How important is networking in your company
People are networking all the time: they get advice in online forums, communicate with friends in chats and share information on social networks that they think is relevant. At the same time, companies are still fighting their teeth when it comes to networking. Too bad. Because everything you need on the way to a networked organization is obviously already there: people who know how to network (even if they wouldn't call it that in a private context) and who like to do it - IF it makes sense for them results. So what can companies do to initiate the internal exchange that is urgently needed to produce innovative solutions?
Companies are faced with the challenge of changing from rigid structures in which "business as usual" is done - to agile network organizations in which information and knowledge can flow and new ideas can mature. And not because new work and agile work are currently in vogue. But because it is simply vital for them to survive. But how can that be achieved? Tearing down office walls and putting all employees in an open space in the hope that they will start talking to each other does not help. Not alone, anyway. Because, especially in the classic corporate context, many people have learned over many years to define and isolate their own area of competence. Or to take up what I said at the beginning: You see no point in networking. Not yet. Because this is exactly where companies can and should start.
Networking means acting needs-based
What automatically guides us in the private social environment must be specifically triggered in the corporate context: People come into contact with other people in order to meet certain needs - be it to get a recommendation for a product, a tip on how to remove stains, to have nice moments share or get confirmation from others - You name it.
We don't hand over needs at the office door - they are always there. What companies have to do is to create structures in which employees have the opportunity to act in a needs-oriented manner at the work level and to make targeted contact with the people who will advance them professionally, such as
- Role models who inspire them,
- Mentors from whom they learn or
- Specialist colleagues who are at your side in solving company-relevant tasks.
But how do you start? How to get from beautiful theory into practice? How can a company make the sense of networking clear to its employees if there are neither empirical values nor best practices from their own environment?
With automated matching, for example.
Automatically create human experiences of success
There are smart software solutions that bring together precisely those people in the company who can support each other in certain situations, development phases or projects. An algorithm identifies potential mentoring tandems, the best possible team constellations for a project or the right partner for a job rotation - again: You name it.
The need orientation works in two directions: On the one hand, employees find exactly the colleagues they need to get ahead. At the same time, their needs evolve - also depending on who they surround themselves with. You could also say: companies that match (automatically) also promote the personal development of each individual in the company by creating the best conditions to inspire each other again and again.
Human connections are THE success factor
For companies, on the other hand, it is particularly exciting to keep an eye on who is networking with whom and from which constellations the best ideas and results emerge. Keyword: People Analytics. Studies have shown that it is not so much the characteristics and résumés of employees (“attribute analytics”) that allow reliable forecasts about their performance and development. It is much more revealing to analyze the interactions of people in the company - the American scientists Paul Leonardi and Noshir Contractor call it “relational analytics”: Tell me how intensively you are networked and I will tell you how good you are at certain things Projects and fits into certain teams. The investigations of the two showed, for example, that it was not the formally most influential colleagues (i.e. those with the most contacts or most people “under” their leadership) who achieved the greatest impact in practice, but the employees with the strongest connections had to others.
How-To: First steps on the way to a networked organization
- Introduce automated matching: The software makes it easy to organize mentoring duos, lunch dates, job sharing, project work and much more - and all that bottom-up!
- Make success stories visible: People love stories from other people - also in a corporate context. Tell the stories of the teams that have successfully networked - a blog, the intranet or a success board in the office are possible channels.
- Promote diversity: The more diverse the workforce, the more fruitful the exchange. “Attribute Analytics” and “Relational Analytics” go hand in hand.
- Dissolve silos, strengthen community thoughts: Open structures, changing responsibilities and dynamic hierarchies encourage exchange.
- Use data: Anyone who matches digitally gets an insight into the professional needs of employees, can react to them with appropriate offers and thus raise networking in the company to a new level.
You name it - we match it: With the Tandemploy-SaaS we give you a tool that brings your employees together in a needs-based and goal-oriented manner - for projects, mentoring, co-leadership, job sharing duos and much more. Check out the web demo here.
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