Examples: Involve them in meetings. Include them in office newsletters or updates. Share company trinkets (water bottles, key chains, etc). Introduce them to multiple members of staff, not just immediate supervisors. Let them tour the building, campus, etc to learn about multiple departments and personnel. Place a name placard or sign at the students’ work station with their name and “Cristo Rey student” so others know who they are, too.
Examples: Ask the student what their future goals are and how you or your company can support that. From this find a person in a leadership position who might be interested in meeting with the students monthly or quarterly to talk about his/her own career path and the work he/she does. Let students shadow someone for a morning in a different department. Organize a “day in the life” activity in which a student observes, learns about and even participates in the functions of a department that may be “up or down stream” from her/his.
Benefits: Students become more engaged in the company because they feel connected. Students may also be exposed to long-term career goals or be motivated to go to college by another person’s career path. The mentor has the opportunity to largely impact the life of a young person.
Examples: A map of the campus or building, with departments/personnel locations annotated; a company directory; a script for answering and making calls; a manual with instructions on how to complete certain computer functions, a list of important phone numbers and emails.
Benefits: Encourages students to be self-sufficient in seeking answers. This promotes confidence by giving students the tools to complete tasks on their own while enhances the student’s comfort with the company.
Examples: Explain the “big picture” of a task and how it relates to the overall success of a project. Emphasize the importance of even small or mundane activities. Allow students to learn about other departments’ functions and staff, and how everyone’s work interacts, so they understand where the projects start, where they go next, and who uses the projects. Give students specific tasks and projects that are “just theirs” and let them know that the assignment is not “just scanning/copying/mail sorting,” but it is their job and integral to the success of a department or other staff member.
Benefits: Students will feel their work is important and appreciated, producing better outcomes. Students will appreciate the trust and responsibility of having their own jobs.
Examples: Provide a daily agenda so the student knows what to expect from the day and are more likely to “dive-in” when they know what to do. Make other departments aware that students are available to help. Create a list of back-up projects (non-urgent filing; cataloging returned mail; inventory; etc) and make sure the students know what to do when they finish a primary assignment. Develop periods of routine (if possible) so that they student knows he/she always has a particular task at a certain time (i.e. stocking printers each morning, mail run every afternoon, etc). Finally, occasionally “share” the student with other departments to provide and variety to the day, incorporate the student into more of the organization which also ensures there is always something for them to do.
Benefits: Boredom breeds inaccuracy and laziness, so if they aren’t bored, they will continue to perform well. Also, agendas, routine, and established “back-up” projects create clear expectations so students are never curious about what to do next.
Examples: When giving verbal instructions, ask the students to re-state, in their words, what you expect. Encourage note takingand ask to see notes (particularly with freshmen or other students you have concerns about). If you provide written instructions, ask them to summarize what they understand. It’s always a good idea to provide a concrete example of a finished project, or to ask the student to show you an example before they get too far into a project. Don’t assume a head nod or “yeah, OK” equates with understanding. Once you are accustomed to the student’s work quality, you can of course modify how you solicit proof of understanding. Provide the desired outcome of an assignment, and encourage the student to identify the best way to complete it or solve a problem. Provide variety in the students’ tasks whenever possible. If you think a student is ready, assign them activities that you think might be a bit more complicated and let them rise to the challenge.
Benefits: Promotes communication skills and emphasizes the importance of understanding instructions. This reduces frustration for both student and supervisor by minimizing mistakes and misunderstandings.
Examples: You can never over communicate with a teenager. Have the students check-in and out every day; set regular times to “check-in” with the student to discuss how things are going. Have students fill out the electronic timecard. Address concerns immediately with the student. Point out mistakes and allow the student an opportunity to correct it. Likewise, offer positive feedback on a job well done. Use specific examples: “Good job today” does not mean as much as “I really appreciated how quickly you completed the copy job.” When completing progress reports and official Mid-Year/End of Year Evaluations, review the results with the student.
Benefits: Enhances communication between you and the studentwhich enhances work performance.
Examples: Provide time limits on projects and help them to prioritize the projects. Make certain the student understands instructions. Offer a clear “chain of command” (i.e., “If I’m unavailable, talk to Sue. If Sue is unavailable, work on the back-up project). Provide an example of a finished project, if possible.
Benefits: Clear expectations reduce mistakes and frustration for both the supervisor and the student. Students are more likely to excel when they know what you expect and when you provide specific feedback
Examples: Send us emails or call us to let us know how things are going (good or not). No issue is too small; even if you’ve addressed the concern with the student, just let us know, so we can stay in the loop. If you were particularly impressed one day, let us know that too! Write specific comments on timesheets. If you’re not comfortable, or don’t have time, to comment on the timesheet, send us an email. Hire4Ed staff is here to help you in any way we can, so that your experience with our students and program is mutually rewarding.
Benefits: By working together, we can often address and correct concerns before they become big problems. We can also make sure that students get the recognition they deserve for a job well done.
Examples: Enjoy being with them. Ask them about school, sports, what they do during free time. Include them in company celebrations (if appropriate). Let them know work can be fun, as long as the job gets done! Our students look to you as role models and guides for how to behave in the work world. If they witness their coworkers approaching the day with a positive attitude, they are more likely to do the same. When our students feel like it’s OK to have fun, and if they feel that you enjoy their company and contributions, they will likely be more productive and effective.
Benefits: A positive work environment will energize the studentsand allow their creative ideas, individual talents, humor and a willingness to succeed to be developed. Tap into these traits to re-energize your workplace.