Creative ways of reducing turnover has been a significant focus as of late in the HR world. One majorly overlooked way to boost employee retention is through internal networking. Internal networking functions much like external networking, except for one key difference: all networking is among employees of the same organization.
While it may seem as if a subtle change in networking wouldn’t have a significant impact on retention, quite the opposite is true. One study found that internal networking reduced turnover rates by 140%, while active participation in external networking increased turnover rates by 114%. If your organization has been looking to increase staff retention, encouraging employees to network internally is an exceptional place to start.
Need ideas on how to get started? Here are three ways to encourage internal networking among your employees.
Start an internal networking group
To begin an internal networking program, create a group specifically for networking within your organization. Once the networking meeting is scheduled, promote the group and offer incentives (such as complimentary food and beverage) to attend. Rather than networking externally to meet contacts to facilitate a job switch, internal networking gives employees insight into their current company and how they can support other departments or even get an internal promotion. Keep in mind, internal networking events don’t have to mirror those of stuffy cocktail hours with name tags and rehearsed elevator pitches, but rather can be casual social gatherings with familiar faces.
Promote internal networking within your organization
Begin to promote the value of internal networking within your organization. Many individuals are unfamiliar with the idea, so help spread information on why internal networking is great for your staff members. Encourage employees to start their own networking groups as well. For instance, a large company could have a number of internal groups such as a women’s group, young professionals group, even a veteran’s group. This way, employees can join the networking groups they feel are most relevant to themselves.
Start to network internally yourself
By starting to network with others in your organization, you will feel more connected to your coworkers. Internal networking can be casual and prompt employees to share things about themselves beyond the typical work conversation. When employees feel more connected to their coworkers, there are more likely to stay, thus lowering employee turnover.Taking the first step yourself will help other staff members feel more comfortable with networking internally.
NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.