The May issue of T&D (Training and Development, the ASTD monthly magazine) had an interesting article on networking and the value of establishing and promoting business networking. While the article is not online, there is a related podcast for this).
The article by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon focuses on the phrase “unconnected employees,” by which they mean “employees who lack the skills to build effective business relationships.” As I find business and academic networking a challenge, I thought at times they were writing this article about / for me!
They describe 8 ways that employees who do not network can hurt a business:
- They get off to a slow start as new hires
- They are less productive
- They don’t make it their business to recruit
- They don’t know how to make their expertise known so it can be used, and so they can advance in their careers
- They are less successful as managers
- They make poor decisions
- They aren’t creative and innovative
- They fail to bring back business intelligence from conferences
Wow, do I have a lot of work to do, especially having just returned from the ASTD conference last week!
While I am not sure how the authors created their list (there was a mention in the article about the literature, yet I would like to have seen something a bit more methodological so I can read more about this, especially from an evidence-based perspective), the list does in fact seem to make some sense to me. The authors speak briefly about each of these, though I hope they consider writing a follow-up with more concrete suggestions for how to address each of these.
To take a concrete first step in addressing these issues in my own professional practice, I revised my LinkedIn profile and am committing to try to leverage the system. Take a look at it; any suggestions are most appreciated!