How often have you pulled out your Rolodex (written or digital) to connect with your circle of contacts when you were thinking of looking for a new job or were in the weeds with a job search? The same can be said for when you’ve landed a job. After all, it’s all about who you know, not what you know when navigating your career.
But is it more important for the person or people you seek out to be those you’ve networked with or those you’ve developed a deeper relationship with that goes past just exchanging business cards?
Networking is usually a one-and-done action we take. You meet someone at a work event, shake hands, trade business cards, and usually, that’s as far as it goes. Only a handful of people you meet make it past the irrelevant pile of business cards that collect on your desk.
You have to make the meetings you have memorable. Then, determine from those meetings which you can see building a meaningful connection with. These are the people you connect with outside of the 9-to-5. They are the types of work relationships that bridge the gap from professional to personal. In turn, a company or small business owner reaps the benefits of these relationships.
Improved Employee Morale – With the number of time professionals spend at work, and among their colleagues, it makes sense that strong relationships in the workplace can lead to improved job satisfaction. When people look forward to spending time with others at work, it becomes an enjoyable place to go.
Boosted Employee Productivity – So you have a team that enjoys spending time with one another and looks forward to going to work. Naturally, happier employees are going to be more productive. When you feel more attached to the people you work with and the workplace you work within, you’ll want to do your best for your colleagues and the organization as a whole.
Developed Employee Trust – Any solid relationship is built on trust. The more comfortable we feel around co-workers, the more honest we are with what we share, and our input is more valued. The same goes for our bosses. If you’ve built up trust in your superior, you’ll work harder for them and will be happier at work.
Better Team Collaboration – As employees become more open, they get to know each other better and are more likely to work well together. If you have a group comfortable working together and that really understands each other, you’re going to get a better result from their work. On the contrary, if you throw a group together that doesn’t know each other as well, it will take more time for them to reach the same level of success because that deep relationship and understanding aren’t there.
Increased Employee Retention – Employee satisfaction increases almost 50% when they develop close relationships at work. When workers feel connected to a company and invested in their work, their eyes won’t wander. Regardless of why an employee buys in, whether it’s leadership’s vision, an organization’s direction, or the people they work next to each day, if an employee enjoys work, they won’t be tempted to go anywhere.
How do you know when it’s not worth putting in the effort to develop a relationship after the networking part of it? And how do you know when it is worth putting in the time to develop the relationship? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Step-By-Step Guide to Making the Best First Impression.