Networking. When you hear the work what comes to mind? For most people it is a networking event. Or networking between businesses.
What if I told you that networking within your own company is just as beneficial as networking with outside organizations?
Networking is the building and nurturing of personal and professional relationships. Those relationships then create a system of contact, support, and information. When you cultivate that network, you enhance your social capital.
That social capital can be extremely beneficial in the organization you work at. It builds a norm of reciprocity and trustworthiness. Social capital can help you accomplish goals or receive the promotion faster. It can help you get information quicker or a sequence of events rushed through if you have built up your social network. This is based off of you giving and not always taking. That is what builds the network and establishes reciprocity.
How many of you have needed something rushed for your boss but you had to rely on another department in the process?
I sure have. In the instances I had an established relationship with the point of contact, I was able to get what I needed. In the instance where I didn’t have an established relationship, they still helped me out in getting it faster than usual, but it wasn’t as fast as where I had the established relationship.
As a leader, here are 5 reasons you should begin encouraging internal networking at your place of work:
1. Encourages knowledge sharing
When co-workers share the knowledge they have, everyone wins. It accelerates the learning process. Allows for greater creativity and encourages innovations. Employees can work off shared information to increase the overall success of the organization.
2. Increases employee engagement
Everyone wants to feel like they belong to a community. Networking creates a social structure that is shown to increase employee engagement.
3. Encourages learning about other positions
It encourages employees to get to know people in other departments. It connects them with other peers, subordinates, and superiors. You are able to see how other areas of an organization function and how it might impact your own department.
4. Allows for team building
For large organizations with large departments, sometimes the networking needs to take place within one department. When networking is encouraged, it allows for greater team building and trust within the team.
5. Collaboration Equals Fresh Ideas
Networking allows your team to hear different perspectives. A new perspective, or hearing an idea from a different angle, can help your team members develop new ideas that will be beneficial for the overall organization.
If you have encouraged networking in your organization, what are some of the benefits you have seen?
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Stephanie German is a leadership coach and consultant, author, and adjunct professor. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and loves giving back to her community in a variety of ways. When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. Stephanie’s greatest desires are to raise up the next generation of leaders while raising her own children to be strong, independent, and brave. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the best-selling author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?