It’s hard to manage interns (or is it?).
They’re young, energetic, and often require a large time investment. If you didn’t ask for an intern, you might feel that they’re in your way. If your intern isn’t performing well, it may be easy to blame them (though it’s not usually their fault). And, if your intern is costing you more than they’re repaying the organisation, you might start to get a little resentful.
The problem is… not the intern.
Is the intern in your way?
No. The intern is there to help you, and if you feel that they’re in the way, you either haven’t found the right way to utilise them, or you’re having teamwork issues, or your having delegation issues.
Solution: You need to sit down and invest a few hours to get this sorted. Find common ground with the intern, see where they could be most useful. See our download at the end.
Is the intern performing well?
Quite often, without proper guidance, your intern may not know what to do, and thus, their performance may appear inadequate.
Solution: To rectify poor performance, you should provide them with an action plan (FREE download of an intern action plan here). You should also consider opening a dialogue with the intern to better understand what is going wrong in the working relationship.
One quick tip is to go through the action plan and add the name of other staff you now can help push that forward as it is their specialism.
Is your intern costing more time and money than it’s worth?
It may be the case that your intern cannot repay your trust with profitable or productive work, because they haven’t been given any. Quite frequently, managers fear taking on an intern because they require a time investment for training and settling, this is natural.
Solution: Whilst in the recruitment process, find out what your intern is really good at already, that way you can minimize training and allow them to do their best work, this is why we interview, right? You can’t only give your intern tasks that they are good at, because then they won’t learn, but instead find a strong balance between learning and doing profitable or productive work.
Do you really know what you’re doing when it comes to interns?
Starting an internship programme is great, it’s great for your organisation as you gain access to a whole new talent pool, and it’s great for keen young interns as they get to prove themselves to peers and pick up some new skills and experience in the process. However, if you jump right into an internship programme or hire an intern without a plan, it’s likely to (though won’t always) backfire.
We want to see you do the best work you possible can. So, we’ve developed an easy-to-use framework for ensuring that your intern is managed well. It also creates opportunities for autonomous work, decreasing the intern’s dependence on their supervisor.