The world of employment thrives on relationships. Building relationships with others in your industry, and even outside of it, can and will expand your worldview to include new experiences, knowledge, and opportunities. Organizations and companies will eventually benefit from the time employees invest in pursuing connections in their field and communities. As an employer, you need to be conversant with the easy information sharing bug that has rocked the industry. This will help you create an employee network that will promote communication, and in the process develop great management, team building, and knowledge-sharing skills. Here are tips you can use an employer to network more.
- Understand the Concept of Less is More
There is a misconception many people have that a network needs to be large in order to be effective. But a number not more than 25 members is a good rule. You can invite guests to special networking events, but the core operating group should be smaller, not larger.
- Have a Mission Statement or a Central Ideology
A mission statement reflects the basic purpose of the group. What areas of networking are you seeking for your employees? This may take some time to get everyone’s approval, but it is necessary to complete this step in order to move forward.
- Schedule Meeting Times
At the onset you can settle for one meeting in a month. Have in mind that at each meeting there will be problems to be discussed. But, be aware of your goals from the word go. Your interest in attending meetings and functions won’t last long if you don’t have clear understanding of why you want to network.
- Be Open-Minded
In no way should you limit yourself to groups within your industry or field of work. Pursue what interests you. Try out more than one group before narrowing it down to one or two. The whole idea is to have a wider view of how to go about it.
- Follow-Through Quickly
As mentioned earlier on, this industry thrives on relationships. Did someone send you a referral? Don’t let it languish, despite any skepticism you might have about its value. Part of being involved in a professional network is behaving professionally. Respond quickly when you receive help of any kind, including thank you note to the person who is sending the help through.
- Be Genuine
There is no one who wants to work with someone who is always wrapped up with “what is it in for them” but neither do they want to work with someone who is faking it to make in their industry. While you are networking, you can only go so far on as your charm. Be yourself and make it a personal experience.
- Get One-On-One
Limiting your associations with your contacts to group meetings is like diving on the shallow end. Dive deeper by calling specific members of your group to schedule lunch or coffee one on ones with the members of your network. Most will be flattered to find out you appreciate their opinions and ideas and want to know more about their experiences. This not only make them stronger personalities but also open them to greater ideas and experiences that in the long run will be beneficial to your company.
- Be a Resource
You can build on your new relationships by offering to help-and not just as an empty gesture. Have your healthy boundaries, but this is also no time to store your skills and experiences. If your attitude is centered on what you can contribute, you will develop a reputation for collaboration and become and influencer-something the world is short of.
- Know What You Need
There should never be a time when you are stuck for a response when you are inevitably asked how someone can help. Your new connections will be great potential resources for new ideas, more connections, industry information, and other opportunities. Remember #2
- Always Ask Open-Ended Questions
Most of the times, networking is all about either starting conversations or adding a valuable voice to an existing one. You won’t get very far by asking questions easily answered by a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Begin your questions with who, when, where, what, how, or why with the intention of getting a deeper conversation.
Lastly, keep at it. Reality is, if you make networking a priority, you will reach and sustain a worthwhile momentum that will be very important when you need your network most and above all for the growth of your company.
Source : Ethiojobs