[This week’s blog comes from Tabatha McIntyre, our Director of Marketing & Partnerships.]
Leadership is about collaboration, listening to and respecting your employees, and growing team engagement. It’s encouraging them to grow individually and together. It’s simultaneously driving results and motivating them. The most important part of a leadership position – and what separates leaders from typical managers – is how we raise our future internal leaders. Leadership enables team members to succeed. When we hire an intern, we’re responsible for their success. These are seven ways to ensure our interns – and team or department or company – succeed.
Check in with your intern
Ask them questions, get their insight. Fresh perspectives and new insights are invaluable. Sometimes, we’re stuck in one way, or we dismiss something because we’ve done it before. Listen to them! They may propose a tweak or new idea that sparks the next big thing!
Provide your intern with meaningful work
They might not have much experience, but they have great ideas. Give them tasks that allow them to demonstrate their abilities and how they can be an asset to your team. Assign them work your department needs – not just grunt work. Make sure they have the necessary tools and internal contacts to complete the job.
Introduce your intern to cross-functional teams
Encourage them to meet others to gain a deeper understanding of the overall organization and its needs. If they understand other perspectives and priorities, they’ll holistically approach company projects.
Spend time with your intern
Our time is valuable – but investing time into our interns is invaluable. They’ll feel valued and become more engaged with the organization. We can build company champions.
Invite your intern to meetings
Let them participate in the process! It’s okay if they start by only listening. If we allow them to witness and contribute to the process, they’ll understand project needs – and perhaps identify creative solutions for problems we don’t even know we have. Meetings are training opportunities that can help them grow and gain inspiration.
Bring your intern to networking events
Taking them to events and other opportunities to connect with new people shows that we genuinely care about their future and recognize them as regular members of the team.
Mentor your intern
Tell them you’re there for them! Address their concerns. Ask for their needs. Answer their questions. Support them in a way that allows them to bring their best selves to work. Provide as much feedback as possible. Remember that they’re still learning and developing their skills. Communicate your intentions and expectations of them clearly. Our simple, deliberate, and consistent actions will lead to our interns’ success!