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How To: Create Goals and Policies for an Internship Program

carpenter giving intern advice

Once you have determined who will be apart of your team of stakeholders, your first task as a team will be defining priorities of the program and shaping policies to match those priorities.

Answer these questions to help you determine your priorities:

  • Why are you creating an internship program? What are you hoping to gain?
  • What are your organization’s values and how can you align the internship program with them?
  • Are there high-value opportunities to partner with local educational institutions?
  • What resources does your organization possess and how can those resources support your internship program?
  • Who are your target interns and how can they benefit from participating in your internship program?

Now that you know your priorities and purpose, you can develop policies for your internship program that focuses on safety, return on investment, company culture and values. The great news is that many will overlap with the policies you already have in place, so use your existing employee handbook as your starting point.

Examples of where policies may diverge between interns and employees can include:

  • Resources, funding pools, pay and benefits
  • Onboarding
  • Nature of employment/conduct and work performance
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Dress code
  • Evaluations
  • Telephone and email use

Using your newly outlined priorities and policies, you can set goals for both the individual intern and the program.

Goals can include:

  • Creating a pipeline of talented individuals to fill positions as needed
  • Creating investment and engagement in your talent pool to mitigate turnover
  • Supporting your local community members and students
  • Fostering relationships with local schools and organizations.

To achieve these goals, it’s important to set small, actionable items for the intern to work toward. This is best done at the start of the internship between the supervisor and intern. When working together to determine where to start, it’s important to gain input from the intern about their ideal learning goals to ensure the relationship is mutually beneficial and becomes a positive experience; this is especially important if you’re hoping to transition your interns into full-time employment. This conversation is the perfect segue into discussing workplace requirements, responsibilities, and all other priorities and policies that you have created for your program through this process.

Lastly, it’s important to obtain both qualitative and quantitative data to track progress throughout the program and make changes as needed to better support the intern and organization. Qualitative data can from anecdotal experiences shared by the intern during the evaluation process.

For quantitative data, you can consider gathering the following possible data sets:

  • Number of interns served
  • Services or products provided directly by the intern, if applicable
  • Conversion and retention rate to full-time employment
  • Cost per intern hire

With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There is an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience.

Ready to get started? Refer to our free Employer Guide to take your step-by-step through the development process. Have questions? Email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director, at Taylor@WichitaFallsChamber.com.

The post How To: Create Goals and Policies for an Internship Program appeared first on Land In Wichita Falls.

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