I am constantly challenging clients to build a 360º network. We are all prone to mixing with our peers. It seems we always go to the same lunches or happy hours with professionals we already know. We sit at a table at a conference where peers are sitting. We are attracted to people who understand the same work topics we do.
However, this is not the way to grow a business or get ahead. A 360º network includes professionals who are more senior and more junior. They are inside as well as outside the organization. They work in finance and sales and maybe even the mail room.
Anyone who has ever wanted to connect with a CEO knows that making their executive assistant a part of your network can have great value.
So as you send your employees out to build a network, here are three ways you can help them build a better one.
3 Ways To Help Your Employees Build A Network That Works For Them And For You
Send them somewhere new.
Don’t send them to the same conferences every year. Challenge them to mix it up. New events mean new people and that is always an opportunity for growth
Get them on a board
Serving on a board of a non-profit or a committee is a great way to build new relationships with professionals your employees might not meet in the regular course of a business day. It is also an opportunity for those professionals to see their intelligence and abilities.
Host internal networking
This is more than a casual social. You need to host an event where your VP of Finance has an opportunity to connect with a junior developer or you connect with the new hire in customer service.
To build a strong network you need to be intentional. It seems like more work, but it the end we all know a strong network helps the organization as well as the individual.