All good things must come to an end. Whether your intern was so good you wanted to adopt them into your family, or if it’s hard to hide the smile on your face when their departure is mentioned, you still have a job to do as the internship comes to an end. There are a few steps that you can take to ensure a smooth exit process for both the church as well as the intern. Here is how to send out an intern with excellence.
Hopefully along the way you have been sitting down regularly with your intern giving them both formal and informal evaluation. After they have had the opportunity to lead you can give them a few pointers and coach them to do better the next time. As the internship is coming to a close, it would be beneficial to write a formal evaluation of the intern on areas such as; personal work habits, adherence to work requirements, relationships with people, functioning within expected roles, and supervisor relationship. Go over this evaluation and help the intern learn through this process.
Before going into the exit interview determine the purpose. For some organizations, the purpose is to provide feedback to the intern but you could use the exit interview as a means of improving your organization and internship in the future. Ask questions to see if expectations were met. Find out what the interns least favorite activity or experience was while they were with you. Ask, “If you took over for me tomorrow, what would be the first thing you would work at changing?” Allow time for the intern to respond and listen for ways to better serve your interns in the future.
If your company is able to send your intern off with a financial bonus this will communicate the value they were to your team. Do not think of the bonus as a severance package but rather think of this as a blessing for their hard work. In years past we have even given two bonuses to our intern. One bonus we give them for their performance and another bonus we give them to propel themselves into future ministry.
As your intern moves on to the next thing, take a few minutes to write out a reference letter for them. While their work and attitude remain fresh in your mind take the time to craft your thoughts into a reference letter. You could give them this reference to include with their resume or you could just keep it on file for their future employers. You could ask your intern for a reference letter for your organization about their experience in your company. You could also ask your intern for a few suggestions of people you could look into for future hires.
A week or so after your intern has moved on, follow up with them to see how their transition has been going. Ask if there is anything they need from you and if you can do anything to help. This follow up after they have left is a great way to show that you really do care for them and not just the work they were doing for your organization.
With intentionality, you can send out your intern with excellence. This will give you and your company a great reputation and will help you in recruiting the best interns for years to come.