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student ministry, youth worker, youth ministry

Intern Accountability

By Doug Franklin March 20, 2012

You wanted an intern so you could teach them and have some extra help in the ministry. The intern agreed to join your ministry because they saw it as a chance to serve and grow. But how do you keep them accountable for applying what you are teaching them and for the responsibilities you gave them? Let me share with you a few tips LeaderTreks has found to work as we strive to keep our interns accountable:

Target One
How can we know what to teach our interns when we don’t know where they need to improve? To solve this problem everyday we run through Target One with our interns. We ask them to name one thing they did really well that day. Then we ask them to name something they can improve on for the next day. Through this process we can see where the intern believes their strengths and weaknesses are as well as determine for ourselves what we need to teach our interns. At the beginning of the internship, we give them an intern journal where they can keep track of their Target One each day. Writing down their evaluation will help them chart their growth over the course of their internship. Also if they have already thought through and written out their self evaluation in the book, it cuts down on the amount of time dedicated to this process each day.

Use a Measuring Stick
The purpose of goals is to give direction and to give a measuring stick for success. Both of which are crucial when it comes to accountability. After evaluation we have our interns spend a few minutes thinking about the next day and coming up with goals. We have them set both task oriented goals and growth oriented goals. Goals that will stretch them and keep them focused throughout the day. Those goals will then become the measuring stick for the following day. It’s not only important to set daily goals but to set goals for the duration of the internship. Having your intern set these goals will help you measure their success for the entire internship.

Evaluate the Critical Success Factors
In order to know if your intern is performing with excellence, it is important to decide what the critical success factors are for their internship. To figure those out you need to determine the most important factors for an intern to be successful. Once those are decided upon, write a description of what it would look like to perform at a high level in each area. Then create an evaluation on a six point scale (so there is no middle mark) based on your critical success factors. Then set a time table for formal evaluations throughout the course of the internship. You can even place this evaluation in their intern handbook as well.

Accountability is key to a successful internship. Running through a daily Target One, using measuring sticks and evaluating the critical success factors will help set you up for success in keeping your interns accountable.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More