Internship, Learning and Development for Employees

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Introduction

For a business to be successful, there have to be considerable skills put together either by an individual or by the organization at large. As an employee, one must have desirable attributes that will impress the employer, which means that the attributes one has should positively impact the organization (Hallerbach, 2016). The process of acquiring the skills can either take place either after or during employment. Having a part-time job, internship and volunteering, reading one’s professional qualifications, and joining relevant societies can help individuals acquire skills needed for their performance. This paper will discuss specific processes, COVID-19 implications on these processes, and the importance of the process in the future.

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Internship and Volunteering

An internship is a trained learning experience that provides an essential practical job similar to the student’s career path and field of education. Internships offer students a chance to explore, develop, and learn new skills. An internship also allows an employer to incorporate new ideas learned into the workplace. Formal training should help the student achieve the objectives of learning (Osborne, 2018). A decent internship should provide a clear description of what is expected of the actual job. It should update the learners from time to time on their progress to amend where they are not yet fully equipped. Basic knowledge of what is required of an individual for the real job is essential because one will deliver what is required by the employer. Volunteering is the act of rendering services related to a particular field of study without getting payment in return (Tamarov, 2019). Volunteering helps one put into practice what they have learned, make new friends, thus increasing one’s network, and finally, it boosts the person’s social skills.

Why an Internship is Important

The internship offers individuals opportunities to learn about themselves, which later encourages personal development. An internship provides people with an opportunity to try something new out of their comfort zone (Hope, 2017). This is also a point where the person should get fully equipped for the definite profession. For example, if an individual’s learning is related to business, they then have to clarify which field of business they are good at. If, for example, a sales and marketing internship will allow one to advance their knowledge and skills in sales and marketing. At this point, learners will also be able to ascertain whether they wish to proceed with the career or not. Individuals who are good at sales and marketing, for instance, provide the best methods on how an organization should market and manage its goods and services (Rochetti Bezerra, 2018). The best techniques are learned during the internship process and the involved party’s interactions with professionals in this field.

Internships help individuals to get connected, and in return, their professional web expands. Networking is the communication between people to form relationships that will advance their professional careers. Being an intern offers one more opportunity to create connections with a company or organization that can be useful in the future. As an employee with an expanded network, the individual will be able to borrow ideas from other workers in another firm or corporation on how to improve their own business. An enterprise will choose to employ a trainee who has undergone the internship process and leave the learner who has not (Rızalar, 2019). Organizations believe that an intern has prior experience in what is expected in the field; an internship also provides real-life experiences and first-hand exposure (Rızalar, 2019). This is the first place where learners put into practice what they have been learning in class.

Some organizations assume that it is only during an internship that young professionals learn the specifics required in the company or organization. Some fields, for example, information technology, need real experts to get employment. During the internship, the professional will be able to practice computer coding and creating websites. At the organization, the employer will be able to use the internet faster to acquire information concerning the organization’s progress (Miller, 2018). Solving computer problems for a business or finding solutions to a company’s problem requires proper practice. The practice is done during the internship process of a learner.

Interns are of great importance as they work in a company. They add to the number of employees; with the increased figure of employees means increased productivity since there will be sharing of tasks. They also provide great ideas on how to maximize profit, especially during the brainstorming sessions (Rızalar, 2019). Learning advances with time, and when an organization hires an intern, they can apply the latest methods and technology that these individuals have acquired. Young professionals fresh from college tend to have a significant social media influence with many followers on Facebook and Instagram (Kim, 2018). Hiring them as an organization will help the firm create a social media presence that will help improve your business, especially in the marketing sector. When organizations hire these trainees, they teach them their norms and code of conduct; this will help companies reduce the cost of hiring new employees who have no idea what the company is all about. Furthermore, new employees require a grace period where they can familiarize themselves with the company. This period is characterized by reduced productivity as the process has to slow down for the new employees.

COVID-19 Implications

Coronavirus has adversely affected the running of companies, organizations, businesses, and even the learning process for students and employees. The following are some of the impacts the pandemic has had on internship as a process aiding in individual development. Firstly, COVID-19 requires the internship process to be conducted online, which is a disadvantage to both the learners and the organization because virtual student response is minimal. Moreover, online learning limits the young professionals as they cannot be able to meet with other interns for interaction and network expansion (Hislop, 2019). Interns need to be tested on the level of skills that they have acquired, and when it is done virtually, some might cheat. Secondly, Coronavirus requires minimal interaction with people, so as a manager, it will be difficult to closely monitor one’s employees to make changes where there is a need. The epidemic has limited interns, especially where they are required to carry out practical learning. Some functional and practical skills have been turned to theory, where the interns are taught virtually. Thus, it will be difficult for the young professionals to put into practice what they have learned during employment.

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Internships allow learners to improve the social skill that will help them during employment, especially in sales and marketing. With the Coronavirus, there is limited social interaction, and people are advised to stay indoors. The pandemic led to schools’ suspension, where learners had to completely stop attending classes for some time (Sutton, 2020). At home, young professionals engage in different activities hardly involving education, and in the process, they forget the previous content they have been learning. Re-opening of the teaching facilities means continuation from the earlier classes. It becomes difficult for the learners to connect since lessons from the previous learning are already forgotten. On and off education is not reliable, and the knowledge that comes with it is also minimal.

Thirdly, since the beginning of the pandemic, some organizations have closed down because they offer services that require interaction with people. This has also seen some young professionals postpone their internships since they were supposed to carry out their practicum process in the same companies that have closed down due to the virus. Fourthly, other young professionals who had the necessary skills in a specific field, especially in medicine, have changed their careers in fear that they will have to interact with corona patients. With the rising cases of death due to the pandemic, they have changed their minds so as not to lose their lives in handling the patients.

Learning and Development

Learning and development aim at aligning the performance of an employee within an institution. Stakeholders in learning and result in a company must identify the missing skills in employees. After identification, they should offer training to fill those gaps (Lopez, 2018). Learning and development managers should ensure that the workers can cope with the challenges in their jobs and that they are adequately equipped with the company’s objectives. The shareholders also create the learning courses, cooperative collective training, and any other required content. The managers should procure the equipment needed for the education and also supervise the personnel learning. Companies that budgets on developing their employers get 24% more profit than those that do not budget for training their employees (Rochetti Bezerra, 2018). By training and developing workers, organizations can maintain top talent, earn more profit, and even improve productivity. Supporting and advertising teaching programs will promote managerial buy-in as well as employee assurance.

Why Learning and Development is Important

It is essential because employees demand and require a chance to learn and improve themselves generally. Learning and growing is a necessary aspect that people consider before applying for a job (Ruben, 2020). Organizations should also know that for them to strive for top ability, they should offer their workers opportunities to develop. Companies should understand that it is costly to employ another worker than to retain the current one. Allowing staff to learn will increase their trust in the firm, which will boost the employer’s confidence and make them work hard to ensure more productivity.

Furthermore, personnel will do their best for an organization that offers them an opportunity to train and develop themselves. Employees who are not well equipped may put their duties at risk. People tend to assume that workplace behavior is typical to employees (Mueller, 2021). With that notion, they do not institute programs to help employees uphold a secure and complete workplace. Instigating an active integrity teaching program can help personnel function well and reduce grievances for failing to fulfill the industry protocols in safety and office character.

Generally, training employees ensure the offering of improved customer services and approval. Clients look at some personnel in an organization as an expert in their fields if they can deliver information through dialogue. When a potential client takes time out of their busy schedules to speak with someone, an employee must have the correct facts concerning the company’s fruitful dialogue (Orange, 2018). Training every worker on how to handle customer conversations properly has a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Workers are the company’s greatest asset, and with suitable investments, the company will prosper. Proper training and development focused on filling skill gaps and equipping employees by aiming at their strengths have seen organizations record a 14%-29% profit increment (Rochetti Bezerra, 2018). A good learning and development platform ensures that workers have a piece of constant background information. Consistency is essential when it comes to the company’s regulations and procedures. Employees being aware of what the corporation expects from them and its ultimate goal increases their efficiency. Increased efficiencies in the company’s methods and processes ensure financial gain for the organization.

A business that trains and develops its employees enhances its reputation and status – having a sturdy and successful training policy aids in creating its personnel brand. It also turns the organization into a significant consideration for young professionals and mid-career professionals. The training attracts potential employees who want to improve their skills and find opportunities associated with those new techniques. The improved invention in new tactics and products can result from proper training and development of personnel (Rochetti Bezerra, 2018). Continuous training encourages innovation, and new ideas can be formed as a result of development and learning. Most workers may tend to have limitations in their skills while working. A training program will give them a chance to overcome those restrictions. This will assist in lowering the weak connections in the company, especially those who depend on others for heavy tasks. It will also help employees work as a team without close supervision.

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COVID-19 Implications on Learning and Development

The pandemic caught most organizations unaware of what its demands could be with minimal preparation technologically. In the early days, employees organized offices at home, and so they took charge of their agendas and locations. Early online workers had to leave formal links to an organization, benefit of teamwork, job assistance, and career development within a company. It has negatively impacted how some training programs significantly enhance collaboration and cannot be implemented (Goldsmith, 2018). Since institutions had not designed technologies to cope with the pandemic, the employees had to come up with solutions. Thus, virtual learning became a solution where possible training takes place online and a meaningful way to link team members to offer help. COVID-19 has also led to companies using a substantial amount of capital to implement online business structures to compensate for the restrictions of doing business physically (Rochetti Bezerra, 2018). Enterprises have had to change their ways of running businesses in that they have to train their workers first on how to do their jobs online.

The quality of skills offered to employees virtually is of lesser quality than those acquired from physical learning. COVID-19 has also forced employees to embrace new technology because almost all departments work virtually; even the administrators supervise remotely (Marra, Gomez & Cussenot, 2021). If an employer had enrolled for a further course, they had to stop when the pandemic emerged. The employer will only continue with the course once the epidemic is over, meaning that the worker will take time to be equipped with the proper skill. Globally, some employers are unable to afford the necessary equipment like computers which are needed for online training and working (Marra et al., 2021). Thus, it is a disadvantage to them as they might not attend the training or might even get sacked for not working online (Marra et al., 2021). Employers are primarily dismissed in private companies where they find it costly to equip employees. Most companies suffered significant losses as they had to incorporate more capital in online working while the returns were less (Pennisi, 2021). Some employees had to lose their jobs because companies were unable to pay them.

Conclusion

Employees need a proper internship before they can assume their career fields. The internship is vital as it gives the young professionals an image of what they expect in the actual area. Through training, employees also get a chance to interact with people from other companies hence expanding their network. Coronavirus is a pandemic that has seen most employees quit their jobs due to the restrictions put in place to curb the pandemic. Learning and development is a vital process for both organizations and employees. Workforces tend to seek changes in a company that allows them to develop their career. A corporation that budgets for staffs’ training acquires more profit than the one which does not prioritize its personnel. When employees are allowed to develop themselves, they gain trust for their employers, and in return, they work hard towards achieving the company’s objectives.

References

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