Embrace flexibility

When a company writes a job offer to take on an intern, they set a very specific list of goals. Then, they often find out that it is not possible to arrange everything according to their plan. This is why you may consider being flexible when welcoming an intern in the company to improve the relationship and to best manage them.

A very good example of the need to be flexible is the covid pandemic. 

Who could have predicted in 2018 that the entire world would be slowed down a year later due to a pandemic. Many companies suffered greatly because they didn’t have a flexible operating system. Even the smallest change took a long time and confused the entire company. 

On the other hand, more flexible companies that had already implemented work from home suffered much less. They were able to adapt to the changes quickly. Flexibility allows for more responsiveness.

What can you change to be more flexible and what will it bring :

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The place of work can be flexible :

Internships are generally done in the company's offices. However, in some cases, it can be interesting to go beyond the traditional way and to offer some days for remote work. This allows interns to reduce stress and better balance their personal and professional life. Some have to travel long distances between the university, the company and their home. Less travel time means more time to sleep, for example, and therefore better productivity. In Cambodia, students don’t necessarily have a good internet connection or an adequate workplace at home that would allow them to have meetings. For students in this kind of situation, they can always go to cafes or coworking spaces. The important thing is not to make them work from home but to offer them an alternative and choice. If you are reluctant, start slowly with a test of one or two days per month and then adjust according to the results.

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Flexibility for the assignments

Surely one of the most important parts of flexibility. When you want to take on an intern, you usually have a clear idea of the tasks you want them to do. An intern is often a student who has little experience, that's why he's in an internship. He doesn't know exactly what he likes to do and what are his strengths. It is always possible to force them to do the tasks but this will lower their motivation. It will also degrade the relationship and lead him to give up. On the other hand, an open discussion with the intern allows him to share what he likes to do, wants to discover. The employer can talk about his expectations and what it’s possible to negotiate. He isn’t the only one who has to be flexible, it goes both ways: that's why it is important to have a discussion. A change is not necessarily a bad thing or a sign of weakness. You may find that an intern you took for marketing doesn't like writing content but is good at video editing and photography.

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Flexibility in terms of salaries

We can sometimes underestimate the salary that an intern deserves because we don't know exactly what kind of profile we're going to get. Without a good recruitment, we can end up with very different profiles in terms of skills but also motivation. When you realise that the intern fits your requirements and that he is doing a superb job in meeting your expectations. It can be very interesting to be flexible and to re-evaluate his salary according to his skills and work. This will show your appreciation for his work, improve your relationship and increase your chances of hiring him in the future.

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Flexibility on the schedules

The same goes for the working hours. Usually full time interns work from 8am to 5pm. In some sectors, this schedule is very important but others are more flexible. Certain schedules allow you to avoid traffic jams, to waste less time and thus to have more time for yourself. Grant interns the possibility to manage their own schedules so that they have a better balance between work and personal life.