Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Internship Management Report



Introduction to the Internship

As part of the experiential learning experience offered through General Public University, and provided for by General Public Consulting, there are myriad intricacies inherent which are able to be illustrated through reflective essay. As such, the aim is to discuss the first week's experience with General Public Consulting, LLC., with a focus on information management, planning, and control while applying the professional competencies of integrity and respect in a team setting environment, active participation and collaboration to obtain team goals, and the application of  conflict resolution and team building skills.

Information Management

By today's standards, virtual communities are becoming a norm in professional atmospheres. Similarly, General Public Consulting, LLC, seeks to do the same. With regard to information management, the goals this week, from a HR perspective, is to disperse, collect, and file I-9, W-4, and Employee Handbook paperwork and acknowledgment. Utilizing DOCHUB is daunting for those who have never used the software before. As such, although the intention is to introduce new platforms which are designed to create ease within the experiential learning course, DOCHUB is a nemesis to many participants. Thus, with the paperwork being time sensitive, it seems a more streamlined approach would be to use a more widely recognized platform to engage intern participants. As per Coakes and Clark (2006), time is of the essence in virtual team building; thus, information and knowledge management must be a smooth transition in order that participants develop a trust for the system and its management. In retrospect, while the platforms of DOCHUB and Podio were frustrating, it is clear that current management is well versed in both and are willing and able to offer assistance . Therefore, integrity and respect in a team setting was achieved, there was active participation in both establishing the use and understanding of both Podio and DOCHUB through team effort, and the overall environment of General Public, LLC. was enhanced through conflict resolution and team building through excellent communication and encouragement.

Planning

Organizational planning is essential to the overarching goals, processes, and stakeholders of a company. Thus, it appears that General Public Consulting, LLC. is built upon the framework of "reciprocal" planning. That is, as one set of interns matures, they offer help to those who are in the initial phases of planning and participation (Grodal, Nelson, & Siino, 2015). However, in hindsight, there seems to be a lack of planning with regard to on boarding new interns.  Many blanket emails were sent via several different sources regarding the same information. Additionally, there were several emails sent that referenced the wrong dates for meeting times, and there seemed to be a great deal of confusion as management was changing hands, and new interns were entering the program. Overall there seemed no clear set plan as to how to introduce new interns smoothly and without the confusion of several different people trying to accomplish the same task. According to Hillman (2010), in order to best onboard new employees, the first 30 days are the most critical to their longevity; as it relates to General Public Consulting and problems experienced with the onboarding process, Hillman suggests that new employees be provided "a sequence of training and development opportunities to make the job easier, and make sure that coaching is readily available (p. 2)." Considering this problems encountered this first week, it seems advantageous to employ both of these processes to the practicum. Lastly, as it relates to planning and or training, the initial phase of each should be established through direct contact to each new employee explaining roles, procedures, and establishing order within the new employee's team. While it is evident that the program is based on transitional leadership, other than just an employee handbook and a handshake, there should be order established in the beginning part of the program so that new employees are aware of where they can fit in or are capable of taking over.

Span of Control

Based on the first week of the externship, although seemingly based on transformational leadership, there seemed very little control in place. While it is impossible to say that there is none in place, at this early stage, other than emails there has been no distinction between "active or passive management." Being new to an organization that is transformational is a new experience. Normally, there are clear cut expectations, responsibilities, tasks, and accountability measures. However, perhaps because this is "new", there is still the great majority that will be revealed. Either through active management, senior members of General Public Consulting LLC., will consistently assess performance and anticipate performance issues before they arise, or as passive management, leaders will wait until a mistake has been made in order to follow up with an intern as to the standards and expectations (American Psychological Institute, 1993). While each approach to control has its place, neither has been applied as of yet. Again, this is not to discount the program, nor is it an attempt to dismiss leadership's ability; however, there only seems a few big fish and many, many little fish who are desperately learning to swim with very little direction as to which way the river is flowing. It is curious if one should become part of the school or a shark? 

References
American Psychological Association. (1993). Transformational leadership, transactional leadership, locus of control, and support for innovation: Key predictors of consolidated-business-unit performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(6), 891-902. Retrieved from http://www.taranomco.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/184.pdf
Coakes, E., & Clark, S. (2006). Encyclopedia of communities of practice in information and knowledge management [EBSCO host version]. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com
Grodal, S., Nelson, A., & Siino, R. (2015). Help-seeking and help-giving as an organizational routine: Continual engagement in innovative work. Academy of Management Journal, 58(1), 136-168. Retrieved from DOI: 10.5465/amj.2012.0552
Hillman, J. (2010). Planning for employee onboarding: Finding ways to increase new employee success and long-term retention. Retrieved from Noel-Levitz, Inc website: https://www.noellevitz.com/documents/shared/Papers_and_Research/2010/OnboardingPaper.pdf



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