Creating Successful Internal Networking Events That Improve Your Company’s Bottom Line

Internal Networking allows for employees to network within and across departments. This allows new synergies to evolve between staff members that wouldn’t be evident without internal networking. Internal networking can help a company’s team building, mentoring, and creative strategy efforts. It has been shown that companies who promote internal networking have higher retention rates because people feel more connected to each other and the company. Internal networking promotes better relationships and internal resources for your staff, which in turn increases your company’s productivity. New employees reach out to seasoned professionals more and the seasoned professionals help out more out of a sense of service to your company.

Have a Clear Purpose
Know the purpose of your internal networking event and let the staff know this purpose. Make sure to think of purposes from the angle of each of your staff members so they will all get something out of the event.

Set the Scope
Which people and/or departments will be invited? Do you want a sit down, structured type of networking event or a more freestyle networking with a larger group of staff? Maybe speed networking is in order for people to discover who they want to follow up with later. Is this going to be a regular monthly gathering or a one time gathering?

Give Staff Enough Notice so that Attendance Doesn’t Suffer
Send out save the date communications to give people notice and let them know that their attendance is expected.

Location, Location, Location.
Make sure the location you pick will work with the goals and scope you have for your Internal Networking event. Don’t wait last minute to reserve the meeting area. Virtual events are also a nice way to bring more people together, especially in a distributed environment.

Set the Agenda
Let everyone know what is expected of them and provide an agenda so things don’t get so loose that nothing gets done. Many events have a brief welcome lobby or presentation, and then move into the planned networking event itself.

Solicit Feedback
Feedback is always a good thing. It’s how you use the feedback that will truly improve the next event.

Follow Up
Explain with follow-up messaging to the attendees that they should all follow up with any leads or connections they made during the event. Tell them to be specific about next steps with their new connections.

Adapted from an original post on Valet Coffee that can be seen here.