How to Effectively Create Opportunities for Employee Networking

In this article, we will be discussing the importance of networking and how you can create networking opportunities for your employees.

Team Networking« Back to Articles

Networking, is it something you need to be prioritising or just a buzzword we’ve all heard? When people think of the word networking, they think of connecting on LinkedIn or attending networking events with people outside of their organisation. Networking is what we do when we connect with people, to make new relationships and share information.

But what about internal networking? How can it be beneficial and how can you do it?

In this article, we will be discussing the importance of networking and how you can create networking opportunities for your employees.

Why is employee networking important?

When it comes to internal networking, there are several reasons that organisations need to be prioritising it. Not only is it fun, but comes with some impressive benefits for both employees and the organisations. Some of the key benefits include:

• Increased opportunities: Networking is a great way for your employees to expand their professional connections, which leads to increased opportunities. From potential collaborations to partnerships between departments, networking means that connections can be spread further across your organisation.
• Improved collaboration and teamwork: Networking facilitates collaboration and teamwork among your employees, helping create an organisational culture of support, guidance and collaboration. When employees connect with colleagues from different departments or teams, they can share resources and work together easier on new organisational projects or incentives.
• Increased knowledge sharing: Networking leads to exchanged knowledge, insight and ideas. Knowledge sharing means that employees can learn from each other's experiences and stay updated on the latest trends or development. Knowledge sharing is invaluable within an organisation, as the more knowledge your employees have, the better.
• Enhanced productivity: Internal networking leads to increased productivity because your employees will feel more confident in their role when they build relationships with others across your organisation. An internal network allows for information to flow easier within your organisation and allows employees to find relevant information faster.
• Improved employee retention: Networking improves engagement, which is directly linked to employee retention. When your employees are actively engaged and learning from each other, they feel they are valued by the organisation and developing within their careers. These enhanced levels of engagement mean that employees are more dedicated to their company and are less likely to leave.

How to create employee networking opportunities

Now that you know the benefits of networking, let’s look at how you can create employee networking opportunities within your organisation. Our top 5 methods include:

1. Online groups

Whether your team is fully remote, hybrid or in-office, you should be taking advantage of technology. With platforms such as Slack and Teams, there is no reason you can’t make dedicated online groups for your employees to come together and connect. By having online groups, you’re creating a space where employees can ask questions, build relationships and collaborate. Whether you’re using these groups for non-work-related discussions or allowing employees to connect over their shared hobbies, online groups make networking accessible for all employees, no matter where they are in the world.

2. Industry events, classes and gatherings

Networking doesn’t need to be done completely from within the office, you can also encourage employees to attend work-related events, classes and gatherings. Whether it’s related to the industry, the role of your employees or skill-related classes, there are hundreds of events that your employees can attend. These events not only allow your employees to make connections with each other but they can meet other professionals within their field. It further allows them to learn new skills, share their ideas and allow them to keep up to date with the latest industry trends.

3. Mentoring programmes

Mentoring programmes are a great way for employees to learn new skills and move forward in their careers. It’s also a great way for employees to network with each other. Having mentoring programmes within your organisation allows your employees to build relationships as they can connect with experienced mentors who can share their insight, skills and knowledge. Not only can relationships be built between your two employees, but the mentor will be able to introduce their mentee to their professional network too, which will grant the mentee access to further networking opportunities and insights.

4. Start a book club

If you want to get employees talking, you can also start a book club. We suggest that if you do this, then you focus it on professional development and skill-building. This means that your employees come together to read a book related to their roles or the skills they want to achieve, allowing them to exchange their thoughts and come up with new ways to improve their departments. Book clubs are a great way for your employees to overcome shared goals and connect over common interests, these meaningful relationships will also mean that your employees are continuously learning. The best part? Anyone can attend as these can be done in person or virtually.

5. Host social gatherings

Why not host your own social gathering and social events? From happy hours to in-office networking events, hosting your social gatherings is a simple but effective way to bring all your employees all together in one place. Meeting new people within an organisation can be daunting, especially for new employees who haven’t had the chance to meet their co-workers. These events can be effective at providing employees with the opportunity to connect with their teams or other departments. Whether it’s once a month or every 2 weeks, these events are a fun way to build trust, engagement and connections among employees.

Final thoughts

Networking is more than just a buzzword and is something all organisations need to be prioritising if they want to keep their employees happy, satisfied and engaged. With increased opportunities, improved collaboration and teamwork, increased knowledge sharing, enhanced productivity and improved employee retention, internal networking is invaluable.

As mentioned throughout this article, there are many internal networking opportunities you can provide for your employees if you want to reap the rewards networking comes with.

Welcome to PushFar, the world's largest mentoring platform. Whether you're looking to find a mentor or launch your own mentoring programs and schemes, we can help.
Looking for a mentor or to become a mentor?
Join Now Free Running your own mentoring programs?
Request a Demo

Explore more articles...

Similar mentoring, career progression and learning articles and resources by PushFar, you might like to read.

Go Further, with PushFar.

What are you looking for in your mentoring journey?
Individual Mentoring - Join Free
Organisation Solutions - Request a Demo