Five Ways an Internship Program Can Improve the Quality of Your Staff

June 25, 2018
By Robelen Bajar

We’ve talked about the untold benefits of an internship program that many employers don't talk about, including how it can improve business practices and boost productivity. But, internships can also improve the quality of your staff - both old and new!

1. You get access to the next generation

Companies thrive and wither on the ability to attract new talent at all ranks, including the crucial younger generation. But where do you find emerging talent - people who show promise and potential but may not yet have networks, or even run on the board? The answer, of course, is at educational institutions. The best way to find and keep tabs on each new crop: internship programs.

2. They bring fresh insight

While experience is often a great virtue for an employee, a lack of it can sometimes also be a good thing. Because people new to real-world dynamics aren’t hemmed in by conventions, they view challenges with fresh perspectives. Pair that with their access to the latest trends, insights, data, demographics and technology, and you may just find yourself with an intern whose ideas could revolutionise the way you do business. Think back to how the Nike Swoosh logo was created!

3. It’s an extra pair of hands

Every company can do with an extra set of hands on occasion (or even all the time), which is where a structured internship program can really pay off. This doesn’t mean interns are there to attend to every beck and call. But that moment when late-breaking work comes across your desk, interns can be the difference between getting it done, and getting it done in a way you're confident it represents your best possible output.

4. Your current staff will get up to date

Bosses have a vested stake in ensuring their industry continues to thrive and grow across the generations. So, as you take on interns and give them experience, your existing staff will have to brush up on their knowledge of key tools and practices in order to train interns. This not only ensures interns have a strong base of practical skills, but also that your existing staff are refining processes, and streamlining communication and the handling of information so it can easily be explained and presented to new employees.

5. You create a pool of temporary and emergency staff

This advantage is probably not one that first comes to mind, but it’s definitely worth noting. Should you hit a perfect storm where anything that can go wrong, does go wrong — or you just find yourself flat-strapped — you’ve already created a pool of people who can be brought into the loop with minimal onboarding, given they already know the business' goals, systems and people. This is an immeasurable advantage that helps ensure business as usual, as fast as possible.

So, while internships are designed to undoubtedly benefit students, employers who commit to running a great internship program can reap the benefits of enhanced staff!

For information on relevant pay rates, Fair Work has valuable resources for Australian employers including a pay calculator.

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