“Nearly every professional recognizes that networking is good for them. The connections! The opportunities! And yet a significant percentage simply can’t bring themselves to do it. Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino knows why: It makes them feel dirty.”
Gino’s research provides two insights organizations can leverage when it comes to the formation of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). A fundamental component of ERGs is providing networking opportunities for employees with similar backgrounds and interests. However, organizations must consider both the types of networking opportunities that ERGs present and the dynamics between ERG members. To yield the desired benefits from ERGs, the focus should not be on advancement and the relationships between members should not be hierarchical. Instead, the focus should be on fostering connections throughout the organization and collaboration.
“Networking makes plenty of high-achieving professionals uncomfortable—and for good reason, if they’re equating the practice with exploiting others. But when you reframe the experience, it becomes a win-win that even the most hardened lone wolves may embrace.”
Organizations can and should help reframe the networking experiences inherent to their ERGs to leverage their impact on employees. Whether you are just beginning to develop ERGs or are looking to refine your existing ERGS, ideascape can help by leveraging leading industry research to help you develop a comprehensive ERG strategy. Contact Jonathan Dyke and Deon Gaines to learn more.
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