Q. Is it permissible to survey the staff for opinions on an intern’s performance and attitude?

June 9, 2010 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

by the Intern Coach

A. That’s a sensitive issue. The answer is yes and no, depending on the pre-arranged guidelines governing the internship. The following suggestions may help you decide what’s appropriate in your organization.

  • Check the internship guidelines to see if a survey is listed as one of the methods to assess the intern’s performance. If so, yes, you have clear permission to survey the staff for its opinion. However, your organization may want to have the same ground rules for the rest of the staff, so the intern doesn’t feel singled out. How are the staff members evaluated?
  • If the survey is not described in written materials before the internship begins, then the answer is, in most cases, no. If you bring it up as an afterthought, the intern will be suspicious and think you are checking up on him/her. You might want to ask the department head or intern supervisor for his/her opinion before you make any decision.
  • The staff may or may not like to be involved in such a survey. Some members might find they don’t have the time to do a survey or that it’s a waste of their valuable time. Others might feel that they don’t know the intern well enough to participate in the survey. If you have several interns in the company or in the department, the staff may feel overwhelmed by the survey assignments, especially if they haven’t worked closely with the intern.
  • A word of caution: If you do a survey, you don’t have any guarantee that the results will be an accurate reading of the intern’s performance unless you customize each survey to relate to each intern’s assignment. Before you come to a decision, talk to the intern’s school to find out if staff surveys are the usual procedure or if they are frowned on by the career center. Then, proceed accordingly.

Entry filed under: intern evaluation. Tags: , , , , .

Understanding coaching in cross-cultural work settings Q. What if the student’s self-assessment of their performance isn’t in alignment with the company’s?

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