Leveraging potential of ‘internal’ internships
Internships are a common practice in organizations. However, progressive and large organizations are experimenting with the concept of “Internal” internships. Imagine a person working in the technology side wants to know how consulting works or how HR is working. The HR team comes up with a project that also needs help from a person who understands technology and floats this as an internal project. A few technology team members apply for it and the best of them gets selected and work on the project. This is done as a stretch beyond their regular work and with approval of their line manager. The employee gets to work on new and challenging assignments and gets exposure to something they wanted to learn. Organization also leverages the vast competence that exists within.
Internal Internship Programs offer short, part-time internal projects to employees to facilitate their competency development and career enrichment. Employees can voluntarily choose from a basket of internships across units or career streams based on their areas of interest, competency development plan and career aspirations. This also often provides a platform to customize career development exploration without diverting attention from current work responsibilities and by working with a designated mentor, employees learn about job-related skills and expertise required in areas of interest.
Large organizations like IBM and Infosys have successfully implemented such internal internships with great success. Internal internships can be a great value proposition for employees and organizations.
Provides employees with exposure to other facets of their current role. It is also an opportunity to work across different domains and managers.
Exposure to other Roles
Provides employees with exposure to lateral roles or higher roles. Employees can develop new skills on-the-job that aid them in their next career move.
Experiment and Innovate
Provides an opportunity to employees who want to experiment, create IP and work on ideas they have a passion for. It also connects with the strategic themes of the organization.
Apart from certification, employees can work on projects based on their competency plan making learning more practical and targeted.
For organizations it helps to leverage talent for various strategic/innovative projects. Talent can get exposed to new and emerging business/technology needs and also enhances internal mobility across businesses, functions, and sub-function/technology streams. It can also be a great tool for re-skilling and also bench management in organizations.