It’s a challenge to find meaningful jobs for interns. They are typically inexperienced and have short work periods which makes it difficult to give them substantial assignments. Yet, companies still need to provide them with more worthwhile jobs than sweeping floors or filing documents. Interns should be exposed to a meaningful work experience that prepares them for future careers.
A solution to this dilemma would be to assign interns the task of recording procedural work instructions. These are the step-by-step instructions that employees perform when completing a job task. Work instructions are the key building blocks for defining business processes and procedures. Giving interns the assignment of recording them would benefit both companies and interns. Companies could catch up with their documentation (a project often placed on the back burner) while interns gain firsthand exposure to understanding how a business operates.
Advantages of a Work Instruction Internship Program
- Flexible Rollout. The program could be implemented companywide into any business area as needed. Even though job functions vary across business areas, interns can apply the same techniques used for capturing work instructions.
- Short-Term Projects. Work instructions are lightweight documents that can be written by interns while shadowing company employees. This allows interns to complete small batches of work instructions fairly quickly. The batches of instructions could then be used to build a knowledge repository for company business processes. Using a short term project schedule also enables them to complete a set of projects during their internship period.
- Minimal Workplace Disruptions. Assigning interns the task of recording work instructions is an efficient way of completing process documentation. Interns can observe employees and capture instructions while they’re performing their job tasks. This minimizes the amount of time employees interrupt their work to get their job task information recorded.
Why Choose Interns for Documenting Work Instructions?
Interns make great candidates for documenting work instructions! They are experienced note takers which is a useful skill acquired from being in a college setting. Interns can use their note taking skills in order to accurately capture work instructions while shadowing employees.
Another reason why interns make a great choice for this assignment is that they have marginal expertise. The intern’s lack of subject matter expert knowledge is an asset when documenting work instructions. Their inexperience makes them more likely to focus on capturing the “as is process” without being tempted to improve it.
Key Positive Outcomes
Implementing a work instruction internship program is a Win-Win scenario for both companies and their interns. It results in the following key positive outcomes:
- Companies Get a Turn-Key System. Documenting work instructions will produce a turn-key process management system for company employees and their managers. The interns will pass on a system that contains the bulk of procedural work instructions for the process. This places the managers and employees in a position to better sustain process information with future changes.
- Interns Gain Valuable Work Experience. Interns will have meaningful work experience to add to their resume, making them more competitive in the job market. They can include statements about documenting business processes, emphasizing their organizational skills.
Using interns for documenting work instructions helps increase their business knowledge and allows companies to operate more smoothly. For information about an application that manages work instructions, please click here: Organize and Manage Your Work Instructions.