How To Build A Training Programme For Interns

How To Build A Training Programme For Interns

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Morning all,

Tue 7 Sept

I want to talk about the development of the Pearl Lemon Placement programme and the people it’s producing and the way they are being produced.

In terms of the long-term development of it’s people – Pearl Lemon has a training programme that it takes all of its young people on.

The young part is relative – but there’s a definite skew towards folks who are just starting their careers.

The programme lasts anything from 6 to 12 months and typically the profile of this person is someone working part-time 10 to 30 hours per week.

If you’re looking to make a long-term investment in your team then I would contend that the best way to do this is by building these folks from the ground up.

But let me walk you through the bones of this:

  • When you bring in new people make sure you/someone is in a position to train them
  • NEVER allow any training to be given without this training being recorded
  • Once it’s recorded – you have your very first training materials
  • Once you’ve begun recording training – you can ask everyone else in their relevant departments to do the same thing

These are the bones of how to create training programs specific to your company.

And then once you have some young people in – you can continually ask them to improve and update the training materials as they grow their competency so they can teach the people that come after them.

In time the original training will grow totally redundant and whole new series of training programmes will be created.

By the time you get 3-6 months into this kind of process (which is never-ending) – you’ll have 50+ videos to share with the team.

This means (and this is where it begins to get crazy) – before a new starter comes in – they can spend 1-4 weeks going through training videos to learn as much about your processes as they can.

Such that, when they join they can hit the ground running.

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In this way you can take talented untrained people and make them effective very very quickly.

I’ve seen my best people – Chill, Lydia, Akhila, Anne, Tenny, Kaushal, Celeste, Pearl – all come through the placement programme which has been fabulous.

Of course, along the way, there has been lots of carnage when it comes to finding reliable young people who can stay and stick with us the distance and make the grade….

But that’s the nature of any placement programme.

Many of them go on to get jobs elsewhere and Pearl Lemon is something of a training academy for them before the move on.

So – some other critical insights for building a leadership and training programme:

  1. Interns will rise (and fall) according to the examples they see in front of them
  2. If you’re the one who’s doing much of the teaching – make sure you can bring your experience and skills to the table
  3. Create a culture of ‘self-reliance’ such that if people struggle you teach that they can also ‘figure things out’
  4. Create an environment of continua experimentation so that innovation can breed
  5. Accept that with young people it’s a little bit like being in a lab with lots of untrained geniuses – expect a lot of unpredictability (or perhaps that is predictable)

Young people need inspiration.

Young people follow leaders and role models.

And young people want to learn and be put into accelerated learning environments.

Let me caveat all of the above!

This is what the Pearl Lemon young people desire – and it’s framed in this way right from the very beginning.

Everything is remote, everything happens with the use of online tools and technology and there is an ‘expected’ high level of technical competency and speed.

This means that the environment isn’t for everyone – but it does mean that it’s a great way early on to weed out the weak.

As time has passed and things have developed we have fleshed out entire training programmes, build a recruitment website, and consistently are able to find amazing talent through our programme.

So it may well be testing to set something like this up – but the value it returns over time will be 10-fold.

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