable and to have a wide range of skills.
One way to stay ahead of the curve is to take advantage of training opportunities. Whether it's an online course, a workshop, or a conference, there are countless ways to keep your employee’s skills sharp and have them learn new techniques.
Many businesses are happy to invest in employee development. However, they fall short of doing so when it comes to interns. Make sure you are offering additional training opportunities to your interns as well.
After all, as the saying goes, "There's no time like the present." So if you're looking for ways to improve your business prospects, it's high time to include other members of your team to really fostering this young individual talent.
Make The Job Description Clear
"Out of sight, out of mind." Unfortunately that is what it can feel like when it comes to remote internships.
It's easy for interns to be forgotten if their employers don't have a clear plan for their work. Employers must be clear about the job description and what they hope the intern gets from the program. Otherwise, the intern will likely be sitting around waiting for assignments with no clear idea of what they should be doing.
With remote work, it's even easier for them to end up doing nothing. So, if you're an employer, make sure you have a plan for your interns before they start working remotely.
Otherwise, you might as well forget about them.
Recognize Your Interns' Achievements
Good work should always be rewarded. 'you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.' In other words, treat your interns well from the beginning, and they'll be more likely to work hard and perform well.
That means emailing them a note about their good work or giving them a shout-out during team meetings early and often throughout the internship.
Positive recognition can reinforce strong work habits and show the intern that they're headed in the right direction.
So, don't be stingy with the compliments - your interns will appreciate it (and so will you)!
Make Time To Socialize
In today's business climate, more and more companies are offering remote internships as an opportunity for students to gain experience while staying safe during the pandemic. However, these internships come with their challenges, one of which is creating a sense of camaraderie among employees.
Without the ability to interact face-to-face daily, it's not easy to build the strong relationships that are essential for a successful workplace.
Fortunately, companies can do a few things to encourage socialization among their remote employees. For example, they can offer virtual events, such as a “fireside chat” with the company CEO or a virtual game night.
By taking the time to socialize, companies can create an internship program that is both productive and enjoyable for their interns.