Many organizations across the globe prioritize a culture of networking and collaboration over having their employees work in their silos. After all, collaborating with like-minded and skilled professionals fosters innovation, better team rapport, and a positive work environment.
However, creating that culture of networking can be harder than it looks. Many organizations make the mistake of throwing together their employees at events geared towards forming connections – such as an evening outside the office. At best, these events can feel awkward and forced, with a few confident employees introducing themselves to others, and the rest huddled around their teams. When you are considering creating employee on-site events that are geared towards networking, keep the following factors in mind:
1. In-Office Networking Spawns Greater Success
Networking events sometimes have a bad reputation. Employees view these events as official obligations that ultimately eat into their family time. As a result, people have one eye on the clock from the moment they enter. Consider creating in-office networking events that take away the negative connotations of traditional events. A long lunch organized for senior managers to get to know junior staff, shorter one-on-ones conducted frequently, and open space areas for employees to frequent and engage in conversation naturally (such as the cafeteria).
2. Technology Can Aid Networking
The use of intranet, as well as business tools such as Skype for Business, can facilitate networking through chats or video calls. It’s no secret that a larger percentage of men feel comfortable reaching out to colleagues they’ve never worked with for collaborations, than women. However, through communication mediums such as chats and video calls, more employees can let go of anything holding them back from communicating and establishing a rapport with others. These tools can also be used to schedule specific group discussions and calls regarding projects, future innovations, and topical discussions. Allowing employees to voice their opinions and interact with others over topics that are not always work-related can also facilitate the softening of boundaries.
3. Support Goes a Long Way
A majority of employees do not network as often as they should as they do not feel as though they are in a safe environment. The lack of perceived support from managers or co-workers can often silence minds with great ideas. It is essential that no matter what kind of networking event you choose to create, your employees must feel encouraged to speak up. Small shows of support can help them continue to network with others as time goes on. This will create an overall culture of networking too.
If you need help to grow your organization through internal and external networking, work with agencies like Domusinc.com, which provide employee-oriented business solutions and many other things. The expert professionals at these agencies offer varied services across key fields like employee management, advertising, digital, social media, public relations, and corporate social responsibility.