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How to Increase Workplace Productivity for Your Summer Interns

July 26, 2017
3 min read

With summer being almost over, by now, you’ve hired and onboarded a large group of eager and anxious interns. So now what?

Gone are the days of handing over a laptop and flashing your brightest smile on their first day. Your interns are ready to throw on their capes and tighten their boot straps. Furthermore, it’s in your best interest to make their summer worthwhile.

Take a look at three tips to make the most out of your summer interns.

Intern Workplace Productivity Tips:

Be a Mentor

As the employer, you might think drowning your interns with assignments to keep them busy is the best move, right? Well, think again. Your intern wants your support and guidance, not mountains of paperwork.

According to The Muse, “strive to be someone who your intern can learn from.” Remember, you’re there to empower them and pave the way for their future successes.

Schedule weekly check-ins to see how they’re doing and encourage them to ask questions. During this time, give them positive reinforcement and address any areas of improvement.

Separately, these meetings don’t have to be held behind closed doors. Take them out to lunch or schedule a walking meeting. This will give you both time to enjoy some fresh air!

Challenge Them

Out of the large pool of interns you’ve accepted this summer, you’ll want to see which ones stand out. How might you ask? To start, give them real work. By ‘real’ work, we’re referring to tasks you would normally assign to another member on your team.

According to LinkedIn “Interns aren’t giving up their time to get coffee and make photocopies; they’re with you to learn.” That said, don’t be afraid to challenge them and pay close attention to those who rise and thrive when given difficult tasks. This is your chance to identify a good fit and possibly, train an intern to convert into a full-time employee.

According to the Huffington Post, “your intern should be delegated one large, long-term project to undertake during their time with you.” It will give them a chance to put their time management skills to work!

Give Them the Floor

After working diligently on several projects, it’s important to give your interns the opportunity to share what they’ve worked on with others. Their successes should not be hidden; they should be shown.

To start, within the first week, ask your interns to prepare a short deck that shares what they hope to learn and get out of their internship. During your next team meeting, have them introduce themselves and speak to what they hope to learn throughout the summer.

Towards the end of their internship, give them the opportunity to shine some light on what they’ve worked on. Don’t forget to ask them to make recommendations on any important initiatives. Let them know you trust and value their opinion.

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Adam Koster

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