It Starts On Day One

Intern season is in full stride and across the United States. Fresh faces, with new ideas and aspirations have been hard at work for a couple of months in most organizations. And now, they are watching the summer break come to an end and hoping to be a potential new hire for your company in a tough economy.

So how have you wowed them? What has your on boarding plan looked like for these folks? Did you have an intern onboarding program? Or did you just think it was good enough to give them a job in the first place and leave it at that? Let me say that I hope the sentiment is not the latter.

We all talk a good game about the customer experience, but the employee experience needs to be solid if you want to get the customer piece right. And its starts on day one. Even if they are “only” interns. Here’s a quick quiz, see if you can answer yes to each of these for your interns’ day one experience:

1. Your intern had a desk and a chair

2. Your intern had a computer (it has to work to count)

3. Your intern could login to his/her computer

4. Your intern had a phone

5. His/her name was at security so he/she could get in the building

6. You picked a good manager

7. You had “real” work for him/her

8. You had an orientation session (in a small office, a welcome meeting counts)

9. There was a mentor lined up to help them

10. You gave them office supplies

If you answered yes to all of the above, congrats…you are above average. But, that does not suggest your employee experience is great. It only means you have come to play. If you want to wow your employees you need to be ready to go above and beyond. If you onboarding for summer interns is lacking, it probably does for your employees too; and that is a problem.

Most companies will tell you that they can predict the likelihood of a customer remaining loyal and engaged within the first 90 days of the relationship. They will also tell you that it is much more expensive to find a new customer than it is to retain one. Why don’t we think the same way about our employees and interns? Why do we start day one off so poorly?

If you have an intern program, you’ve dumped some money on the table, so start playing the game right. Your interns are making a decision to come and work for you just as much as you are trying to decide if they are a good fit. They are talking to all of their friends about their summer experience to decide if what you are doing lines up to what others are getting. Make good and wow them while you still have time. If you know that you started out wrong, there is still time to finish up strong.

Oh, and while you’re at it, start wowing your new hire employees too … from day one.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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