Many professionals encounter stress in their workplaces, and for interns, this stress load can be doubly large for many reasons. To alleviate these pressures, the most important things that businesses can do are to manage the conditions which cause stress among interns and provide effective coping mechanisms for interns to utilize in the workplace.
Here are some ways that we have identified for intern managers to decrease intern stress.
Create Clear Job Descriptions
Job ambiguity, or unclear job descriptions, is one of the top causes of stress among employees or interns. Job ambiguity can cause interns to underperform, feel less connected to the company, and increase the likelihood of them not returning to a company after the internship program. Assigning interns tasks outside of their job descriptions can also create job ambiguity. To combat this unclarity, make sure your onboarding program makes interns’ job descriptions clear and your internship management software outlines the specific tasks and projects that interns will need to complete.
Organized Office Spaces (If the Work is Not Remote)
Unorganized office spaces can decrease productivity. Make sure your interns are respectful of the office space. Encourage interns to stay organized and respect communal spaces, like copy rooms and common areas.. Show interns where everything is located in the office, whether that be where to collect office supplies, where to print, or where the closest vending machine is for a snack. Creating an office etiquette guide is an important aspect to include in your onboarding curriculum. By making the office an organized and clean space, your interns will feel less stressed and more productive. If you are out of the office, include a virtual tour or other relevant office information on your intern management software to help interns feel more connected to the rest of the team and office.
Quiet Spaces Within the Office
Intern managers should be in tune with all interns they manage. While extroverts are energized by interacting with other people, introverts are often left drained after excessive social interaction. You must be mindful of all interns’ personalities and demeanors and offer a way for them all to feel comfortable. Even though socializing and communicating at work is key to running a successful team, so is making sure interns have the necessary tools to thrive. By offering designated quiet spaces within the office, interns who need time to collect themselves and recharge can engage in some "me-time"!
Provide Subscriptions to Mindfulness and Meditation Programs
Mindfulness and meditation are great tools to combat stress. Companies like Headspace and Calm have created guided mindfulness and meditation apps that are meant to relax people’s minds and allow them to take a step back from their busy lives. These platforms even offer company-wide subscriptions. Offering mindfulness tools for interns to combat stress will highlight your company’s commitment to caring for your interns and help them feel supported in their workplace.
These tips will help your company create internship experiences that lock-in and nurture top talent.