Formalized networks to pave the way
Formalized networks are institutionalized, have a defined structure and address a certain target group. They initiate meetings on a regular basis featuring presentations and discussions geared towards promoting professional advancement and orientation. Informal networks, on the other hand, consist of the personal contacts an individual has established by his of her own initiative. Experience shows that men are more prone to establish informal networks than women. The establishment of formalized internal networks is therefore of special relevance for women.
How to establish internal networks
Ideally, internal networks are coordinated by executives in close collaboration with Human Resources. To promote acceptance and participation, senior management should draw attention to the opportunity and actively encourage attendance.
What are key success factors?
- The network should offer benefits with respect to content as well as relationships.
- Networks encompassing different layers of hierarchy encourage mentoring.
- Internal communication channels (intranet, newsletters etc.) should feature the network and its activities on a regular basis.
Tips for smaller organizations
- Organizations which are too small for an in-house network can collaborate with similar organizations to achieve their objectives.