Internship programs are an essential gateway for young professionals to gain valuable experience and kickstart their careers. However, the transition into a new workplace can be challenging, particularly for interns who may experience feelings of loneliness and struggle to integrate seamlessly into the organization. Recent studies have highlighted a significant increase in loneliness among employees, especially young adults entering unfamiliar work environments. This emphasizes the need for organizations to proactively address these challenges and create a supportive and engaging onboarding experience for their interns.
Setting the Stage for Success - the Need for Creatively Onboarding Interns
Intern onboarding plays a vital role in setting the stage for interns' success and long-term engagement within an organization. It goes beyond paperwork and orientation sessions and a well-designed onboarding process:
- Establishes a solid foundation for interns to thrive and contribute effectively.
- Familiarizes interns with the company's mission, values, and culture.
- Facilitates a smooth transition into their roles
- Establishes clear expectations
- Cultivates a sense of belonging
- Contributes to increased job satisfaction, improved retention rates, and a positive overall intern experience.
Enhancing Intern Onboarding through Volunteering
Integrating volunteerism into the intern onboarding process is a transformative approach. It has the potential to reshape the onboarding experience and yield significant benefits for both interns and the organization:
Aligning with Corporate Purpose and Values
By incorporating volunteering activities, companies can align interns with their purpose and values right from the start. This alignment fosters a sense of meaning and fulfillment in interns, as they understand how their work contributes to the greater good.
Engaging in volunteer projects during onboarding allows interns to grasp the greater impact of their work beyond their daily tasks. They can see firsthand how their contributions make a positive difference in the community or in addressing societal challenges.
Fostering an Inclusive Culture
Volunteering activities during onboarding foster a positive and inclusive organizational culture. By actively participating in awareness activities and initiatives that promote positive change, interns can make a difference inside the workplace as well as in communities outside. This helps foster a sense of belonging as well as an increased awareness of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Relationship Building and Camaraderie
Volunteering activities create avenues for interns to build relationships and establish camaraderie with their peers and full-time employees. Collaborating on meaningful projects outside of daily tasks promotes teamwork, shared values, and a sense of unity within the organization.
Airbnb: A Unique Case Study
An excellent example of the power of incorporating volunteerism into intern onboarding is showcased by Airbnb. To enhance the onboarding process, Airbnb encourages interns to actively participate in volunteering activities. Dedicated hours are allocated each month for interns to contribute to causes such as homelessness, disaster relief, and anti-discrimination efforts. Through these volunteer experiences, interns not only make a positive impact on their local communities but also become more deeply connected to Airbnb's mission and purpose. Airbnb's commitment to volunteering extends to all employees, who receive paid volunteer time throughout the year. By embracing volunteerism during onboarding, Airbnb creates a supportive and engaging environment for interns, enhancing job satisfaction, and improving overall retention rates.
Goodera: Elevating Intern Onboarding Programs
At Goodera, we understand the importance of a comprehensive intern onboarding process that incorporates volunteerism. Our intern onboarding programs are designed to provide customized support, ensuring interns have a purposeful and inclusive experience within your organization. We work with you to select volunteer activities curated from a network of 50k+ Nonprofits across the world, for causes that resonate with your company's values and purpose. These activities can range from team-building exercises and local community projects to workshops that promote collaboration and creativity.